On the Question of Entrepreneurial Breakthrough or Failure in Africa: A Framework for Analysis

Emmanuel Yeboah-Assiamah, Farhad Hossain, Aminu Mamman, Christopher Rees

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Having the right intent, aspiration, ability and attitude to become an entrepreneur has become the mantra in the extant literature to be drivers of entrepreneurship and SME growth. Why would zealous and ambitious individuals with all rightful attributes so required of entrepreneurs have to fizzle out few years after venturing into business or SMEs? Perhaps these same individuals may
relocate to other jurisdictions and would establish successful firms even beyond their imaginations. Beyond the individual’s entrepreneurial attributes, there are other external countervailing forces which either ‘enable’ or ‘impede’ entrepreneurial drive and SME growth processes. Adopting the
theory of planned behavior, this study conceptualizes a comprehensive framework to analyze how SMEs either flourish or fail in developing countries.
The study argues that the interplay of ‘internal factors’ and ‘external factors’ of prospective entrepreneurs provides a useful framework to explain the general SME outlook of an economy. The study postulates that many internally driven
prospective SME entrants (with entrepreneurial attitudes, abilities and aspirations) mostly in the developing economies may have their dreams shattered because of obstructive external elements which tend to frustrate new business entrants as well as existing ones. This is discussed with lessons and cases from empirical literature and datasets
Original languageEnglish
JournalAfrican Journal of Economic and Management Studies
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2023


  • Entrepreneurship
  • SMEs
  • Regulations
  • Institutions
  • Enabling environment


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