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Factors that Hinder the Growth of Small Businesses in South African townships

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Boysana Mbonyane, Watson Ladzani

18 October 2011


Township Studies Librarian Two

Journal article

Township Studies Group

South Africa

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine factors that hinder the growth of small businesses in South African townships, to create awareness of these factors and to develop guidelines for small business owners to promote successful business enterprises.


Design/methodology/approach – The study was exploratory, descriptive and qualitative in nature. Semi-structured interviews were used to gather data. A response rate of 93 percent was obtained from a sample of 30 businesses.


Findings – The slow growth rate can be attributed partly to the lack of support that small, medium and micro-enterprises receive from support institutions, and partly to their own internal weaknesses. The findings furthermore revealed that the most common causes impeding business growth are a lack of legal knowledge, a lack of funding and a general lack of business acumen.


Research limitations/implications – The study was limited to the micro-, very small and small sectors of small businesses. Medium-sized businesses were not included in the sample. The research could be replicated in other similar townships to determine whether similar results could be obtained.


Originality/value – The study adds to the knowledge of challenges that small businesses face in Black townships and how these challenges could be minimised. Strategies recommended for ensuring the growth of small businesses are that the government intensifies information campaigns of their support services and encourages business owners to affiliate with local business chambers for business support purposes. Business owners and their staff should also prioritise business training.


Abstract based directly on the original source


Website References


Economic development

Human settlements



South Africa

Township Studies Group

Township economies


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