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Learning from business support in Africa

Learning from business support in Africa Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to review approaches to providing support to entrepreneurs adopted by four business support organisations, originally created with similar objectives, in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Cameroon to examine entrepreneurial heterogeneity in Africa and the hypothesis that local solutions are required to support entrepreneurs effectively. Design/methodology/approach – An empirical review of each business support organisation's approach, including a stakeholder analysis was undertaken. Findings – Although the trusts were established to achieve broadly similar objectives, all have followed a different path, apparently in response to the need to provide support in different ways. All are successful, demonstrating the importance of this approach. All learn from each other, adopting and, importantly, adapting successful programmes. Research limitations/implications – The research whilst systematically covering stakeholders was limited to gathering qualitative perceptions of the organisations and their successes. Further research, based on systematic performance measurement by the trusts, and with appropriate control groups, could provide further insights. Practical implications – The study is relevant to policy makers, particularly in donors and multi‐lateral institutions, considering how further to encourage and support small business development. It should encourage the designers of new programmes to spend more time ensuring that they understand how the needs of local entrepreneurs can best be addressed. Originality/value – The study is unique in being able to use four business support organisations, in four countries, all with a common core sponsor and similar values, to make comparisons of supporting entrepreneurs. The paper makes a contribution towards demonstrating that there is little homogeneity amongst entrepreneurs in Africa and those entrepreneurs therefore require assistance tailored to meet their particular culture. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Management Research Review Emerald Publishing

Learning from business support in Africa

Management Research Review , Volume 34 (2): 14 – Jan 25, 2011

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References (19)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
2040-8269
DOI
10.1108/01409171111102812
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to review approaches to providing support to entrepreneurs adopted by four business support organisations, originally created with similar objectives, in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Cameroon to examine entrepreneurial heterogeneity in Africa and the hypothesis that local solutions are required to support entrepreneurs effectively. Design/methodology/approach – An empirical review of each business support organisation's approach, including a stakeholder analysis was undertaken. Findings – Although the trusts were established to achieve broadly similar objectives, all have followed a different path, apparently in response to the need to provide support in different ways. All are successful, demonstrating the importance of this approach. All learn from each other, adopting and, importantly, adapting successful programmes. Research limitations/implications – The research whilst systematically covering stakeholders was limited to gathering qualitative perceptions of the organisations and their successes. Further research, based on systematic performance measurement by the trusts, and with appropriate control groups, could provide further insights. Practical implications – The study is relevant to policy makers, particularly in donors and multi‐lateral institutions, considering how further to encourage and support small business development. It should encourage the designers of new programmes to spend more time ensuring that they understand how the needs of local entrepreneurs can best be addressed. Originality/value – The study is unique in being able to use four business support organisations, in four countries, all with a common core sponsor and similar values, to make comparisons of supporting entrepreneurs. The paper makes a contribution towards demonstrating that there is little homogeneity amongst entrepreneurs in Africa and those entrepreneurs therefore require assistance tailored to meet their particular culture.

Journal

Management Research ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 25, 2011

Keywords: Entrepreneurs; Africa; Business support services

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