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Challenges in accessing financial capital as a barrier to immigrant entrepreneurship:evidence from Finland, Kajaani region

Previous research on the topic of immigrant entrepreneurship has found that one of the most important challenges immigrant entrepreneurs are facing is access to financial capital. Empirical evidence of prior scientific research has shown that immigrant entrepreneurs are facing array of challenges including discrimination when accessing financial capital.

Motivated by the prior scientific research on the topic, aim of this study is to understand what challenges and restrictions Finnish immigrant entrepreneurs are facing in Kajaani region when accessing financial capital to finance their businesses. Aim of this study is also to explore whether they are utilizing already available financial capital and services offered by government organizations and financial institutions.

This study was done with the help of qualitative research methods. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 5 immigrant entrepreneurs and 1 government official from TE Services from Kajaani region. Findings show that immigrant entrepreneurs in Kajaani region are facing the same challenges as native entrepreneurs, with several important distinctions.

First, language barriers, financial literacy, miscommunication, lack of communication and understanding between immigrant entrepreneurs and government and financial institutions represent major challenge when accessing financial capital from both government and financial institutions.

Second, difficulties in proving financial responsibility, lack of credit history, lack of long-term bank-customer relationship and collateral are also found to be additional challenges when obtaining financial capital. No evidence on discrimination was found, but there were pointers toward trust issues between immigrant entrepreneurs and financial institutions and government organizations.

Because of challenges immigrant entrepreneurs are facing when accessing financial capital, they follow certain patterns when it comes to overcoming financing gaps. As a source of financial capital they are using their own savings, followed by finances obtained from their friends and family, partners and fellow entrepreneurs. Findings show that more often than not, immigrant entrepreneurs are not utilizing available resources, which could potentially affect future of their businesses in a negative way.

However, because of limited time and resources available for this master thesis, sample size and type of data available represent the limitation of this study. Hence, this study could serve as a call for a nationwide quantitative study of the topic.
Date06 June 2017
CreatorsImamovic-Tokalic, I. (Irna)
PublisherUniversity of Oulu
Source SetsUniversity of Oulu
Detected LanguageEnglish
Typeinfo:eu-repo/semantics/masterThesis, info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion
Rightsinfo:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess, © Irna Imamovic-Tokalic, 2017

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