Owner-Managers’ Demographic Characteristics and the Growth of Tanzanian Small and Medium Enterprises

  •  Nsubili Isaga    


This paper aims to contribute to the understanding of the demographic factors that influence the growth of Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Tanzania. A survey method was used to gather data from 300 small business owners and managers located in selected cities in Tanzania. Multiple regression analysis was conducted to analyse the influence of owner-manager demographic factors on the growth of SMEs. Three indicators for growth namely employment, sales and assets were used to measure growth. The results suggests that workshop, vocational training, industrial and managerial experience and family background do influence the growth of SMEs. Entrepreneurial experience and level education successfully completed by the owner-manager are not important in explaining SMEs growth. The results suggest that policy measures that promote workshops, role models and previous experiences may have the greatest impact in terms of helping to facilitate SMEs growth in Tanzania. However, the results are limited to a single survey and the data was collected from only one sector (furniture sector) in Tanzania. Replication of this study using larger samples to different sectors and a broader geographic base is suggested for cross validation purposes.

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