PhD defence

Firm Characteristics, Business Environment, and Performance of Non-Traditional Agricultural SME Exporters in Ghana

PhD candidate ms. R (Rita) Abban
Promotor Onno prof.dr. SWF (Onno) Omta
Co-promotor prof. dr. JBK Aheto
dr VE Scholten
Organisation Wageningen University, Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS), Business Management & Organisation

Tue 21 January 2020 16:00 to 17:30

Venue Auditorium, building number 362


Agriculture and agribusiness are considered vital to development of Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) economies. For this reason, the African Union mapped out strategic interventions (programmes/strategies) with the objective of improving the agriculture and agribusiness environment and diversification of export portfolios to include Non-Traditional Agricultural Exports (NTAE). For Ghana this is especially important, because in 2019 the International Monetary Fund identified Ghana as one of the top three fastest growing SSA economies with an annual growth of the GDP of 7.6%. Based on a number of studies on NTAE Small and Medium Enterprises (NTAE SMEs), the thesis addresses the central research question: Within the theoretical context of the Resource Based View (RBV), Supply Chain Management (SCM), and network theories, which characteristics (specifically internal capabilities, resources and network relationships) of NTAE SMEs within their business environment are positively related to their export performance? The key findings are: the networks with the suppliers are generally strong (upstream supply activities), but the NTAE SMEs need to address more resources and capacities to strengthen their relationships with their international clients (the export side, the downstream supply chain activities). The main recommendations towards the government include that the macro and micro level state policies should be better aligned to the needs of NTAE SMEs to achieve an improved business environment. It is especially important that in areas where shortfalls are identified interventions are started, such as encouraging public-private partnerships, to solve or minimize these problems.