The Nature of Growth Oriented Enterprises: Constraints of growth-oriented enterprises in the southern and eastern African region

Categorizing an enterprise as "growth oriented" implies that there is an intention within the top management of the enterprise to grow. An initial assumption, when the current research was undertaken in 1999, was that being a growth-oriented enterprise per se does not imply anything about the size of the company. A self-employed person may have started an enterprise with the intent to grow, whereas an existing enterprise of twenty people may think they have grown enough.

Definitions are always context specific. When working with the concept of growth-oriented enterprises for purposes of developing a new ILO product for business management training, definitions were determined within the context of the products presently offered in the program. These products included Start Your Business, which is primarily for entrepreneurs that are about to set up their own business and Improve Your Business, which is primarily for entrepreneurs that have been operating for at least a year and need to better organize themselves. From impact evaluations it was learned that the large majority (approximately 97%) employed less than ten employees, and that most of the existing enterprises are less than three years old (Van Lieshout, 1999). The goal in developing a new product for business management training, appropriate to the needs of growth-oriented enterprises, was to reach enterprises that are in the process of trying to expand beyond ten employees. Given that the ILO/SIYB's primary competence lies within the small and medium scale enterprise sectors, the researchers also wanted to set an upper limit to the scale of enterprises they were looking to assist. For practical purposes, the enterprises being labeled "growth oriented enterprises" employ 10 to 30 people. To identify an intention to grow further, we have as a proxy looked at the track record of the enterprises and expected to see a growth in employment of at least 50% over a three-year period during the 1990s.

Constraints of growth-oriented enterprises in the southern and eastern African region

Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, Oct 2002 by Trulsson, Per


The Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship (JDE) provides a forum for the dissemination of descriptive, empirical, and theoretical research that focuses on issues concerning microenterprise and small business development, especially under conditions of adversity.

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