African Immigrant Entrepreneurship in the UK: The Hidden Hand of Family Influence on Entrepreneurial Orientation

Abdullah Promise Opute, Chux Gervase Iwu, Risimati Maurice Khosa, Chukuakadibia Eresia-Eke, Sirak Berhe Hagos, Bridget Irene

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The importance of ethnic minority businesses (EMBs) has been lauded in the entrepreneurship discourse. Building on entrepreneurial orientation theory, this study seeks to understand family influence on the entrepreneurial processes, practices, and decision-making activities in a relatively under-explored social group. The methodological approach in this study involved in depth interviews with 10 entrepreneurs based in the United Kingdom. This study found strong social identity congruence behaviour of explored entrepreneurs from the point of how their entrepreneurial orientation is family-influence driven. For the entrepreneurs, the family is a central behaviour factor that exerts significantly on their entrepreneurial processes and decision making. As a result, actual judgement and decision making of entrepreneurs may not necessarily be driven by economic logic but largely by family control factors that even exert more significantly on entrepreneurial behaviour. This study contributes to the psychological and family control perspectives on entrepreneurship discourse. This study has two core limitations: it is based on the qualitative approach and explores only one social group. Future research in the form of quantitative studies that also examine other cultural enclaves would therefore help to enhance the causes and effects conclusions suggested in this study.

Key words: Ethnic Minority Businesses; Entrepreneurial Orientation; Family Influence; Social and Human Capital; Entrepreneurial Decision Making, Social Identity Congruence
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)53
Number of pages79
JournalHarvard Deusto Business Review
Issue number1
Early online date26 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2021

Bibliographical note

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


  • Ethnic Minority Businesses
  • Entrepreneurial Orientation
  • Family Influence
  • Social and Human Capital
  • Entrepreneurial Decision Making
  • Social Identity Congruence


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