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

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  • 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)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • John Victor Mensah & Michael Tribe & John Weiss, 2007. "The small-scale manufacturing sector in Ghana: a source of dynamism or of subsistence income?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(2), pages 253-273.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:19:y:2007:i:2:p:253-273
    DOI: 10.1002/jid.1322
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Biggs, T. & Shah, M. & Srivastava, P., 1995. "Technological Capabilities and Learning in African Enterprises," Papers 288, World Bank - Technical Papers.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Ellis, Frank, 2000. "Rural Livelihoods and Diversity in Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296966.
    5. 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 423-438, September.
    6. Steel, W.F. & Webster, L.M., 1991. "Small enterprises under adjustment in Ghana," Papers 138, World Bank - Technical Papers.
    7. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Peters, Jörg & Vance, Colin & Harsdorff, Marek, 2011. "Grid Extension in Rural Benin: Micro-Manufacturers and the Electrification Trap," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 773-783, May.
    2. Toledo-López, Arcelia & Díaz-Pichardo, René & Jiménez-Castañeda, Julio C. & Sánchez-Medina, Patricia S., 2012. "Defining success in subsistence businesses," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 65(12), pages 1658-1664.
    3. Raymond A. Ezejiofor & Ezenyirimba Emmanuel & Moses C. Olise, 2014. "The Relevance of Accounting Records in Small Scale Business: The Nigerian Experience," International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, vol. 4(12), pages 69-82, December.
    4. Masakure, Oliver & Cranfield, John & Henson, Spencer, 2008. "The Financial Performance of Non-farm Microenterprises in Ghana," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 2733-2762, December.
    5. Toledo, Arcelia & Hernández, José de la Paz & Griffin, Denis, 2010. "Incentives and the growth of Oaxacan subsistence businesses," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(6), pages 630-638, June.
    6. Tweneboah Senzu, Emmanuel & Ndebugri, Haruna, 2018. "Examining business performance of micro, small and medium scale enterprise through accounting records keeping; case study in Ghana," MPRA Paper 84022, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Patricia Sánchez-Medina & René Díaz-Pichardo & Angélica Bautista-Cruz & Arcelia Toledo-López, 2015. "Environmental Compliance and Economic and Environmental Performance: Evidence from Handicrafts Small Businesses in Mexico," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 126(3), pages 381-393, February.

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