Black African Entrepreneurship in the UK

Black African Entrepreneurship in the UK

Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7631-0.ch004

Abstract

This chapter appraises the general literature of immigrant and ethnic entrepreneurship linking it with the evaluation of the nature and characteristics of the entrepreneurial activities of Black Africans in the UK. It aims to understand, within this context, the process, challenges, attribution, and outcome of their entrepreneurship.
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The Nature Of Black African Entrepreneurship In The Uk

This section evaluates the context Black African entrepreneurship in the UK (in terms of abundance or scarcity of the resources). Entrepreneurial bricolage is employed to summarize this evaluation.

Entrepreneurial Bricolage

The notion of bricolage is adopted in this section to analyse Black African entrepreneurship in the UK. The concept is useful in demonstrating how, in an environment of inadequate resources, entrepreneurs may be able to create value and assist in the growth of their business enterprises. Di Domenico et al., (2010) contend that the concept of bricolage is most appropriate because it is a flexible approach which is remarkably suited to the study of an organizational form that is designed to create both social and commercial value under conditions of resource scarcity. Similarly, Gundry et al., (2011) assert that bricolage specifically involves the creative adaptation and manipulation of resources such as human capital, materials, financial resources, and social capital to solve a problem or embrace a new opportunity.

The term bricolage is used broadly in a variety of fields especially in subculture, enterprise and institutions, and environments of scarcity. Bricolage not only emphases improvisation, limited resources, innovation, imagination and necessity, but also rearranging and transformation (Phillimore, Humphris, Klass, & Knecht, 2016). Furthermore, bricolage is sometimes regarded to be a highly localized activity that can swiftly respond to changing conditions; while some considered bricolage as an opportunity others see it more as a second best option, perhaps the kind of process that individuals or firms adopt in the early stages of addressing a challenge (Phillimore, Humphris, Klass, & Knecht, 2016). The concept of bricolage has also been utilized in the entrepreneurship literature to describe nascent firm growth (Baker, Miner, & Eesley, 2003) and the concept of market creation (Baker & Nelson, 2005). In a nutshell, in entrepreneurial research, bricolage is employed as a means of organizing in a resource scarce context (Baker & Nelson, 2005), and it underscores the importance of mobilizing scarce resources (i.e. entrepreneurial capitals) to maximize economic value.

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Entrepreneurial Capitals (Resources)

The types and nature of resources Black African entrepreneurs employed in the course of their entrepreneurship are evaluated in this section. Resources or capitals of entrepreneurs are assets of values that can be used to undertake a social or economic task (Kontos, 2004). Resources are vital tools for the success of any enterprise, and can compensate for many difficulties ethnic entrepreneurs might encounter in a foreign environment. Some of the familiar resources are evaluated vis-à-vis the notion of entrepreneurial bricolage of Black African entrepreneurs. Several researchers have noted the ‘plethora of capitals’ emergent in social and economic theories, which refer to practically all aspects of social life as a form of capital (Baron & Hannan, 1994). Nonetheless, the major ones in this context include human capital (education, training, experience), financial capital (funding capacity), labor capital (personnel and manpower), cultural capital (cultural endowment), social capital (embeddedness in social networks), and religion capital (knowledge and practice pertaining to religious culture). The access to and manipulation of these forms of capital affects enterprise undertakings and, subsequently, business success or failure.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Bricolage: Describes a process of maximizing economic value in resource-constrained environments.

Social Capital: Refers to the connections within and between social networks from which individuals obtain economic value.

Theocentricism: Is the principle which asserts that all the natural and supernatural reality revolves around God or the notion of God-centeredness.

Entrepreneurial Bricolage: Articulates the process of improvisation in applying a combination of inadequate resources available to new problems and opportunities.

Financial Capital: Refers to the accumulated wealth of group members and their access to the official credit market.

Religious Capital: As a resource refers to the amount of knowledge and practice relating to religious culture individual can generate.

Labor Capital: Refers to the availability and employment of co-ethnics in ethnic ventures for business growth and sustainability.

Symbolic Capital: Refers to the resources available to a group or individual on the basis of honor, prestige, or recognition, and serves as the value that one holds within a culture.

Human Capital: Refers to the capabilities associated with secondary and post-secondary education, learning experience and labor market experience of a group.

Locus of Control: Refers to the extent to which individuals believe they have control over the outcome of events in their lives, as compared to external forces outside their control.

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