Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Scott Burrus


Over 35 years of gross economic mismanagement and business failures led Liberia's gross domestic product to collapse by 90% in less than two decades. As a result of a general lack of business skills, up to 80% of Liberian small-business entrepreneurs fail in business beyond the first year. Based on the theory of constraints, the purpose of this exploratory multiple case study was to explore the business skills that Liberian small-business entrepreneurs used to succeed in business beyond the first year. Data came from semistructured face-to-face interviews with 5 central regional Liberian small-business entrepreneurs who had succeeded in business beyond the first year. Participant observation, the use of company documents, and the use of member checking allowed for methodological triangulation and verification of the themes. Analysis of data involved using pattern-matching technique and date coding to evaluate, organize, code, and analyze the raw data. There were 3 prominent themes that emerged among entrepreneurs during data analysis: business knowledge, bookkeeping, and pricing skills. The data from the results indicated, within this particular context, Liberian small-business entrepreneurs used business skills for knowledge, finance, and marketing. Focusing on these practices may lead to increased profit and business success beyond the first year for other Liberian small-business entrepreneurs. The findings from the study could provide mechanisms for social change by giving Liberian small-business entrepreneurs additional ideas for using their business skills in their businesses. Furthermore, the findings may aid the Liberian communities to create training programs and curriculums for numerous Liberian colleges and institutions for future Liberian small-business owners.