Growth aspirations of young informal micro-entrepreneurs in Nairobi, Kenya: A case study of the jua kali manufacturing sector

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Kalbfleisch, Rachel Lynn




Entrepreneurship in the jua kali sector presents a potential solution to the unemployment crisis in Kenya by creating opportunities for self-employed youth and other young people they hire. This study examines the growth aspirations of young jua kali entrepreneurs and identifies the underlying reasons why some are more growth-oriented than others. The study is based on primary data collected through interviews with 58 young jua kali entrepreneurs in Nairobi’s manufacturing sector. The results indicate that the vast majority of jua kali youths aspire to expand their firms and employ additional workers in the next five years. Entrepreneurs in the garment sub-sector have the highest growth aspirations. Higher aspirations are also more prevalent among those with family support, those with relevant employment and business experience, those who are older, and those with a secondary education.


International Law and Relations




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

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Thesis Degree Discipline: 

International Affairs

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Theses and Dissertations

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