African immigrants' small businesses in a midwestern city in the United States: Constraints and strategies for survival

by Anetomang, George G. K., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2009, 161 pages; 3366054


Prior studies conducted on businesses owned by immigrants in the United States focused on small ventures operated by Asian, Arab and Hispanic immigrants. The objective of this phenomenological study was to identify and explain constraints African immigrants faced in operating convenience stores in a Midwestern city in the United States, how they surmounted constraints, and how they could operate convenience stores profitably. Five participants took part in the study. Participants mentioned the following as the most difficult problems they faced: (a) lack of capital, (b) selling goods on credit, (c) idiosyncratic attitudes of African customers, (d) preservation of goods, and (e) City Inspectors' rounds. The study revealed that African immigrants, who operate convenience stores in the city, could run their stores successfully if their businesses are well capitalized and if they would avoid selling goods on credit to fly-by-night customers. Again, to forestall losses participants incur due to the city inspectors' confiscation and destruction of their wares, both the city inspectors and the African retailers should hold a discourse to hammer out a memorandum of understanding of exotic goods the African retailers could carry at their stores without incurring the censure of city inspectors.

AdviserZhenhu Jin
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsBlack studies; Management
Publication Number3366054

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