To read this content please select one of the options below:

The Somali Business Orientation: Key Lessons and Recommendations for Africa From the Kenyan Somali Practice

aRiara University, Kenya
bUniversity of Nairobi, Kenya

Casebook of Indigenous Business Practices in Africa

ISBN: 978-1-80262-252-2, eISBN: 978-1-80262-251-5

Publication date: 16 August 2023


The rapid expansive growth of the Somali business community in many parts of the world has ignited varied debates on its significance and consequences. The Kenyan Somali Community are inhabitants of the northeastern region of Eastern Africa, traversing five counties, bordering the Somali and Ethiopian Republics, and include Somali immigrants from the diaspora. Interestingly, they also inhabit most cities and urban places in all parts of the country, running diverse businesses. The Kenyan Somali business community in the suburb of Eastleigh, Nairobi City County, are well-established despite numerous challenges and the impression of clandestine economic activities. However, close scrutiny of the Somali community yields a slightly different explanation – it is anchored on clan, trust, hawala (Somali money transfer system), pooled resources and social capital, derived from social networks such as family and friends, with commercial dealings rooted in trust, and shared responsibilities. In addition, the ability to access pooled financial resources at a reasonable cost, the presence of a trusted, flexible and motivated labour force coupled with a network with insider information, form key aspects of their practice. This chapter attempts to unearth positive elements of the Kenyan Somali business enterprise orientation, which, if incorporated into African business practice, presents a unique proposition for the continent's progress and prosperity.



Meru, A.K., Njoroge – Kinoti, M.W. and Matiri – Maisori, B. (2023), "The Somali Business Orientation: Key Lessons and Recommendations for Africa From the Kenyan Somali Practice", Adeola, O. (Ed.) Casebook of Indigenous Business Practices in Africa, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 227-237.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023 Abel Kinoti Meru, Mary Wanjiru Njoroge – Kinoti and Beatrice Matiri – Maisori. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited