What form is small business activity taking among new migrants in the UK? This question is addressed by examining the case of Somalis in the English city of Leicester.We apply a novel synthesis of the Nee and Sanders' (2001) `forms of capital' model with the `mixed embeddedness' approach (Rath, 2000) to enterprises established by newly arrived immigrant communities, combining agency and structure perspectives. Data are drawn from business-owners (and workers) themselves, rather than community representatives. Face-to-face in-depth interviews were held with 25 business owners and 25 employees/`helpers', supplemented by 3 focus group encounters with different segments of the Somali business population.The findings indicate that a reliance solely on social capital explanations is not sufficient. An adequate understanding of business dynamics requires an appreciation of how Somalis mobilize different forms of capital within a given political, social and economic context.