An Investigation into Perception of Internal and External Business Environment by Small Medium Enterprise (SMES) – A case of Maramba Market in Livingstone, Zambia

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJMG.2015.SE.19.03.Art023

Authors : Jacob Manda

Abstract:

This article is an extract of one of the objectives to the study that investigated the perceptions of small medium enterprises at marimba market in Livingstone district of Zambia. The study objectives were to establish the current status of small medium enterprises in the market and to determine the challenges of implementing their business ideas. Three leading entrepreneurs were interviewed to check their opinion and these deal in different products which are similar to other traders.

Data was collected using semi-structured questionnaires and an observation schedule. One questionnaire was used to collect data from the executive committee of the market and board members while another gathered data from the small-scale business owners. An observation schedule was used to collect data which seemed difficult to collect through semi-structured questionnaires. Qualitative data was analyzed and presented thematically, while quantitative data was analyzed through Social Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and was presented in form of tables and figures.

The findings of the study were that small scale business enterprises held positive perceptions on the introduction of small capital investment for small medium enterprises in the market places such as marimba. However, most well-established business men and women held a negative attitude towards small medium enterprises due to informal trading approach. Numerous challenges to the successful implementation of the business plan and ideas in various sectors of the business. They included: some new comers in the business sector who preferred other products which do not suit the demand of the given context and this has led to a huge challenge because both the internal and external environments have not been read well by the small business enterprises.

The study suggested the following coping strategies and measures; Continuing business Professional Development (CBPD) meetings, increased administration and financial support, provision of small medium enterprises with equipment and infrastructure, sensitization on the importance of small business enterprises in the economy and the enhancement of the human resources with the knowledge of understanding the current business trends globally so as to avoid certain shocks which might come out as result of failure to read the market well.

Keywords: Investigation, Perceptions, Internal and external, business environment and small medium enterprises.

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