Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal (Print ISSN: 1087-9595; Online ISSN: 1528-2686)


Environmental Factors Affecting Innovative Leadership Towards Sustainable Growth of Manufacturing Small and Medium Enterprises

Author(s): Musawenkosi Ngibe and Lawrence M. Lekhanya

Small businesses, particularly manufacturing SMEs perform a starring role in influencing economic growth, alleviation of poverty and creation of job employment, especially in South Africa where youth unemployment continues to be in the rise. The development, monitoring, support and protection of manufacturing SMEs in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) need urgent priority, not only from business owners/managers but also from the government. This is due to concerns over the environmental challenges that hover on the existence of manufacturing SMEs. These influences affect manufacturing SMEs’ production planning and manufacturing, market performance and their continued and successful existence. For manufacturing SMEs to foster economic stability and continue to contribute to the country’s economic development, the identification and exploration of environmental factors influencing manufacturing SMEs needs to be addressed. Therefore, the empirical findings showed that inadequate support from shareholders/boards, capital and business performance were recognized as the main internal factors that had an impact on manufacturing SMEs, while social factors and rapid technological changes were the main external factors that influenced business sustainable growth. The recommendations were extended on various aspects which were essential to the sustainability and business growth of manufacturing SMEs

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