Evaluating small business performance : a matched pair analysis of African Caribbean owned businesses in the UK

  • Nyebuchi Ehoro

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


African Caribbean Owned Businesses (ACOBs) have been postulated as having performance-related problems especially when compared with other ethnic minority groups in Britain. This research investigates if ACOBs may be performing less than similar firms in the population and why this maybe so. Therefore the aspiration behind this study is one of ratifying the existence of performance differentials between ACOBs and White Asian Owned Businesses (WAOBs), by using a triangulation of methods and matched pair analysis. Every ACOB was matched along firm specific characteristics of age, size, legal form and industry (sector), with similar WAOBs.
Findings show support for the hypothesis that ACOBs are more likely to perform less than the WAOBs; WAOBs out-performed ACOBs in the objective and subjective assessments. Though we found some differentials between both groups in the entrepreneur’s characteristics and various emphases in strategic orientation in overall business strategy. The most likely drivers of performance differentials were found in firm activities and operations.
ACOBs tended to have brands that were not as popular in the mainstream with most of their manufactured goods being seen as ‘exotic’ while those by WAOBs were perceived as ‘traditional’. Moreover, ACOBs had a higher proportion of clients constituting of individuals than business organisations while the WAOBs had a higher proportion consisting of business organisations.
Date of AwardJul 2007
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorStephen Roper (Supervisor)


  • performance
  • African Caribbean
  • small business
  • ethnic minority
  • matched-pair analysis
  • strategy
  • entrepreneurial characteristics

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