Learning from failure: a study of failed enterprises of self-employed African migrants in the UK

Mendy, John and Hack-polay, Dieu (2018) Learning from failure: a study of failed enterprises of self-employed African migrants in the UK. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 25 (2). pp. 330-343. ISSN 1462-6004

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Abstract

Purpose
This paper investigates the high failure among African entrepreneurs post 2008 financial crisis. It evaluates the evidence of actual and perceived disadvantage and endogenous and exogenous factors affecting BME businesses.
Methodology/Approach
The research is based on an interpretivist frame which uses a dialogic methodology. It uses in-depth interviews. The researchers framed discussion questions so as to invite the participants to articulate directly their experiences for the benefit of the readership, other existing African businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Findings
The findings from the interviews with 20 leaders of ‘dead’ businesses indicate the impact that place, people and poverty have on business failure and identify reasons for African business failure rates compared to other minorities. This study reveals that culture, an often understated variable, is critical in understanding the deeper reasons for the underperformance of African small entrepreneurs and its impacts on individual and collective lives.
Practical implications
Recovery solutions ought to be formulated from participants’ call for diversification, inter-cultural learning and integration as potential remedies. The research addresses the socio-economic problems encountered by owners of ‘dead’ businesses. Policymakers and financial organisations ought to pay heed to the skills and resources that minorities offer as part of remedies for future enterprises.
Originality:
Studies on failed African businesses are under-represented in the literature. This study identifies the important role of culture on the failure of small businesses owned by African migrants in the UK. It highlights the significant socio-economic and situational barriers that they navigate in quest for recognition and cultural integration through business endeavours.

Keywords:Interactive dialogic method, SME failure, culture’s impact, recovery, African migrant
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N200 Management studies
N Business and Administrative studies > N120 International Business studies
N Business and Administrative studies > N100 Business studies
N Business and Administrative studies > N190 Business studies not elsewhere classified
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
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ID Code:30533
Deposited On:07 Mar 2018 16:36

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