FINANCIAL STRATEGIES OF FAMILY BUSINESSES: A STUDY OF GHANAIAN OWNED SHOPS IN LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
Purpose: This study explores and investigates factors, motives and their interactions that influence strategic financial decisions of Ghanaian family shops in London relative to their business growth aspirations. The focus is to understand the ‘why’ of their strategic financial choices as migrant family firms which had been given little attention. The study, therefore attempts to identify how family and culture, entrepreneurial behaviours and the host country environment interact to influence the financial decision maker. Approach: Using a qualitative methodological approach, including a 56 semi structured in-depth interviews, observations and analysis of other internal and external factors, this study found evidence to suggest that there was a need for micro and macro level analysis of financial decisions made if the Ghanaian shop owners in London were to be holistically understood. Result: The study found evidence of ‘economic’ factors, family values, socio -cultural factors, host country policies and networks as the critical drivers of financial decisions. The findings indicate that the Ghanaian business owners had their definition of ‘economic’ factors which interplayed with some cultural memories in their decision-making process. Principally, two main cognitions were identified (family view versus professional view) in the final analysis. Implication: The core conclusion for policy makers from these limited research findings suggest that the suppliers of finance (banks or other institutions) should understand the meaning of ‘economic’ factors in consultation with the target group and not assume. Additionally, inculcating family opinions in the design of policies were found to be necessary. Policy makers could better engage the community, to manage their potential expectations by channelling much needed support for them through formal and informal networks. Lastly, the Ghanaian government could take advantage of the importation aspect of the shop operations inferring from the significant potential economic benefits that could be accrued. Limitation: The invisibility of the Ghanaian community in the UK is a key limitation on these research findings. Furthermore, the restricted sample, limited to London, UK may adversely affect the generalization of the study. However, it can be the basis for future repeated qualitative studies and for a large quantitative study. Keywords: Migrant entrepreneurial behaviour, financial decisions and strategies, Family business, Ghanaian entrepreneur, Culture, Networks, socioeconomic environment, UK.