Jump to main navigation. Jump to main content

African-Immigrant Organizations in Minneapolis and Saint Paul: Development, Practices, and Financing

Successful ethnic enterprises offer an important path to economic security for migrants, and community-based organizations can help immigrants plan, build, and finance their businesses. Elizabeth Heger Boyle (Department of Sociology) studied East African entrepreneurs to learn how they achieve business success and the extent to which they use the services of community-based organizations. The Community Affairs Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis assisted with the study, which builds on two previous studies conducted in Chicago (of Latinos) and the Twin Cities (of Hmong). The researchers considered how the Twin Cities environment and the cultural heritage of African immigrants interact to influence migrants' businesses, and how and why African immigrants differ from other migrant groups in their business choices. To answer the latter question, the study highlighted four factors unique to recent African immigrants: religion, race, levels of remittances, and the strength and nature of community organizations. The study entailed in-person surveys with 125 African immigrant business owners and a control group of 50 other business owners. The project provided information to create policy interventions well-tailored to the needs of immigrant entrepreneurs.

Project Award Date: 
Community organization or agency: 
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Community Affairs Division
Reports and related files
Sponsoring CURA Program: 
CURA Contact: 
Edward Goetz Director, CURA (612) 624-8737