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Factors influencing the failure of small enterprises in a selected municipality in Luanda, Angola
The necessary skills and knowledge on how to open and manage a business can be mastered but the uncertainties during decision-making, as well as the risks, obstacles and barriers present in the business environment can change established ways of conducting a business. However, identifying the causes of such uncertainties, risks and obstacles is essential as it may reduce the probability of failure in the future, and supports effective policy-making. The purpose of this thesis was to examine the factors contributing to the failure of small enterprises in the Luanda province in Angola, with three specific objectives: to assess the critical management and financial factors; to examine the effect of market competition; and to assess the factors in the economic conditions associated with the causes of small business failures. Recommendations made to government could mitigate the high number of business failures. Similar studies were conducted in countries other than Angola. As alarmingly high rates of business failure exist in Angola, this study sought to examine the factors associated with such failures. This research was conducted under a positivism theoretical perspective and a quantitative research method was adopted. A questionnaire was the primary data collection instrument and the snowball sampling technique was employed. Questionnaires were distributed to 130 small business owners and managers who had experienced business failures and 108 questionnaires were collected. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software was used to analyse the quantitative data which was collected. Results were statistically descriptive in nature and presented in tables, pie charts, and bar charts. The results indicated that critical factors which influenced the failure of small enterprises in Angola were: small business owners and managers lacked knowledge of business systems; small business owners and managers lacked financial accounting skills; and negligence by small business owners and managers in planning and controlling business resources. This indicates that institutions do not actively promote entrepreneurship knowledge and skills development and there is an absence of successful entrepreneur role models and business mentors or coaches for entrepreneurial capacity-building. Among others factors influencing business failure in Viana, this study identified a lack of economic support and availability of fundamental business resources such as raw material, skilled people and finance, rigid policy-making regulations, and a high level of corruption and theft in the country, to the extent that the small business may lack money and is unable to continue operations.The study recommends that since most small businesses operate on a basis of sole decision-making, it is important that the entrepreneur/manager should make a concerted effort to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills in management and finance systems, primarily to start a business or as needed, so that risk and probability of failure can be reduced. Policy-making should consider support structures for entrepreneurial capacity building, increase the production of primary products and raw material, provide entrepreneurial training and skills development (higher education), and develop mechanisms to allow easy access to information, reduce trading restrictions and reduce crime.