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Small enterprises in African development : a survey (English)

This essay reviews evidence concerning the structure and performance of small-scale enterprises in Africa. Small and artisanal firms, employing between 1 and 50 workers, are uniformly the largest employers in the manufacturing sector of African economies, and there is striking similarity across countries in the types of industries dominated by small enterprises. Data from several microeconomic surveys are used to examine the relationship between firm size, choice of technique and technical efficiency. Studies of factor markets indicate that substantial variations exist in relative factor prices faced by different size classes of firms within individual economies and that smaller firms apparently experience substantially higher opportunity costs of capital. The role of small firms in providing entrepreneurial training and development is also examined. The survey concludes with a review of the policy environment confronted by small enterprises in several African countries.




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Small enterprises in African development : a survey (English). Staff working paper ; no. SWP 363 Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.