The impact of culture on entrepreneurship - the case of Sub-Saharan Africa

Chimwaza, Y.A., 2023. The impact of culture on entrepreneurship - the case of Sub-Saharan Africa. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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The increasingly important role that entrepreneurship plays in national economies continues to receive growing attention in the literature (OECD, 2016). What drives individuals to become entrepreneurs remains an ongoing topic of interest in academic research on entrepreneurship. While a significant number of studies have identified micro-level explanations, such as traits and economic conditions affecting entrepreneurship, research has also suggested that culture might play a role, but a paucity of studies have explored this in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) (Anambane & Adom 2018; Anlesinya et al. 2019; Darley & Blankson 2020; Igwe & Icha-Ituma 2020). Against this background, there is a lack of studies on entrepreneurship and culture in the SSA context.

This study examines the impact of culture on entrepreneurship in seven former British colonies in SSA, namely Botswana, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Building on Ronald Inglehart’s (1997) Post-materialism theory, a sequential explanatory mixed-method was used for this study. Thus, using data from GEM and Afrobarometer, regression analysis was performed to empirically test a series of hypotheses. Subsequently, 14 entrepreneurship experts were interviewed using a modified Delphi policy to get a more nuanced understanding of the results obtained in the quantitative phase.

One of the key findings is that corruption has a positive impact on individual entrepreneurs, as it helps them to overcome bureaucracy, while on the other hand, it has a negative impact on entrepreneurs at the national level as it imposes costs on businesses.

This finding contrasts with many studies that have found a negative association between corruption and entrepreneurship at both the individual and country levels. Given this insight, the study recommends the need for specific training to enable entrepreneurs to deal with corruption at an individual level. One way to achieve this is through literacy by educating the entrepreneurs about their rights, and the need to report corruption in order to restore integrity and create a competent public service system.

This study contributes to the existing literature in three ways. Firstly, the study contributes to the cultural and entrepreneurial literature by providing a developing-country perspective based on the SSA context. To this end, the study develops a theoretical framework on the relationship between cultural constructs of entrepreneurship that applies to the SSA context. Second, in the context of the methodology used, the study is one of the few studies in SSA that uses a mixed-methods approach, to better understand the impact of the different cultural measures on entrepreneurial behaviour due to its robustness.

Furthermore, the study extends existing studies of entrepreneurship that have focused on individual and country levels. The multi-level analysis in this study represents an important theoretical advancement in the literature that measures the impact of culture on entrepreneurship, since the process of business creation involves a connection between individuals and their environment, as studies embracing both levels of analysis prove to be beneficial.

While the findings and recommendations in this study are based on the examination of seven countries in SSA, they have broader applicability to developing countries. However, the implementation of the proposed recommendations must be tailored to the circumstances of each country.

Item Type: Thesis
Description: Abridged version.
Creators: Chimwaza, Y.A.
Thompson, P.Thesis
Diego, M.Thesis
Collins, A.Thesis
Date: 2023
Rights: The copyright in this work is held by the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the author.
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 08 Nov 2023 11:18
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 11:18

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