oa Journal of Management & Administration - Evaluating the economic contribution and challenges of Ethiopian migrant entrepreneurs in Durban, South Africa

Volume 2018 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1728-9157



This study is aimed at investigating and creating awareness on the economic contribution and challenges of Ethiopian migrant entrepreneurs in Durban and makes recommendations on how to address those challenges. This research used the quantitative research method with a descriptive research design. The study used a structured interview questionnaire consisting of 19 closed-ended questions. The population comprised Ethiopian migrant entrepreneurs who owned and operated their own businesses in Durban, South Africa. The findings from the study showed that migrant entrepreneurs contribute to the South African economy by generating employment, paying rents, providing goods and services to the communities, economic and cultural growth, and supporting formal sector wholesalers and retailers. Migrant entrepreneurs were found to face many challenges such as lack of contacts and networking skills, inefficient bookkeeping systems and poor business planning, non-compliance with the standards of registration bodies, lack of information and language skills, access to finance and credit, lack of support and institutional difficulties, crime, and xenophobic attack. Recommendations were given specifically for financial institutions and the government. The banking system should welcome the immigrant entrepreneurs by eliminating hurdles for the immigrants to access bank facilities. Lending institutions should encourage emigrant entrepreneurs to save regularly, get debt funding, and own property. The government should implement entrepreneurship support and training programs such as language, information provision, planning, networking, investment, and partnerships.

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