Small scale businesses: A case study of stagnation amongst street food vendors in Accra

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Street food vendors make a significant contribution to the lives of the impoverished in the society and the economy at large. However, it seems the sector has become stagnant in growth and expansion. A large number of street food vendors have been operating in the same place for numerous years with no concrete progress. This reason influenced the choice of my thesis topic so that the problem can be investigated and appropriate measures taken to help boost the sector. The research studies the stagnation in the growth and expansion of street food vendors. Using a purposive sampling method, a more qualitative than quantitative questionnaire was developed for a sample size of 72 street food vendors. This questionnaire is intended to help examine the reasons for the street food vendor's choice of venture, characteristics of these vendors, expansion ideas, years of existence and their financial information during their past years of existence. Answers to these questions will clarify what hinders the expansion of their businesses. Finally, the findings from the research indicate that the stagnation of the street food sector is in part attributed to religious beliefs, family dependency, small capital outlay, harsh attitudes from government officials but predominantly caused by the lack of access to credit and managerial skills, and refusal in building appropriate markets for these vulnerable individuals who operate from the street.
Thesis submitted to the Department of Business Administration, Ashesi University College, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, April 2010
Ghana, small scale business, street food vendors, Accra