Influences on small firm growth rates in Ghana. Factors which influence small firm growth rates and which are important in distinguishing rapid-growth small firms from slow-growth small firms.
Small and medium enterprises
Entrepreneur - characteristics
Firm - characteristics
Rights© 2008 Dzotefe, S. A. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share-Alike License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/uk).
InstitutionUniversity of Bradford
DepartmentSchool of Management
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AbstractAlthough the development of small businesses is generally considered important for income generation and job creation, there has been relatively little research in developing countries such as Ghana on understanding why some small firms succeed and grow rapidly while others do not in. This thesis investigates the influences on small firm growth rates in Ghana using data from a random sample of 252 manufacturing and services firms from the database of the Association of Ghana Industries. The general hypothesis is that, growth is a function of the characteristics of the entrepreneur; characteristics of the firm; strategic factors; environmental factors; and cultural factors. Consequently, the research tests 36 hypotheses drawn from the five main categories of variables using the turnover and the employment growth measures. It also uses logistic regression analysis to isolate significant factors differentiating rapid-growth firms from slow-growth firms. Overall, the research finds strong evidence which suggests that, perception of a market opportunity; university education; multiple founders; entrepreneurs with marketing skills; workforce training; new product development; presence of a clear vision and mission statement; majority non-family members in management and membership of professional or business associations were associated with rapid-growth firms. iv Factors which were significant in discriminating between rapid-growth and slow-growth firms but were more likely to be associated with slow-growth firms included threat of unemployment or actual unemployment as a motivation for starting a business; production skills; legal form (limited liability companies); access to external equity (post-formation); exporting; access to public or external aid; unionization and frequent management meetings.
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A study of factors leading to growth in small firms. An examination of factors that impact on growth of small manufacturing in least developed countries: The case of Ghana.Hogarth-Scott, Sandra; Owusu, Kwame (University of BradfordSchool of Management, 2007)The focus of this study is to examine the factors that lead to growth in small firms in a Least Developed Country (LDC). The research is based on the manufacturing sector in Ghana. The main objectives of the research are to identify the key variables that lead to small firms' growth and to ascertain the critical barriers that impede growth. A research model which is developed out of an initial exploratory research and existing literature focuses on how the characteristics of the owner/manager, the characteristics of the firm and the business strategy variables interact to affect growth in employment. In addition factors that are perceived to have constrained the growth of the small firms during the study period are ascertained and discussed. To properly test the hypotheses developed a face to face interview survey involving 122 owner/managers of small manufacturing firms is conducted. This resulted in a range of variables that allowed for the construction of a comprehensive multivariate model of small firm growth. A resulting regression model provides about 68 percent of the explanation for the growth of the small firms sampled. It also indicates that the owner/manager characteristics variables offer the most powerful explanation to small firm growth. We find that the owner/manager's growth aspiration is the most influential factor in achieving growth. The other owner/manager characteristics variables that have positive influence on growth are level of education, prior industry experience and entrepreneurial family background. Owner/managers with local experience and/or with other business interests are less likely to achieve faster growth. Foreign owned/managed firms grow faster. Younger and smaller firms appear to grow faster. While firms with multiple ownerships tend to grow at a slower rate than firms owned and managed by one person. Business planning, marketing and export have positive and significant impacts on growth. Other business strategies such as innovations and staff training also have direct relationships with growth but not significant. Some of the main constraining factors to growth are cost of borrowing, lack of access to credit, high cost of inputs, lack of trust within the business community, high bureaucracy, late payments and lack of efficient support system. While the external environment plays important role in small firm growth and development, the behaviours, response and strategies pursued by individual owner/manager are significant factors that determine the rate at which a firm will grow.