South African expatriates as potential entrepreneurs : an exploratory study
Du Plessis, Thomas Edward
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Diaspora networks are one of the vehicles by which expatriates can become involved, if they so desire, with their country of origin. One of the more successful diasporas networks, seen as a model for involvement and value exchange, is Globalscot In South Africa, a number of attempts have been made in the past to follow suit, but to no avail. Entrepreneurs need innovative ideas and viable opportunities, as well as a thriving network of mentors, clients, investors and partners to help them start and grow their businesses. Expatriate-entrepreneurs are no exception to this, and their ties to their country of origin can only be strengthened if they can be part of a network that will provide value in exchange for their inputs. The study necessitated the use of stratified and snowball sampling techniques. In a survey among expatriates from South Africa, now residing mainly in London in the United Kingdom, a group of 163 expatriate-entrepreneurs completed a questionnaire that was posted on the Internet. It could be accessed by way of a website link in different media that was used for this survey. This media reached almost 150 000 individuals in 10 databases. This research has shown that there are a high number of respondents willing to be involved with a network for entrepreneurs with South African linkages. The majority of the respondents is of the opinion that such a network would have benefits not only for themselves, but also their families, friends and former colleagues. South Africa is in need of various alternatives to stimulate the entrepreneurial climate in the country. An entrepreneurial network involving expatriate entrepreneurs, with the exchange of their knowledge, information and business leads, could contribute towards the improvement of entrepreneurial performance.