Entrepreneurship as a strategy for refugees in South Africa


Objective: The purpose of this study is to investigate how factors affecting refugee entrepreneurship influence the refugee entrepreneurship performance.

Research Design & Methods: The positivism paradigm and quantitative descriptive research design were used to operationalise this study. Data were collected, using a self-completion structured questionnaire, from 355 refugees involved in entrepreneurial operations within the City of Tshwane, South Africa. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 25 was used to carry out descriptive and multiple linear regression analysis were used to determine the relationships between variables.

Findings: Results indicated that factors affecting refugee entrepreneurship have a statistically significant influence on refugee entrepreneurial performance.

Implications & Recommendations: To increase overall refugee entrepreneurial performance, strategic interventions involving five areas (societal factors, financial and business practices, legislation, infrastructure, and market opportunities) in this study may be initiated and utilized. It may be necessary to revise or create new policies to address the demands of refugee entrepreneurs. For example, in South Africa, proper regulations governing how refugee businesses should function is critical.

Contribution & Value Added: Refugees’ entrepreneurship is a profound strategy that can be adapted to deal with refugee-related problems in receiving countries. Failure to adopt an appropriate strategy towards the influx of refugees has negative consequences towards the host country. Therefore, this study makes important contributions to theory and policy within the context of refugee entrepreneurship in receiving countries.


refugees; asylum seekers; socio-economic problems; entrepreneurship

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Published : 2022-06-30

RukuniT. F., MaziririE. T., DhlamlenzeM., & BenedictE. E. (2022). Entrepreneurship as a strategy for refugees in South Africa. International Entrepreneurship Review, 8(2), 37-50. https://doi.org/10.15678/IER.2022.0802.03

Tarisai Fritz Rukuni 
University of the Free State  South Africa

Lecturer at University of the Free State, South Africa. He holds a Doctorate in Management from University of the Western Cape. His research interests include entrepreneurship and consumer behaviour.

Eugine Tafadzwa Maziriri  euginemaziriri@gmail.com
University of Johannesburg  South Africa

Y rated scientist of the National Research Foundation (NRF) and a Senior Lecturer of Business Management at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. He holds a Doctorate in Business Sciences from University of the Witwatersrand. His research interests include entrepreneurship and small business management.

Marcia Dhlamlenze 
Tshwane University of Technology  South Africa

An MBA graduate at the Tshwane School for Business and Society. She holds an MBA from the Tshwane School for Business and Society. Her research interests include entrepreneurship and small business management.

Ekaete Elsie Benedict 
University of the Free State  South Africa

Lecturer at University of the Free State, South Africa. She holds a Doctorate in Business Management from University of the Free State. Her research interests include entrepreneurship and small business management.

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