Challenges in the Informal Sector: A Tale of Four Successful Entrepreneurs in the Makola Market in Ghana

Challenges in the Informal Sector: A Tale of Four Successful Entrepreneurs in the Makola Market in Ghana

Abena Owarewaa Koramoah (University of Ghana, Ghana) and Grace Abban-Ampiah (Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, Ghana)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2097-0.ch019

Abstract

Owing to the highly competitive and volatile business environment, companies in the West African markets face significant challenges. This study was conducted to examine the challenges faced in the marketplace in Ghana by successful entrepreneurs. Accra was intentionally sampled for the analysis of four successful entrepreneurs from the Makola market. Findings revealed that access to finance, high competition, instability in macroeconomic indicators, poor management competences, lack of skilled labor and deficiencies in marketing strategies are the major factors confronting the survival of entrepreneurs in the marketplace. The results provide insights into the important and current challenges facing entrepreneurs in the informal sectors. Recommendations were made to help overcome the challenges faced by business people in their operations.
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Background

However, although, growth in entrepreneurship leads to increase in the economic well-being of a country (Agholor, Smith, Akeem, & Seriki, 2015; Chinomona & Maziriri, 2015; Williams et al., 2017; Li, Ahmed, & Qalati, 2019), they still face turbulent challenges in their quest to operating their businesses (Nyamwanza, Mapetere, Mavhiki, & Dzingirai, 2012; Akhalwaya & Hawenga, 2012; Chinomona & Maziri, 2015). For instance, according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry (2012), 67 percent of new businesses survive for at least two years, and only 44 percent survive for at least four years. This has caused the sector to be perceived by investors as a high-risk investment area. For instance, there are several studies conducted in Africa on the challenges that entrepreneurs face in doing their businesses (Deborah, Wilhelmina, Oyelana, & Ibrahim, 2015; Chinomona & Maziriri, 2015; Henry, Orser, Coleman, & Foss, 2017; Jones et al., 2018). This makes the challenges faced among entrepreneurs in the informal sector, an important concept. Several challenges, including fire outbreaks and poor structure of the market, exist in the market. Other challenges that entrepreneurs face gender discrimination, lack of requisite competencies, cultural and social attitudes (Akhalwaya & Havenga, 2012), access to credit facilities (Gichuki et al., 2014; Ndemi & Mungai, 2018).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Market Woman: An adult female that engages in an informal type of business, particularly at the marketplace.

Best Practices: Application of relevant principles by business people to their operations.

Makola Market: Any unofficial marketplace where entrepreneurs participate in business transactions.

Poor Infrastructure: Insufficient facilities for entrepreneurs available on the market for the efficient use of profit.

Entrepreneurship Strategy: It applies to the measures taken by entrepreneurs to address the issues they face in the marketplace.

Credit Facilities: Capital lent to entrepreneurs to enable them to operate their business.

Market Trader Challenges: These are the problems that entrepreneurs face in their business operations.

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