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The small-scale manufacturing sector in Ghana: a source of dynamism or of subsistence income?

  • John Victor Mensah

    (Centre for Development Studies, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana)

  • Michael Tribe

    (Bradford Centre for International Development, University of Bradford, Bradford, UK)

  • John Weiss

    (Bradford Centre for International Development, University of Bradford, Bradford, UK)

Survey data from small-scale manufacturing enterprises in Central Region, Ghana permit analysis of factors affecting performance, and of economic dynamism. The majority of the firms were sole proprietorships, with most of the hired labour being apprentices. A high proportion of rural-based proprietors and many urban-based proprietors had secondary occupations. All but two of the industry groups were unprofitable when the legal minimum wage was used as a proxy for the value of proprietors' time. The implication of this is that the small-scale industries are principally a source of modest income and may not be financially and economically dynamic. However, the small enterprises surveyed do seem to represent part of a 'sustainable livelihoods' strategy of lowering economic risk by diversifying income sources. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

Volume (Year): 19 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 253-273

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:19:y:2007:i:2:p:253-273
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  1. Mead, Donald C. & Liedholm, Carl, 1998. "The dynamics of micro and small enterprises in developing countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 61-74, January.
  2. Berger, Marguerite, 1989. "Giving women credit: The strengths and limitations of credit as a tool for alleviating poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(7), pages 1017-1032, July.
  3. Ellis, Frank, 2000. "Rural Livelihoods and Diversity in Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296966, March.
  4. Biggs, T. & Shah, M. & Srivastava, P., 1995. "Technological Capabilities and Learning in African Enterprises," Papers 288, World Bank - Technical Papers.
  5. Liedholm, Carl & Parker, Joan Chamberlin, 1989. "Small Scale Manufacturing Growth in Africa: Initial Evidence," Food Security International Development Working Papers 54738, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  6. Steel, W.F. & Webster, L.M., 1991. "Small enterprises under adjustment in Ghana," Papers 138, World Bank - Technical Papers.
  7. Steel, William F & Webster, Leila M, 1992. "How Small Enterprises in Ghana Have Responded to Adjustment," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(3), pages 423-38, September.
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