Journal Article
Is Small Beautiful? Small Enterprise, Aid, and Employment in Africa

Aid providers often describe small firms as ‘job creators’. But what types of jobs do they create? Drawing on enterprise survey data for nine African countries and panel data for Ethiopia we find that small and large formal sector firms create similar numbers of net jobs. Small firms, however, have much higher turnover of employment and pay persistently lower wages. To create more ‘good’ jobs aid should target the constraints to the growth of firms of all sizes. Improving the ‘investment climate’ and new programs to increase firms' capabilities—through, for example, management training—offer greater prospects for employment creation.

Journal Article This peer-reviewed research is available free of charge. UNU-WIDER believes that research is a global public good and supports Open Access.