url
7
Jan
2014

Roles of Networks and Social Capital in the Success of International Entrepreneurs: A benevolent government policy

Population, government and consumer groups are allies to the Asians. Given the hostility of the others in the field, in Senegal, the government says that Chinese traders are all in good standing. It condemns the protagonists who make “some propaganda [and] negative reflexes of fear”, while arguing the opposite of cooperation between the two states.
Chinese traders are realistic and know, for some at least, the instability of their status as non-integrated foreign traders. There are many conflicts of interest on the presence of Chinese traders, which are more economic than political or ideological, and can be formed into two camps represented by:
–    Employers and small businesses on one side, and conservatives who want to keep their influence on economic life, thus denying the Chinese competition and
–    Consumers and their representatives on the other side, progressives, liberals, who welcome with satisfaction the positive competition for portfolios of the poor, made by the majority of the population of Dakar. Satisfaction level of teachers

It is significant to see how less than 200 merchants can, in the space of a decade, impose across Dakar market an early economic and social transformation. Politically, the issue is full of symbolism and will not upset its new partner dogmatically, philosophically or ideologically.
One of the fundamental characteristics of Chinese merchants settled in Senegal lies in customizing their operation. In business, they are eminently present. They take almost exclusively financial and social administrative responsibility, and actively participate in the daily management of their business. This omnipresence of the owner of trade resulted in relational networks of trade which are those of the owner / manager. And this is often due to maintained relationships with others (Chinese traders, State Association, small Senegalese traders…) that the owner/ manager gets access to the customer or to new opportunities and more easily provided the funds he needs.
Respond collectively in a highly competitive and informal market to survive
The establishment in Senegal of the association of Chinese traders stems from the need to respond collectively in their daily exercise activity.
More than 200 Chinese traders participate in regular meetings with the aim to sustain their business by developing consistent practices with their goals. Promoting the consolidation of Chinese traders in Senegal, this network aims to increase the bargaining power of the latter. Resources from the social structure facilitate actions within this association and thus build social capital.
Traders in Senegal come from different backgrounds. They are Senegalese, Senegalese-Lebanese-Syrian Lebanese, Chinese…”The Lebanese-Syrian hold a virtual monopoly of trade and capital and are organized in associations…” (Interview with the head of the Unacois).
Chinese traders surveyed deem appropriate to create a network to facilitate the exchange, to cope with the highly competitive market, where the informal sector is dominant. This network-based peer support, allow them to learn from each other and have new ideas.
Moreover, the participation of network marketers, trade (experience and information) considered successful, seems essential in the development of interaction between members, interviews and various aids to Chinese traders in trouble, organizations meetings between members, etc.
For Chinese traders, “we should be supportive of us… It will make us stronger.” This solidarity is based on the complementarity of trade and services. To be united supposes to share the same practices; that the community members are interacting with each other, and they have common goals. Thus, the success of Chinese traders can be enhanced by the integration of each to instances of socialization such as associations.
The friendship develops between members who find emotional support from their peers. The problem of loneliness of the leader, who does not speak the national language, both while being with its employees and outside with his family, is frequently mentioned in the interviews. The Chinese trader therefore wishes to enter the network to assign to talk about his doubts: “I need to talk to people who will understand me, who have the same problems, the same responsibilities as me…” (Interview with Chinese merchant).
The assistance provided by the network is especially relevant for international entrepreneurs. In fact, they often lack the time to collect the relevant information: “In a small business, you have less time than in a big where people are specialized in production, accounting, etc…. You have to know what’s new. This is important. In combination, the information is geared toward efficiency.” Associations are places “resources” that can be activated to achieve the objectives. The network of Chinese traders in Senegal is closed. It provides its members with contacts, partnerships, business, synergies and common dynamics in a competitive environment.

Population, government and consumer groups are allies to the Asians. Given the hostility of the others in the field, in Senegal, the government says that Chinese traders are all in good standing. It condemns the protagonists who make “some propaganda [and] negative reflexes of fear”, while arguing the opposite of cooperation between the two states. Chinese traders are realistic and know, for some at least, the instability of their status as non-integrated foreign traders. There are many conflicts of interest on the presence of Chinese traders, which are more economic than political or ideological, and can be formed into two camps represented by: –    Employers and small businesses on one side, and conservatives who want to keep their influence on

About The Author

Kevin J. Brandon

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