Enterprises (whether companies, cooperatives, trusts, partnerships or sole proprietors) manifest in towns and cities in patterns with strong regularities. EOSA’s research reveals strong correlations at work between the total number of enterprises in a town or city and the number of enterprises in a specific sector within that town or city.
These correlations are so significant that one can almost precisely tell how many traders are in a town once the total number of enterprises is known
Within enterprise sectors there are also strong regularities: In the trader category, there are strong correlations between the total number of traders and the number of grocers, as well as between the total number of traders and the number of liquor stores. Likewise, within the construction enterprise sector there are very strong correlations between the total number of construction sector enterprises and the number of building material suppliers.
EOSA calls these regularities “the enterprise architecture of localities”.
These regularities haven’t been planned by any individual. Neither are they the outcomes of any national development plan or some enabling legislation. Where do these patterns and regularities then emerge from? They are the societal manifestation of the spontaneous outcome of hundreds of thousands independent entrepreneurial interventions: some initiated by sole proprietors, others by investors in a company coming together in a board of directors, others by forming partnerships or cooperatives. And these entrepreneurial interventions tried to address existing needs of society by either supplying an existing product or service, or by innovating a product and service thus changing the behaviour of consumers.
The enterprise architecture is an independent spontaneous emergence of a humanly unplanned pattern. In philosophical circles this phenomenon is referred to as “emergence,” “spontaneous order” or “original truths”.
Toerien, Daan. 2017. The enduring and spatial nature of the enterprise richness of South African towns. Journal of Science, March/April. [Free PDF]
Enterprise sectors [EOSA page]