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African Immigrant Entrepreneurs in South Africa: Exploring Their Economic Contributions



Objective: The objective of this article is to determine the economic opportunities created by African immigrant entrepreneurs in South Africa. Furthermore, it is to investigate the impact that Afrophobia has on economic opportunities created by African immigrant entrepreneurs in South Africa.

Research Design & Methods: The text utilizes a mixed-methods approach that incorporates both self-administered questionnaire and qualitative in-depth interviews. Through a random sampling approach and snowballing technique, this study combines data from questionnaires of 153 participants and in-depth interviews with 12 respondents.

Findings: The findings confirm that immigrant SMEs fill economic gaps by contributing to innovation and technology developments. Such commercial migrants pay taxes, thus adding to the economy of the country. Challenges faced by African immigrant entrepreneurs are not few but centre on Afrophobic and xenophobic attacks which negatively impact business operations and economic growth.

Implications & Recommendations: Sound measures by the government regarding immigration could minimize existing tensions, stimulate local skills development, technology development and transfer, new business opportunities, and improve inclusion into the globalised economy.

Contribution & Value Added: This study is unique in that it contributes to our knowledge and literature on immigrant entrepreneurship while particularly providing insights into African immigrants’ contributions to a national economy.



African immigrant entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial challenges, Small and Medium Enterprises, South Africa

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