The small-scale manufacturing sector in Ghana : a source of dynamism or of subsistence income?

Mensah, Victor and Tribe, Michael and Weiss, John (2007) The small-scale manufacturing sector in Ghana : a source of dynamism or of subsistence income? Journal of International Development, 19 (2). pp. 253-273. ISSN 0954-1748

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Abstract

Survey data from small-scale manufacturing enterprises in Central Region, Ghana permit analysis of factors affecting performance, and of economic dynamism. The majority of the firms were sole proprietorships, with most of the hired labour being apprentices. A high proportion of rural-based proprietors and many urban-based proprietors had secondary occupations. All but two of the industry groups were unprofitable when the legal minimum wage was used as a proxy for the value of proprietors’ time. The implication of this is that the small-scale industries are principally a source of modest income and may not be financially and economically dynamic. However, the small enterprises surveyed do seem to represent part of a ‘sustainable livelihoods’ strategy of lowering economic risk by diversifying income sources.