Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Denise Land


African immigrant business owners create jobs and often stimulate economic growth in distressed inner-city areas, yet they continue to experience barriers obtaining financial support in the United States when trying to gain entrance into the broader economy. The objective of this multiple case study was to explore strategies African immigrant business owners used to succeed in business beyond 5 years. The conceptual framework of this study included resource-based theory, human capital theory, and disadvantage theory. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 3 African immigrant business owners in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who had succeeded in business beyond 5 years. Thematic analysis from interviews, organizational documents, and Bureau of Labor Statistics data identified 8 emergent themes. Findings indicated that, for these 3 African immigrant business owners, education, managerial-related experience, motivation, and networking were key attributes related to small business success. Additionally, for this group, innovation, steady flow of resources, and adequate access to capital were predictive of successful businesses. This study may contribute to positive social change by providing guidance to African immigrant business owners about effective business strategies; this knowledge may help to improve the quality of life for African immigrants in the United States. Increasing the prosperity of the business community is incumbent upon the development and use of new knowledge.