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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Self-Employed in Kitale: No Easy Road to Success
Author:Muller, Maria S.
Periodical:African Urban Studies
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:informal sector
small enterprises
Labor and Employment
Economics and Trade
Abstract:Leaving aside the controversies surrounding the concept and defining characteristics of the informal sector, the author uses the term 'small-scale' to denote those businesses which because of the size of their operation face serious obstacles in dealing with uncertainties in their environment, such as irregular availability of supplies and of transport, the threat of eviction by landlords, or sagging customer demand. A survey of such small businesses conducted in 1977 in Kitale, Kenya, shows that businessmen in Kitale have chosen self-employment as a way of life, although few can be considered to be entrepreneurs; that some business decisions are more rational than may appear on first sight, considering the objective economic circumstances in which these businesses must operate; and that the local economy would function more efficiently if the small businesses were allowed to operate in a greater variety of premises and to locate in a greater variety of places in the town. App., notes, ref., tab.