Do we really learn from our mistakes? : an examination of the effect of an entrepreneur's past business failures on current business success in Sub-Saharan Africa
The most pressing issue facing African economies is the need to reduce poverty through higher levels of economic growth (USAID 2006). As entrepreneurship is considered to be a driver of private sector development, poverty reduction and overall economic growth, working to enhance entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa should be a main priority. In order to further entrepreneurship, gaining a better understanding of entrepreneurship and what influences it is of great significance. In advancing this objective, this thesis examines an important element of entrepreneurial research; the effect of a business owner's prior business failures on the owner's current business success. Using World Bank Investment Climate (ICU) Study Firm- Level Survey data for the year 1993, from two Sub-Saharan African countries: Kenya and Cameroon, this thesis finds there is some evidence of a relationship between prior business failures and current business success as measured by firm profitability. In addition, this thesis finds evidence of a relationship between apprenticeship experience and current business success as measured by the likelihood of a firm experiencing positive profits. Also this thesis finds evidence of the importance of apprenticeship experience in the effect education has on an entrepreneur's likelihood of experiencing positive profit levels. Finally, this thesis concludes with a discussion of the results of empirical analyses and presents the implications of these findings for bankruptcy laws and government and international organization programming efforts.
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