Thursday, 30 July 2015

Exploring the growing link of ethnic entrepreneurship, markets, and Pentecostalism in London (UK): An empirical study

an article by Ayantunji Gbadamosi (University of East London, UK) published in Society and Business Review Volume 10 Issue 2 (2015)


This paper aims to unravel how membership of Pentecostal fellowships aids the entrepreneurial activities of African-Caribbean (AC) members. While many issues about the entrepreneurial engagements of AC people have been discussed in the literature, there are far less studies documented about the link of these activities to faith, especially in the context of Pentecostalism.

Adopting the interpretive research paradigm, a total of 25 tape-recorded, semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with AC entrepreneurs who are members of Pentecostal faith-based organisations in London, and pastors in this same sphere. Sixteen of the respondents are entrepreneurs running and managing their businesses, seven are pastors and the remaining two fall in both categories, as they are both entrepreneurs and still serving as pastors in churches in London. Rather than merely serving as gatekeepers for information, the pastors are active participants/respondents in the study.

The paper highlights the challenges confronting the AC ethnic entrepreneurs, but also suggests that those in the Pentecostal faith are motivated and emboldened by the shared values in this religion to navigate the volatile marketing environment. It unveils participants’ faith in God as their key business survival strategy. It also shows the unwavering confidence of the respondents that this religious stance results in outstanding business successes like increase in sales and profits, competitive edge, divine creativity and innovation, opportunity recognition, networks, institutional support and other factors that underpin entrepreneurship.

This study unpacks the thickly blurred link between Pentecostalism as a thriving religious orientation among the AC ethnic group in the UK and their entrepreneurial engagements.

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