THE IMPACT OF VENTURE CAPITAL FINANCING ON SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES IN THE TEMA METROPOLIS: THE CASE OF ELSA FOODS LIMITED

THE IMPACT OF VENTURE CAPITAL FINANCING ON SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES IN THE TEMA METROPOLIS: THE CASE OF ELSA FOODS LIMITED

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ABSTRACT

The study looked at the Impact of Venture Capital Financing on SMEs in the Tema Metropolis. Efforts by successive Government to improve on the performance and growth of SMEs had led to the enactment of different policies and act including the Venture Capital Fund to assist SMEs. SMEs still in Ghana have been faced with liquidity and financing challenges leading to business failures under production Industrial disputes and sometimes closures by regulatory authorities.

In order to achieve the objectives for the study, 50 questionnaires were administered to Manager/SME owners operating within the Tema Metropolis with focus on Elsa Foods Ltd using convenience sampling techniques. It was generally observed that

SME‟s prefer-financing andselfoccasionally received support from financial institutions. The findings further shows that SMEs continue to rely on many financing options both at their conceptual and expansion stage. Majority of the SMEs were however not aware or had little knowledge about Venture Capital Financing as an alternative to financing. Firms that had benefited from Venture Capital Financing stated that they did not only receive capital inflow but was accompanied with monitoring, technical skills and expertise, access to management, marketing and distribution and reputation for attracting further finance. The study recommends that SMEs need to recognize the potential advantages of seeking equity finance from venture capital. Venture capital fund managers can do much to encourage venture capital investment from corporate investors. Government and policy makers should play a dual role as both facilitators and educators in encouraging the venture capital process.Following from the conclusions and recommendation a more detailed research involving SMEs from different industries and regions is highly recommended

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background

Data from the International Finance Corp developing world the private economy is almost entirely comprised of SMEs' and

that „they are the portunityonlyfor realisticmillionsofpoorpeople employ throughout the world'

Figure 1: Fiscal Year 2004                       Approvals in USD

Source: 2004 Annual Review Small Business Activities

1.         International Finance Corporation (IFC) $ 820 million

2.         Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) $ 219 million

3.         International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) $ 317 million

4.         International Development Association (IDA) $ 141 million

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of all economies and are a key source of economic growth, dynamism and flexibility in emerging and

1


developing economies. In Ghana, the total economic output of SMEs is about 50 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), and this sector employs in excess of 60 per cent of the total labour force (ISSER, 1999). Thus, SMEs form a large proportion of the firm tissue in Ghana. One of the most important problems confronting SMEs concerns the issue of financing.

Financing is necessary to help SMEs set up and expand their operations, develop new products, and invest in new staff or production facilities. Many small businesses start out as an idea from one or two people, who invest their own money and probably turn to family and friends for financial help in return for a share in the business. But if they are successful, there comes a time when they need further funds to expand or innovate further. Some SMEs often run into problems, because they find it much harder to obtain financing from banks, capital markets or other suppliers of credit.

Almost every company we know of began as an SME. Vodafone as we know it today was once a little spin-off from Racal; Hewlett-Packard started in a little wood shack; Google was begun by a couple of young kids who thought they had a good idea; even Volkswagen at one point was just a little car maker in Germany (as opposed to being a giant small car maker globally) (Lukacs, 2005)

Microsoft may be a software giant today, but it started off in typical SME fashion, as a dream developed by a young student with the help of family and friends. Only when Bill Gates and his colleagues had a saleable product were they able to take it to the marketplace and look for investment from more traditional sources (Amissah, 2009).

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The growth of SMEs has been hampered by the lack of adequate knowledge and a well structured financial market for the mobilization of capital. The role of finance has been viewed as a critical element for the development of SMEs (Cook and Nixson, 2000).

Recently, various funds have been setup to benefit SMEs but statistics provided by fund managers show that a disproportionate number of applicants have not been successful at accessing funding (Boateng, 2010).The need to explore alternative means of raising capital for business growth cannot be over emphasized. One of the innovative ways to raise funds for the growth of SMEs is venture capital.

Venture capital is an investment in a start-up or growing SME that is perceived to have excellent growth prospects. Venture capitalists raise and manage funds which are a pool of money raised from both public and private investors. Venture capitalists identify entrepreneurs with promising new ideas and assist with funding and professional management.

Venture capital investments provide the needed cash in form of equity for companies to develop technologies and products which, in turn, generate jobs and taxes that keep Ghana competitive. The objective is to generate sufficient long-term capital gains from the investors and the venture capitalists. Venture capital assists investors to access equity capital to finance expansion of business while maintaining control. The expertise and extensive relationships of the venture capitalist through its network add value to the company and increase credibility with customers, and finally, the company gain access to the venture capitalist knowledge in accounting, budgeting, computer systems, and back-office operations. (Amissah, 2009)

3


In venture capital financing agreement the venture capital firm will provide financing to enable a business to undertake a project and in return the venture capital company gets an ownership stake in the business (Boateng, 2010)

Limited data exist on venture capital as an alternative source for funds for SMEs.

Therefore a research was made to gather inform the SME sector to know about the impact of venture capital in the growt


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