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Small businesses are regarded as the backbone of economies worldwide. Despite the government’s numerous sustainability efforts in the public sector, small businesses are acknowledged to contribute significantly to the expansion and prosperity of any economy. This is also true across Africa. Many Liberians rely on the viability and success of small businesses as their primary source of survival. Unfortunately, the results and trends for economic growth are not meeting expectations. This study explores how small businesses can achieve competitiveness and sustainability. A qualitative phenomenological method was used following a descriptive research approach. Five business owners representing two counties in Liberia were selected using purposive sampling. An in-depth individual interview was conducted and discussed. Data were analyzed and coded using thematic descriptive analysis with four identified themes. The findings reveal that small business owners have similar lived experiences with positive and negative aspects. It highlights the need for effective strategies to compete and maintain small businesses, including driving success, market research, and customer relationships. However, it emphasizes that knowledge and skills are essential.


Small business growth competitiveness narrative inquiry Liberia

Article Details

Author Biography

Faith Oseremen Sivili, Adventist University of West Africa, Liberia

Faith Oseremen Sivili holds a Ph.D. in Leadership with an emphasis in Strategic Business Leadership from the Adventist University of Africa. She also has a Master’s degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in public sector management from Cuttington University in Liberia. Currently, Dr. Sivili serves as an Assistant Professor and Director of Student Services.

How to Cite
Sivili, F. O. (2024). Exploring How Small Business Grow to Levels of Competitiveness and Sustainability: The Case of Liberia. Pan-African Journal of Education and Social Sciences, 5(1), 55–70.


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