Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)




Lynn Szostek


In Nigeria, many small businesses fail before their 5th anniversary. Small businesses make up a major percentage of the businesses in Nigeria and provide jobs for 50% of the populace. The purpose of this qualitative multi-unit case study was to explore the factors required by small businesses in Nigeria to sustain operations beyond the first 5 years. The conceptual framework grounding this study was general systems theory. A review of the literature focused on small business failure and factors required to sustain a business longer than 5 years. Data collection occurred through semistructured interviews of a purposeful sample of 3 successful business owners in Port Harcourt, who described their experiences. Data analysis strategies consisted of using qualitative software, key words, phrases, and codes, which contributed to identifying the following themes: (a) effective strategizing, (b) flexible financial capital management, (c) human capital development, (d) market positioning and sales, and (e) stable power supply. The findings indicated that these 3 small business owners were passionate about starting up their businesses and had the necessary skills to strategize effectively and manage capital, thus sustaining their business beyond 5 years. Information derived from this study may assist small business owners in starting successful companies, that support employees, other companies, communities, and families, contributing to the development of the Nigerian economy.