Establishing a link between entrepreneurship, built capital and poverty reduction in rural Ghana

Asitik, Akanganngang Joseph and Sharpley, Richard and Phelan, Chris (2016) Establishing a link between entrepreneurship, built capital and poverty reduction in rural Ghana. In: The American Canadian Conference for Academic Disciplines, 31st May - 3rd June 2016, Ryerson University, Toronto.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

Whilst poverty has long been a developmental challenge in the Global South and particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, Ghana has made great strides in its alleviation. However, this improving situation has not been felt in all areas, with the three northern regions experiencing further deterioration, with the net result that the proportion of those living in poverty has increased. As a consequence, entrepreneurship has been identified as an alternative pathway to development and poverty alleviation. However, this strategy overlooks the fact that the conditions for entrepreneurship in rural environments are underpinned significantly by other factors, not least those related to built capital or infrastructure. This paper argues that built capital can either facilitate or restrict rural entrepreneurship and consequently poverty reduction. Hence, this paper critically examines the condition of infrastructure in rural northern Ghana, specifically road, water and electricity, noting how these forms of built capital affect the entrepreneurial and poverty reduction processes. The study thus contributes to an identified gap in the literature noted by Wooley (2013: 2) that ‘the development of infrastructure for entrepreneurship remains elusive’, a situation that Audretsch et al., (2015) consider striking. The study adopts a qualitative research approach, to examine infrastructure within the three case study regions. Data was gathered at both the district and community levels, employing both focus groups and semi-structured interviews (n=56). The findings confirm that, northern Ghana faces issues of market accessibility with implications for cost, revenue and the benefits of economies of scale. All entrepreneurial limitations are associated with the poor infrastructure in the area. The study concludes that the current state of built capital in rural northern Ghana poses severe limitations that must be addressed for entrepreneurship to become a viable means of poverty reduction.

Keywords:Rural entrepreneurship, Infrastructure, Built Capital, Poverty Alleviation, Northern Ghana
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N990 Business and Administrative studies not elsewhere classified
T Eastern, Asiatic, African, American and Australasian Languages, Literature and related subjects > T590 African studies not elsewhere classified
L Social studies > L713 Human and Social Geography of Africa
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
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ID Code:23245
Deposited On:05 Jun 2016 17:21

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