A framework of key growth factors for small enterprises operating at the base of the pyramid
CITATION: Van der Merwe, M. D. et al. 2020. A framework of key growth factors for small enterprises operating at the base of the pyramid. Sustainability, 12(22):9327, doi:10.3390/su12229327.
The original publication is available at https://www.mdpi.com
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Enterprises operating at the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) find it difficult to simultaneously achieve economic (profitable growth) and social (poverty alleviation) outcomes. This study builds on a previously published systematic literature review that identified the key growth-promoting factors of the Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) operating in this space. A Grounded Theory Approach was followed to identify six core focus areas, which form the basis of a practical framework to evaluate SMMEs at the BoP, namely: Business modelling; business strategy; innovation; marketing; strategic alliances; and sustainable development. Expert screening interviews were conducted to evaluate the framework for credibility and confirmability. Thereafter, 57 for-profit South African enterprises were surveyed to empirically explore how SMMEs view and implement these framework components. The outcome of the study is a validated high growth-promoting BoP portfolio framework against which SMME owners can evaluate their enterprises to identify areas of growth and development.