The identification and exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities by African immigrants in a selected township in Cape Town
Many people from African countries immigrate to South Africa because they perceive South Africa as a country which offers many opportunities and an advanced standard of living. Although immigrants often resort to entrepreneurial activities as a means of survival when few other options are available to them, increasing numbers of African immigrants are coming to South Africa with the express intention of starting businesses in the country. An unfortunate consequence of their entrepreneurial success in the SMME sector in South Africa has been manifested in outbreaks of xenophobic violence which have targeted entrepreneurs in the townships of South Africa. African immigrants are widely perceived to pose threats to the livelihoods of South Africans, either by invading local labour markets or putting South African entrepreneurs in the SMME sector out of business because of the competitive edge which their businesses often enjoy over those of their South African counterparts. Relatively little emphasis has been given to the socio-economic contribution which African immigrant entrepreneurs make, by providing employment to South Africans in the face of alarmingly high rates of unemployment in South Africa and by contributing directly to the South African economy through the payment of taxes. The researcher formulated this research study to determine how African immigrants identify and exploit business opportunities in South Africa by studying a group of African immigrant entrepreneurs in the township of Nomzamo in Strand, which lies some 50 kilometres to the southeast of Cape Town. The significance of this study lies in the fact that, to date, there has been relatively little research concerning this research topic and also in the contention that obtaining a comprehensive understanding of the successful business practices of African immigrant entrepreneurs could play a very meaningful role in improving the performance of South African entrepreneurs in the SMME sector and in normalising relationships between immigrant communities and South African population groups in the townships of South Africa.
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