Author(s): Okerue, Eresia-eke
Immigrants have been celebrated for providing jobs in the country of migration and adding to the economic growth of their host nations. These massive accomplishments have often been lost in academic research as more emphasis is laid on problems and challenges faced by potential immigrants businesses. This is not made easy as immigrants compete in the same business environment with the locals who often see them as unwanted and avoidable competition. This notion however has proved from research to be false as these immigrants not only find ways to survive without help from the government but also contribute to the economy of their host nation. This paper therefore sought to find out the variables of the human capital construct if any that aid the coping ability of the immigrant businesses in the Kingdom of Eswatini. Questionnaires were used for data collection and immigrant businesses targeted were domiciled in Mbabane and Manzini, the two major business hubs in the Kingdom. An initial 600 questionnaires were administered in both citys but a combined total of 218 were considered valid from those that were returned and were analysed. The demographic characteristics of respondents differed with respect to the dimensions of gender and age. The study showed that more African Immigrant males start businesses when compared to the female as the counterpart as 75% of the businesses under consideration were operated by males. Likewise, the businesses owned by the African immigrant entrepreneurs differed in terms of years in operation and monthly business turnover. The study revealed that majority of the businesses under scrutiny was less than 4 years old. This may be connected to the transitory nature of the Kingdom of Eswatini as most African immigrants use Eswatini as a first point of arrival towards transition into the Republic of South Africa. Also 78% of the businesses made between E8000 and E25000 in monthly turnover. The findings further show that of the variables of the Human capital (HC) construct made up of Managerial Skills (MGS), previous Experience (PEX), Level of Education (LED) and Risk-Taking Propensity (RTP) considered. A multiple linear regression analysis results support Level of Education (LED) as the only variable of the Human capital component that aids the coping ability of immigrant businesses in the Kingdom of Eswatini. The implication of this finding to policy makers in the Kingdom of Eswatini is that it could help them to redirect more resources through targeted policies that will attract immigrants with higher level of education for the purpose of establishing businesses in the Kingdom.