Date of Conferral







Sandra Kolberg


Small businesses are significant contributors to a nation’s job creation and employment. These enterprises face many challenges that often lead to failure within 5 years. Some small business owners fail because they lack the necessary strategies for maintaining a sustainable business operation. The purpose of this qualitative descriptive phenomenological study was to analyze how to overcome the high failure rate of small businesses in Accra, Ghana. The conceptual framework for this study was institutional and planned behavior theories. The research questions sought participant’s experiences with small business survival that may have led to sustainable businesses. Data were collected from 20 participants using semistructured telephone interviews in Accra, Ghana. Participants were small business owners in the consumer products industry. Eligibility required full-time self-employed persons aged 26-65 years who must have been in business beyond 5 years. Thematic analysis was used to analyze data. After data analysis, member checking was used to establish the trustworthiness of the outcomes. The main result of the study was that small businesses that had identified viable business opportunities in sustaining the needs and challenges of potential customers reported gains in sales and customer retention. The findings were significant for improving sustainable small business efforts, improving self-employment, reducing poverty through inclusive business models, and creating positive social change. Small business owners and policymakers might benefit from this research by reducing redundancies in their operations. This effort should promote an environment that enhances wealth creation and the quality of life of small business owners in Accra, Ghana.