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Cultural determinants of entrepreneurial emergence in a typical sub‐Sahara African context

Nnamdi O. Madichie (University of East London, London, UK)
Anayo D. Nkamnebe (Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria)
Ellis I. Idemobi (Anambra State University, Uli, Nigeria)

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy

ISSN: 1750-6204

Article publication date: 17 October 2008




With the increasing research attention given to the culture‐entrepreneurship research, the need to explore the apparently neglected cultures has continued to escalate. The Nnewi culture of Anambra State in Nigeria is a culture known for high incidence of productive entrepreneurship, but unfortunately has received limited research attention. Using this as a point of departure, this paper aims to examine the influence of cultural traits of the Nnewi people that propel entrepreneurial emergence and success.


A survey of 30 owner‐managers (chief executives) and 236 top management staff (cutting across gender, class, age and religious lines) of select Nnewi indigenously owned firms were surveyed.


Culture had a strong and positive impact on the entrepreneurial and managerial performance of the Nnewi people. The critical aspects of the Nnewi cultural traits that propel entrepreneurial zeal and managerial performance include prudence, individualism, innovativeness, trust, intimacy and openness in the workplace, submissive apprenticeship as well as perseverance. Furthermore, the results suggested that the “Afia Olu” and “Ikwu Aru” festivals celebrated yearly, are the basis for the industrious cultural attributes of Nnewi people.


The paper lends an “African voice” to the culture‐entrepreneurship literature by providing an empirical basis for sub Saharan African (SSA) cultures to look inwards for the purposes of identifying social values, ethos, beliefs, and practices that could propel entrepreneurship development in the same manner the Nnewi community has evolved. Overall, the paper provides an update on a decade old enterprising community – Nnewi, drawing inspiration from other native communities such as the Taos Pueblo in North America and the Kibbutz communities in Israel.



Madichie, N.O., Nkamnebe, A.D. and Idemobi, E.I. (2008), "Cultural determinants of entrepreneurial emergence in a typical sub‐Sahara African context", Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Vol. 2 No. 4, pp. 285-299.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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