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SMALL BUSINESS IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC - Problems, Constraints and Solutions

People with the potential for success in business need to complement their instinct and vision with a sufficient depth of knowledge, and a clear understanding of the contextual business environment. Incisive analysis of reality helps successful business-persons excel, and reshape challenges into unique opportunities for a breakthrough. This book has been authored specifically for this purpose.

The book is aimed at assisting those who would like to start their own businesses but are unable to do so because:

  • They do not have the requisite knowledge and experience, financial resources or capital.
  • They require the basic skills and relevant tool kit to help them do so.
  • They are just afraid of failure in undertaking the venture.
  • They do not know what to do, or where to go to seek and obtain the necessary assistance to embark upon their business ventures.

smallbusiness-backcover.jpg (76701 bytes)Underlying this broad aim is the vision to develop South Pacific Business Enterprise, and to foster in the lives of the people the delight of life within the concept of livelihood in active business participation.

This book is therefore designed to help especially budding small entrepreneurs overcome some of the problems they are likely to encounter in their search for solutions to the difficulties that they face particularly in the context of the South Pacific Countries in running their business.

Aspects of such difficulties are either due to the constraints and contradictions inherent in culture; as well as to technical factors. The role of women in business or the informal sector are also amply discussed; as are Government Policies and programmes as well as other measures (often enshrined in the budget) to meet the challenge.

Other topics covered include making the right practical choices in deciding on the particular product, business or sector, and what to do in order to succeed, etc. Existing agencies and institutions or mechanisms to help meet the needs of those either already in business or seeking assistance into venture to business are also considered or proposed.

There is little doubt about the significance of the contribution of small business to economic growth and development. This significance is borne out by the experiences of such countries as Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong; the success stories of these and other countries emphasize the important role and contribution of small business in the process of development. Why are the experiences of the South Pacific Countries a far cry from such success stories? This is the main concern of this text.

Dr. Muma critically examines

  • The economics of small business- including not only the concept and basic principles, but also the practical role and importance of small business.
  • The special conditions, characteristics and issues in the particular context of the LDC's in general and the South Pacific in particular.
  • The problems, constraints and contradictions inhibiting the success and contribution of small business in these countries.

Based on the findings, insights and ideas generated in the text, the author suggests relevant solutions to the problems, and stresses the dire need for follow-up and other programmes. The integration of economic and business principles and empirical data is to provide a practically relevant, functional, informative and useful text.

Dr. Muma now works as Policy Analyst in the Policy Analysis Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture in Fiji. His previous experience include academic and professional pursuits: he has lectured economics at Universities in England, Africa and the South Pacific; and has also worked as Chief Economist, Policy Adviser and Consultant. He holds degrees and post-graduate qualifications from various universities, Ife, Manchester, Sussex, and London. He has also published extensively, including academic articles in both local and international journals, chapters in edited books and a book on Investment Criteria and Development Policy .

To varying degrees the text will be useful to those individuals or groups, institutions or agencies, centers or organizations which are directly, or indirectly, engaged in small business operation, development or promotion. These would include not only those in the South Pacific Countries, but also those in other LDC's with which they share similar environmental, cultural and other problems.

Further, institutions in the Advanced Countries that are offering courses on developing countries especially in Business and related development issues, will also find it a useful source of relevant information, practical teaching guide, or reference material.

The text will be particularly relevant to Economics, Management and Business Studies and MBA programmes; and is bound to appeal to a wide range of audience and various users, including students and teachers, policy makers and development practitioners, and experts as well as laymen intending to start their own businesses.

 


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Dr. Patrick A. Muma 2006