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ENTREPRENEURSHIP SKILLS AND ITS EFFECT ON SALES PERFORMANCE OF SMALL AND MEDIUM SCALE BUSINESSES IN CAMEROON

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ENTREPRENEURSHIP SKILLS AND ITS EFFECT ON SALES PERFORMANCE OF SMALL AND MEDIUM SCALE BUSINESSES IN CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Globally, entrepreneurship is crucial for the expansion and prosperity of national economies. An important component of entrepreneurship is made up of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), especially in developing nations like Cameroon. However, because of their roles in wealth development, innovation, and employment creation, these businesses are frequently seen as the foundation of the economy. According to Ofori (2021), a key component of SMEs' performance and long-term viability is having and applying strong entrepreneurship skills. The development and survival of small and medium-sized businesses depend heavily on entrepreneurship skills (Amatori, 2018). As a result, skills are knowledge that is expressed by actions or a special performance under particular circumstances. Training is the means by which skills are acquired and enhanced (Zehra, 2016). On the other hand, achieving sustainable corporate growth is a challenging endeavor requiring specialized knowledge and abilities (Perks and Smith, 2019). 

Furthermore, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play a crucial role in driving growth, prosperity, and societal well-being in many nations. This progress stems from fostering an environment that encourages both aspiring entrepreneurs and those seeking business expansion.  Henry, Hill, and Leitch (2018) and Undiayaundeye (2019) underscore entrepreneurs' significance as the engines of economic advancement and wealth creation, enhancing quality of life through job creation for individuals of varying educational backgrounds. Nevertheless, despite the substantial contributions of this sector, global unemployment issues persist. Furthermore, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (2018), Cameroon demonstrates a strong entrepreneurial spirit, with individuals confident in their skills and knowledge. However, despite this optimism, the rate of SME failures has not decreased in recent years. While research in entrepreneurship has primarily focused on theoretical development, often overlooking the practical aspects necessary for venture survival. Empirical studies by Bosire and Nzaramba (2018) suggest that enhancing entrepreneurial skills could enhance the self-reliance of both budding and established entrepreneurs. Similarly, Coric, Katavic, and Kopecki (2020) argue that entrepreneurial success hinges on mastering critical skills required for business inception, survival, and growth in the initial stages. Additionally, Undiayaundeye (2018) identifies a lack of entrepreneurial skills among graduates, which contributes to the failure of business ventures.

Despite the acknowledged significance of entrepreneurship skills, there remains a scarcity of empirical research specifically examining their impact on sales performance in Cameroon. However, previous studies have offer a broad overview of SME challenges or explore factors affecting business performance without delving into the intricacies of entrepreneurship skills and their direct effects on sales outcomes. Therefore, a survey will be conducted in order to investigate entrepreneurship skills and its effect on sales performance of small and medium scale businesses in Cameroon. 

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Like many other African countries, Cameroon has seen an increase in entrepreneurial activities; small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) now account for a sizable share of commercial activity in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, services, and agriculture. SMEs in Cameroon face a number of obstacles, including restricted access to capital, poor infrastructure, regulatory limitations, and a skills gap among entrepreneurs, despite their ability to spur economic progress. 

Among these challenges, a lack of entrepreneurship skills stands out as a critical component affecting SME success, especially in terms of generating sales. Strategic planning, money management, marketing, creativity, networking, leadership, and strategic planning are just a few of the various skills that make up effective entrepreneurial skills. These skills are essential for negotiating the complex corporate environment, seeing opportunities, reducing risks, and preserving a competitive advantage.Thus, it is in the light of these that the study seeks to investigate entrepreneurship skills and its effect on sales performance of small and medium scale businesses in Cameroon. 

1.3  Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is on investigate entrepreneurship skills and its effect on sales performance of small and medium scale businesses in Cameroon.  Specifically, the study will;

1.Determine the entrepreneurship skills required for the adequate performance of small and medium scale businesses in Cameroon.

2.Find out whether there is a significant statistical relationship between entrepreneurship skills and the sales performance of small and medium scale businesses in Cameroon.

3.Ascertain whether entrepreneurship skills influences the customer growth of small and medium scale businesses in Cameroon.

Ascertain whether entrepreneurship skills influences the sales volume growth of small and medium scale businesses in Cameroon.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

What are the key entrepreneurship skills necessary for optimal performance in small and medium scale businesses within Cameroon?

Is there a statistically significant relationship between entrepreneurship skills and the sales performance of small and medium scale businesses in Cameroon?

How does entrepreneurship skill impact the growth of customers for small and medium scale businesses in Cameroon?

In what ways do entrepreneurship skills influence the growth of sales volume for small and medium scale businesses in Cameroon?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

Ho: There is no significant effect on sales performance of small and medium scale businesses in Cameroon. 

Ha: There is a significant  effect on sales performance of small and medium scale businesses in Cameroon. 

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study's potential to further Cameroon's economic growth and prosperity is what makes it significant. The study seeks to promote innovation, productivity, and company growth in the private sector by providing SMEs with the entrepreneurship skills they need to enhance their sales performance. Additionally, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to investigate entrepreneurship skills and its effect on sales performance of small and medium scale businesses in Cameroon. 

1.6 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is to investigate entrepreneurship skills and its effect on sales performance of small and medium scale businesses in Cameroon. Empirically, this study will determine the entrepreneurship skills required for the adequate performance of small and medium scale businesses in Cameroon, find out whether there is a significant statistical relationship between entrepreneurship skills and the sales performance of small and medium scale businesses in Cameroon, ascertain whether entrepreneurship skills influences the customer growth of small and medium scale businesses in Cameroon and ascertain whether entrepreneurship skills influences the sales volume growth of small and medium scale businesses in Cameroon.

Geographically, the study will be delimited to SMEs owners of Buea, Cameroon

1.7 Limitation of the study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed. 

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.

 1.8 Definition of Terms

Sales: is the exchange of goods or services for money or other forms of compensation. It involves the process of persuading potential customers to purchase products or services offered by a business.

Entrepreneurship: is the act of creating, organizing, and managing a business venture, typically with the goal of making a profit.

Sales Performance: measures the effectiveness and efficiency of a sales team or individual in achieving sales targets and objectives. It involves various metrics such as revenue generated, number of sales made, customer acquisition, and conversion rates.

SMEs: stands for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. These are businesses that typically have fewer employees and lower annual revenue compared to large corporations.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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