Keywords: business clusters, entrepreneurship, Nigeria, Africa, emerging markets, Nigerian movies, Nollywood, 51 Iweka Road, cluster typology, single addresses, service clusters, entertainment industry
51 Iweka Road (Onitsha, Nigeria): could this single African address redefine business cluster development?
This paper traces the emergence, growth and development of an inconspicuous and unconventional business cluster in an emerging market context. Located at a single building in Onitsha, a market town in eastern Nigeria, '51 Iweka Road' has become the most famous address in the marketing and distribution of Nigerian movies (i.e., Nollywood) - a multibillion dollar industry renowned across sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. Considering that most of the scholarly research on business clusters have been in other contexts outside of a 'single address', this paper seeks to achieve three main objectives: 1) to extend cluster typology to include single addresses or building such as 51 Iweka Road, as opposed to being geographically bounded (Suire and Vicente, 2009) to districts, neighbourhoods or regions as in conventional cluster-based research; 2) to posit that 'cluster' usage should not be confined to the manufacturing but also extended to the service (entertainment) sector; 3) to highlight the need for targeted policy intervention geared towards creating an enabling environment for such 'spontaneous' but 'innovative' clusters to thrive.