Small and Growing Businesses in Africa: Their Profiles, Successes, and Challenges

  • Date Posted: April 11, 2018
  • Authors: Marketlinks Team
  • Document Types: Case Study or Vignette
  • Donor Type: Non-US Government Agency


Photo: Women harvest baobab fruit in southern Africa. Photo by PhytoTrade Africa.
Women harvest baobab fruit in southern Africa. Photo by PhytoTrade Africa.

This study was originally posted on Appui au Développement Autonome (ADA)

In Sub-Saharan Africa as elsewhere, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) play a crucial role in economic development and job creation. However, because of a general lack of knowledge about this particular segment, the sector hardly achieves its full potential. In order to better meet MSMEs’ needs, a first step consists in identifying the profiles, growth paths, success factors, and challenges faced by those who managed to turn their microenterprises into small or medium entities, referred to as small and growing business (SGB) owners.

As microenterprises are likely to resort to microfinance institutions to get access to financial services, ADA has coordinated a series of three studies relying on five MFIs in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Madagascar in order to identify a sample of SGB owners and interview them individually to get details about their paths.

This study is the synthesis of these three surveys and specifically aims at providing detailed information about entrepreneurs’ profiles, the main challenges and obstacles they faced through their growing process, and their current financial and non-financial needs. Based on such information, general recommendations are made to financial services providers and all kinds of organizations supporting MSMEs. 

Click the link below to read the full study. 

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