The role of culture on entrepreneurial development among the Somali community in Nairobi, Kenya
Kariuki, Mary Mumbi
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The influence of culture on economic activities of the different societies has been investigated since beginning of the 20th century. It is no doubt therefore that culture is an obvious source of significant variations in the levels of entrepreneurship. This study was aimed at unraveling the role that the Somali culture plays on the community's entrepreneurial development among small and medium business owners in Nairobi, Kenya. Descriptive survey design was used. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to a sample size of 200 respondents selected by cluster sampling technique. The questionnaire administration was through drop-and-pick method. The data was then analyzed using chi-squares, correlation, frequencies and percentages using the SPSS tool. The Somali community of Kenya holds spectacular cultural practices intertwined with the Islamic faith that affects entrepreneurship. This has been demonstrated by their collectivism on many societal issues. The community has curved a unique niche in entrepreneurship and is industrious in small and medium enterprises. The findings show that the Somali culture is a casual agent of entrepreneurial development, intertwined with religion fosters the development of entrepreneurial skills, venture start-ups and sustainability. Majority (96%) of the study participants indicated that the Somali community support for one another had great influence on entrepreneurial development. The participants indicated that they have developed entrepreneurial skills, knowledge and resources through community support. Religion is the major Somali cultural practices that affect entrepreneurship. This is because other elements of Somali culture derive their existence within the wider scope of religious practices. The Somali community's entrepreneurship development patterns operate and are modeled on communal synergy resulting in a model of multiplier effect. The community entrepreneurs are recommended to adopt a collective and sustainable community support strategy that will pool resources towards business mentoring programmes, startups and insurance. Support for other causes like consumables to the less fortunate should be limited.