Opportunity Recognition and New Venture Creation: A Narrative Inquiry into Black African Immigrant Entrepreneurs in the Urban Environment of the West Midlands

Tiemo, Tamaralaiyefa Harold (2024) Opportunity Recognition and New Venture Creation: A Narrative Inquiry into Black African Immigrant Entrepreneurs in the Urban Environment of the West Midlands. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.

Tamaralaiyefa Harold Tiemo PhD Thesis published_Final version_Submitted Aug 2023_Final Award Jun 2023.pdf - Accepted Version

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This research study explores the entrepreneurial activities of Black African immigrant entrepreneurs (BAIEs) concerning identifying opportunities and creating new ventures within the urban environment of the West Midlands. Research suggests that BAIEs in the United Kingdom (UK) have received comparatively less academic focus than other migrant groups. Previous studies categorised Black African and Caribbean migrant individuals as ‘Afro-Caribbean.’ Most Black African migrant research are conducted in densely populated areas of London. Furthermore, most research in this field prioritises quantitative data above entrepreneurs’ subjective experiences, necessitating methodological diversity. As a result, this study employs phenomenology to explore individual experiences. It uses the conceptual framework of social identity, self-categorisation, diverse forms of capital, and institutional theory. Ten BAIEs from Sub-Saharan Africa were selected—four were first-generation, and six were second-generation migrants. All of them resided in Birmingham, a city in the West Midlands. The researcher conducted semi-structured interviews with these participants.

The key findings highlight that traits such as entrepreneurial passion, education, and previous work and industry experience are positive inclinations towards entrepreneurial activities fundamental to the identity of the BAIEs involved in this research. Social networks, comprising family, friends, professionals, suppliers, and customers, significantly impact the entrepreneurial process of BAIEs. Additionally, regulative, normative, and cognitive institutions influence the entrepreneurial process. These entrepreneurs mentioned facing limitations, connected to their identities as ‘Black’ and ‘migrant,’ which are frequently subject to discrimination and institutional marginalisation. At a cultural level, there is a restriction in business opportunities due to collective heritage and cultural economy. At a personal level, the ability to turn adversity into business opportunities positively affects tenacity and resiliency when confronted with exceptionally high barriers in the West Midlands urban environment.

Unlike studies that focus on a limiting ethnic dependence framework, such as the mixed embeddedness theory for migrant opportunities, this research advocates for a more nuanced understanding of the social and economic status of BAIEs. It underscores the significance of examining how social identity, self-categorisation, various forms of capital, and institutional influences interact within complex and biased social frameworks.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
24 July 2023Submitted
27 February 2024Accepted
Uncontrolled Keywords: Migrant Entrepreneurship; African Entrepreneurship; Ethnic Minority; Opportunity Recognition; Venture Creation; Social Identity; Self Categorisation; United Kingdom
Subjects: CAH17 - business and management > CAH17-01 - business and management > CAH17-01-02 - business studies
Divisions: Doctoral Research College > Doctoral Theses Collection
Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > College of Accountancy, Finance and Economics
Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > College of Business, Digital Transformation & Entrepreneurship
Depositing User: Jaycie Carter
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2024 11:39
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2024 12:04
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15317

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