Accepted paper:

How do African migrant entrepreneurs navigate mainstream networks in North West England?


Olu Aluko (Nottingham Trent University)
Kelechi Ekuma (University of Manchester)

Paper short abstract:

This study utilizes a social capital theoretical lens to critically examine how African migrants in North West, England navigate mainstream networks within the context of the UK as a host country.

Paper long abstract:

Extant literature on migrant entrepreneurs (MEs) suggests that MEs embed themselves with the co-ethnic diaspora network as they overcome the liabilities associated with during business in a New Immigration Destination (NID). However, MEs embeddedness in the diaspora co-ethnic networks in the NID face some limitations. Over-embeddedness in co-ethnic networks can stifle the innovative capabilities of migrant entrepreneurs (Bagwell, 2008). Kitching et al. (2009) note that embeddedness co-ethnic networks solely are not sufficient for the long-term survival and expansion of TEs cross-border businesses. Echoing this position at the firm level, Tolstoy (2018) finds that network embeddedness can potentially limit SMEs' scope of strategic actions. Although scholarly work has emphasized the importance of MEs co-ethnic networks and how MEs gain access into the co-ethnic network in the host country. Yet, there is a limited understanding as to how MEs move on from a position of co-ethnic network embeddedness in the NID to a position where they gain insidership of mainstream networks in the host country. This study seeks to address this gap. Our overarching aim is to help provide new insights and identify innovative strategies that could help current and future African transitional entrepreneurs make a better integration in the UK.

panel E1
Large-scale migration, remittances and development: historical and contemporary evidence