Business and Social Profiling of Immigrant-Owned Small Medium Enterprises: The Case of Somalian Immigrant Entrepreneurs in Thembisile Hani Municipality of South Africa

Sphiwe Jultah Ntuli, Jian Xiaoying


This study examines Somalia’s immigrant entrepreneurs in South Africa so as to identify patterns of ethnic entrepreneurship and socio-economic challenges faced by ethnic entrepreneurs. The research aims to enhance understanding of the characteristics and business profiles of Somalia immigrant entrepreneurs in Thembisile Hani Municipality, Mpumalanga Province of South Africa. It also seeks to make recommendations to government and private sector agencies for policy formulation that supports and encourages these Somalian immigrant entrepreneurs. A survey administered to 43 Somalia’s immigrant entrepreneurs recorded a wide range of data from which frequency distributions, cross-tabulations and Chi-square tests were processed. This was to reveal strong associations between business and social profiling. Findings reveal that the Somalian immigrant entrepreneurs, rather than turning to the private sector financial sector for capital often set up enterprises with their own capital. Findings also reveal that the fraction of the educated and the not educated is comparatively the same. They also further specify that South Africa is not the terminal migration destination of choice for these Somalia immigrant entrepreneurs. Market-share of work permits is proportionately larger than their residence permit share, this differs from other ethnic groups by substantial preference for enterprise operation, and they are very much bound to ethnic enclaves. This frame of research offers a unique contribution to an area which has been until now largely ignored.

Keywords: Somalian immigrant entrepreneurs, self-employment, chain migration, ethnic entrepreneurship, economic integration

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ISSN (Paper)2224-607X ISSN (Online)2225-0565

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