The nomad’s way of doing business

See updated brief: Somali Global Business Models

A guide to Somali commerce

Somali traders remain at the center of the so-called xenophobic violence in South Africa. Locals often accuse these traders of “stealing business” – but what’s the real key to their economic success.

We explore the intricacies of the tightly-knit ethno-economic networks that characterise how Somalis do business. From the informal socialism of the community co-operative approach, to the role of global money-transfer companies, the importance of Quran Schools, and a Pan-African approach to goods and services.

See this study of Somali business in Kenya.

And Good business revives spaza shops in the Mail & Guardian.

2 Responses to “The nomad’s way of doing business”
  1. Ntone 28 December 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    Essentially, the question is this: at what point within the context and disocurse of state fracture and globalisation, does legitimiate business become criminal enterprise (or vice versa)? Ejected from home and regarded as pariahs everywhere they go, what should Somali enterprise be described as?

  2. stacy 13 January 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    “In recent weeks, I have been asking Somali shopkeepers in Cape Town the following two questions: are your businesses more or less successful than those run by South Africans in your neighbourhood? If yes or no, why?” Jonny Steinberg doesn’t get any answers here:

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