Entrepreneurship development in rural communities of Ashanti: a case study of Sekyere West District

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Promotion of indigenous private sector enterprises has emerged in recent times as one of the major strategies for poverty reduction in sub-Saharan Africa. In Ghana it is one of the core strategies that have been put in place to reduce poverty and uplift the quality of life of both the rural and urban poor. As a result of this, several promotional institutions and interventionist measures, both public and private, have been initiated to promote the activities of small-scale entrepreneurs in the country. Among these interventionist institutions are: The National Board for Small-scale Industries (NBSSI), Empresario Technology (Empretec) Ghana Foundation, Private Enterprises Foundation (PEF), Ghana Regional Appropriate Technology Industrial Service (GRATIS) and Fund for Small and Medium Enterprises Development (FUSMED). In spite of all the effort these institutions have made, there is still a growing concern among policy makers and entrepreneurs that not much impact has been made in the area of rural entrepreneurship development in the country. This study primarily aimed at assessing entrepreneurship development in rural communities of Ashanti with a focus on Sekyere West District. Essentially, the problems the study sought to investigate were the nature and direction of entrepreneurial activities in the District. It was to determine how various business groups in the District perceive the activities in which they are engaged, the factors that facilitate or hinder entrepreneurship development and the entrepreneurial motivations and their impact on productivity and development of enterprises. In order to go through the study the following research questions had to be answered: i What are the motivational factors and entrepreneurial competencies that gravitate individuals in the District towards self-employment? ii. What are the main factors that favour or hinder the development of entrepreneurial activities in the District? iii. What are the dominant entrepreneurial activities in the District? iv. What is the level and impact of entrepreneurship development in the District? Due to the constraints of time, resources and accessibility, this research was treated as a case study. Seven communities were selected for the study. In all, 129 respondents were sampled in the selected settlements. The fieldwork in this study was based on observations, questionnaires, interviews and documentary analyses. The main findings of the study are summarized as follows: - • the need for profit is a strong motivational influence that gravitate individuals towards entrepreneurial activities. • Most people in the prime of their lives (i.e. 26-32 years) are usually attracted to entrepreneur-like ventures. • Sex characteristics do not influence the propensity towards entrepreneurial activity. • Formal education has a significant influence on people who undertake entrepreneur-like ventures. • The apprenticeship system is an important means of acquiring entrepreneurial skills and competencies. • The apprenticeship system is a large source of cheap labour for entrepreneurs. • The District has a great potential in resources and employment generation capacity. • Capital constraint is the greatest hindrance to entrepreneurship development. • Agriculture and agricultural related occupations are by far the most dominant entrepreneurial activities. • Ownership structure of entrepreneurships is sharply dominated by the sole proprietorship types. • Entrepreneurial ventures in the District are mostly in their early stages of development in terms of ages. • Entrepreneurship development in the District is slow. In concluding the report some recommendations and suggestions are proposed to address the problems associated with entrepreneurship development in the Sekyere West District.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Economics and Industrial Management, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Master of Arts, 2003