Anthony Ebow Spio

Thesis title: An exploration of women entrepreneurs’ competency development process in pursuit of entrepreneurial opportunities in the manufacturing sector in Ghana

Start year: 2017

Supervisor(s): Dr Simon Adderley, Dr Sola Adesola

Research topic

The study seeks to explore how women entrepreneurs in Ghana develop competencies to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities in the manufacturing sector in Ghana. Successive governments in Ghana have since 1993 sought to promote the private sector and entrepreneurship-led economic development with emphasis on industrialisation and women empowerment. The reason is that increasingly political leaders and governments seem to appreciate the view that industrialisation and entrepreneurship together can create jobs, growth, and wealth and thereby promote the well-being of their citizens. The Ghana government launched the Ghana Industrial Policy and National Gender Policy in 2011 and 2015. The rationale was to empower women by building their entrepreneurial capabilities and providing special credit to female entrepreneurs, especially in manufacturing, to enhance their resources to pursue economic opportunities.

Researchers have established that individuals can develop new competencies and enhance and transform existing ones. However, initiatives aimed at helping entrepreneurs build relevant knowledge, skills, and traits to pursue business opportunities need to be informed by insights into the experience and perspectives of entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, the knowledge about the experiences of entrepreneurs, especially women, regarding competency development is somewhat limited. The limited knowledge in the literature of how women entrepreneurs develop competencies to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities is due to the over-emphasis on quantitative design and the inertia to adopt ways of assessing competencies to broaden knowledge and guide education. This study seeks to bridge that gap in the knowledge of competency development and provide theoretical and empirical foundations and insights to inform and guide educators and policymakers to address women entrepreneurs' needs effectively.

The study applied a qualitative research strategy involving case analyses of twenty-six women entrepreneurs in the manufacturing sector in Ghana. The data collection techniques deployed included semi-structured interviews, shadowing and documentation. 


Women entrepreneurship, competencies, learning, gender

Academic school / department

Oxford Brookes Business School