Same Migrants, Two Business Models: Culture-Centered and Non-Traditional Businesses Established by Ethiopians and Eritreans in Washington DC

  • Mussa Idris
Part of the African Histories and Modernities book series (AHAM)


This chapter compares and contrasts the characteristics of two types of businesses developed by Ethiopians and Eritreans in Washington DC: (1) the culture-centered businesses, which mainly sell traditional food items in restaurants, cafés, grocery stores and convenience stores clustered predominantly in U Street and Adams Morgan, and (2) the non-traditional businesses, which offer a range of services not based on identity (such as transportation, franchises, real estate agencies and the like), and which are not clustered on specific areas of Washington DC, but scattered throughout the district. Using a trans-national migration theoretical framework, Idris highlights the differences between these two types of businesses. The chapter also reviews the strengths and weaknesses of each business model, and the different purposes they serve for the migrants who establish them and their customers.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mussa Idris
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyElon UniversityElonUSA

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