Accounting for the business start-up experiences of Afghan refugees in Christchurch, New Zealand [article]

Hedayatullah Najib, University Of Canterbury
New Zealand is rapidly becoming a strongly multicultural society with nearly one in four of its citizens born overseas (Statistics New Zealand, 2006). Immigrants enter New Zealand under many different classifications, such as skilled migrants, entrepreneurs, investors, and refugees. Finding employment and a means of survival in their new society is an undeniable challenge for most, if not all, of these immigrants and people from refugee backgrounds. Some of them find employment in established
more » ... wi organisations while others establish their own businesses and become entrepreneurs. A review of the literature revealed that there has been considerable research on entrepreneurial behaviours of immigrants and refugees in general, but little is known about the experiences of entrepreneurs from refugee backgrounds in New Zealand, specifically Afghan entrepreneurs and how their experiences differ from their counterparts who came to New Zealand from other countries. This qualitative research project studies Afghans (N=23) from Christchurch who established their own businesses and the sense they have made of their experiences, both as refugees and as business owners. It also briefly compares the major findings with those of their refugee counterparts from other countries (N=6) to see if there are any major differences between the two groups' start-up experiences in New Zealand. Participants were selected from those in the Afghan community in Christchurch who are from a refugee background, using a snowballing technique. The comparison group consisted of six refugees from Zimbabwe, Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka. The findings of this study have been categorised into two parts. The first part discusses the initial experiences of the participants in New Zealand society, how they settled into New Zealand, what strategies they used to integrate into their new society, how they financed their lives in New Zealand, and eventually how they became economically independent. The second part of the findings discusses the m [...]
doi:10.26021/5214 fatcat:x4bvee7xkvftzbkrsxhqpkwx34