Differentiation strategy, entrepreneurial orientation and competitive edge as antecedence of SMMEs business performance

Veerasamy, Mfundo Praisegod
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SMMEs are known to be a key driver of employment creation and economic growth on both developing and developed countries. In South Africa, SMMEs failure rate is very high; resulting in low economic growth as SMMEs are key engines for economic growth. Thus, SMMEs are well known to be the backbone of many economies around the world and they contribute greatly to a nation's wealth as they create jobs. Therefore, the sound performance of the SMME sector in a country relates to the performance of the Nation's economic performance. The SMME sector has a significant role to play in developing economies like South Africa; and poverty reduction and employment creation are some of the issues that SMMEs addresses in a country. This study was aimed at examining how product innovation, entrepreneurial orientation, risk-taking and resource leveraging can influence business growth of SMMEs. Research indicated that in South Africa, SMMEs make up to 91% of formalized businesses and provide employment to approximately 60% of the labour force and its total economic output accounts for 34% of the Gross Domestic Product. In South Africa, the failure rate of SMMEs is estimated to be between 70%. There are numerous challenges hindering SMMEs from growing and these include, but not limited to, insufficient management skills and lack of expertise in functional areas like marketing and finance. Subsequently, South Africa faces some unique challenges when it comes to building an entrepreneurial society, as it is a relatively young democratic country. South Africa has an extremely low rate of entrepreneurship compared to the rest of Africa and the world, combined with high rates of failure for a small business. This study took a constructive outlook on the use of entrepreneurial marketing strategies as a driving force for business growth. The implications of the findings were discussed; limitations and future directions were suggested as well.
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Commerce in Marketing.
Veerasamy, Mfundo Praisegod, (2019). Differentiation strategy, entrepreneurial orientation and competitive edge as antecedence of SMMEs business performance, University of the Witwatersrand, https://hdl.handle.net/10539/29822