url
3
Jan
2014

Roles of Networks and Social Capital in the Success of International Entrepreneurs: The Methodology Study

We have focused, in this study, on a qualitative approach based on interviews with Chinese merchants in Senegal.
The context of the study: a hostile business environment for Chinese traders
The Chinese Diaspora is estimated at 1000 or 2000 persons established in Dakar since the mid-90s and generally carrying out activities in the areas of small business and import.
The relationship between the Chinese entrepreneurs in Senegal and Senegalese counterparts are strained. Several factors explain this situation:
–    They position themselves in the same niche products offered by Senegalese and Lebanese traders, offering unbeatable prices, albeit with products of lower quality (e.g. ”Gani LAH4” cloth which rises high Malian quality “Chinese model devalued’”);
–    The success of Chinese traders with traders in the sub-region (Mauritania, Gambia, Guinea…) makes Dakar center of a large supply of “Made in China”;
–    in the customs and tax level, the Senegalese traders accuse their Chinese counterparts “to engage in some customs fraud.”
This justifies Chinese traders have concerted action to deal with this highly competitive and hostile environment for their implementation. Stock Market

With the initiative of a Chinese trader based in Dakar for over thirty years, has been launched the idea of creating a network of exchanges between Chinese. This network should facilitate both sides of the relationship between Chinese and Senegalese operators, but also offer them opportunities to strengthen market private commercial relations between the two economic centers.
This network offers countless markets facilities, business opportunities and lobbying. It is a forum where Chinese merchants have a place to interact with their peers. This network has within nearly 100 managers managing approximately 250 stores. They have a turnover of CFA5 20 billion francs and land 600 containers per year.
The collection and processing of data
We have chosen a qualitative approach for two reasons. First, the study of individual representations of traders requires direct contact with the people involved. Second, a qualitative research based on a case study approach is recommended when the interest is for contemporary events in context and in real time but also when the boundaries between the phenomenon being studied and the context are not clear.
Data collection was conducted through individual interviews lasting an average of 40 minutes on the sites where the Chinese businesses and competitors are. We selected 15 Chinese traders and owners of their businesses located in Senegal since at least five years in various divisions and operating in different sectors (trade and other clothing, food, automotive spare parts), two associations (the Unacois and Ascosen represented by their General Secretary, two unions (the importers traders Union, service providers and exporters of Senegal, the Senegalese Union of Importers / Exporters) 13 Senegalese traders working with Chinese. Overall, we interviewed 32 people.
Each interview was recorded. The processing of data collected was done by content analysis. The approach can be broken down as follows: reading the body to clear the similarities and dissimilarities of Registrars for the establishment or application categories, categorizing elements of corpus, constitution of indicators; linking; interpretation of results.
The interview guide was designed to gather the views of Chinese traders and other stakeholders on the following issues: the choice of Senegal as the home and host countries, the causes of hostility of Senegalese traders towards their Chinese counterparts, the value of belonging to the network of Chinese traders; the impact of informational material on the one hand, concerning the types of information exchanged, the value of communication between peers, On the other hand, the comparison between the Association of Chinese traders and other sources of information for the manager/owner.
These factors have helped to retain the following categories (see Table 1).

Table 1. Categories and subcategories used for data collection

Categories Sub-categories
Environment of Chinese traders in Senegal -Reason for the choice-Settling and induction in Senegal-Population perception of their business
Interests of belonging to a network of relationships -Solidarity -meeting with peers-Exchange of experience and information – Nature Network
Input of network for the entrepreneur –    Provide a rich and quality information–    Confidence role
Other sources of information –    the role of the family–    the role of the friends–    the role of business associations

We have focused, in this study, on a qualitative approach based on interviews with Chinese merchants in Senegal. The context of the study: a hostile business environment for Chinese traders The Chinese Diaspora is estimated at 1000 or 2000 persons established in Dakar since the mid-90s and generally carrying out activities in the areas of small business and import. The relationship between the Chinese entrepreneurs in Senegal and Senegalese counterparts are strained. Several factors explain this situation: –    They position themselves in the same niche products offered by Senegalese and Lebanese traders, offering unbeatable prices, albeit with products of lower quality (e.g. ”Gani LAH4” cloth which rises high Malian quality “Chinese model devalued’”); –    The success of Chinese traders with

About The Author

Kevin J. Brandon

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