Introduction development, not only in education but


has been rising appreciation of the significant role Small and Medium Enterprises
(SMEs) play in the economic
transformation of developing countries. SMEs are considered the engines of
economic growth in developing countries. Along the same lines as this
assertion, Muritala, Awolaja, and Bako, (2012) concluded that there is the
greater likelihood that SMEs will utilize labor-intensive technologies, thereby reducing unemployment,
particularly in developing countries.

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to GSS 2013, SMEs have been noticed to have provided about 70% of employment in
Ghana. They are often described as an efficient
and prolific job creator, the seeds of big business and the fuel of national
economic engines. Even in the developed economies, it is the SMEs sector rather
than the multinationals that is the largest employer of workers, Howard J. L (2006) agued. Due
to the important role SMEs plays in national development, governments at all
levels have undertaken initiatives to promote the growth of SMEs, Okpara
J (2011) presented.

 It is however believed globally that,
education is the bedrock of any effective
development. For effective growth of SMEs in any country, the education of its
labor force within that sector is paramount. According
to Denison, there
was 23 percent of the increase in the United States’ output between 1930
through 1960 as a result of the increased education of its labor force. It has
become evident that a country’s economic growth cannot be explained by
increases in the country’s labor alone but also by the increased in educational
levels of the labor force, Denison added.
Similarly, Schultz argued, it is only where the working force at all levels is
sufficiently literate, educated, and trained that progress in developments of a
nation become possible. 



Northern region of Ghana which has lagged behind in the course of colonial and
post-colonial development, not only in education
but also in several spheres of economic development according to (Moses K.
Antwi 1992). Moses K. Antwi further state that, the educational system adopted
in Northern Ghana by the colonial administration failed to provide the adequate
training which was needed for the economic, technological and social progress
in the area.

an attempt by Kwame Nkrumah in 1957 through 1966 to promote education in his
administration, he argued that education consists not only in the sum of what a
man knows, or the skill with which he can put this to his own advantage… a
man’s education must be measured in terms of the soundness of his judgment of
people and things, and his power to understand and appreciate the needs of his
fellow men, and to be of service to them. He added that the educated man should
be so sensitive to the conditions around him that he makes it his chief
endeavor to improve those conditions for the good of all.

though successive governments over the years has developed and improved on the
educational policy and social intervention to improve on the general
development of Northern Region, the Region still lag behind in terms
development including the SMEs sector. This study should seek to explore the
impact of education on the development of

 According to Delmar, Davidson and Gartner (2003) that claimed
sales and employment are two important indicators when measuring
firm growth. Employment is often used
because it is comparatively easy to access and measure as well as because it
lies within interest for policymakers. Barkham et al., (1996) stated, Sales
are also commonly used to measure firm growth, though sales are
susceptible to inflation and exchange rates. Besides, it can be difficult to
compare sales figures in, unlike
industries. Therefore, Delmar et
al. (2003) concluded that researcher should use multiple growth indicators
when studying firm growth.

Mathew Tsameny, the Executive Director
CEIBS Africa, mentioned at a training program
organized for SMEs in Accra that, most SMEs failed because they operate in
silence. He added that entrepreneurs needed both educational and technical
training to make their business succeed. The important of Small and Medium
Enterprises (SMEs) in Africa and that matter Ghana is reflected in the
increasing amount of research in this area, Mcdade and Spring (2006) relates;
however, a focus on education has not been
found to date.

research proposal is interested in studying
the contribution of education to the growth of SMEs in the Northern Region of
Ghana. The study shall explore literacy levels of entrepreneurs and their
employees. It would further investigate margin of growth as a result of their
education on their business. The research would seek to further explore the
possible growth measures put in place by governments and other non-governmental
organizations in the region.     

 Research Questions

following shall constitute the research questions for the study:

1.      What
are the literacy levels of SMEs owners?

2.      What
educational level did SMEs owners attain
before starting their business?

3.      Does
education has a positive impact on the growth
of SMEs?

4.      What
are the SMEs operators expected strategies for the growth?






Research Objectives


The general objective of the
research is the access the impact of education on the growth of the SMEs in the
Northern region of Ghana.

The research objectives are as follows

1.      To
access the literacy levels of SMEs owners

2.      To
ascertained whether or not their level of education had direct impact on their

3.      To
ascertain the level of growth of SMEs through education.

4.      To
examine possible strategies either than the educational strategy towards the
growth of SMEs.

of the Study

part of national development, the growths of SMEs are paramount in most developing countries and donor nations. This
is because the sector employs close to 70% of the labor force in any developing
country. The significant of the studies could be
as follows;  

the finding could inform the decision making in the provision of infrastructure
for the development of the educational sector in the northern region.

the finding of the study may help direct government policy towards enhancing
the growth of SMEs in the northern region
and the country at large.Also, the findings of the study could the reveal the challenges affecting entrepreneurs in
the northern region. Furthermore, there
could be positive responds in terms of investment in the SMEs sector in the Region
as a result of the research findings.

last but not least, donor agencies and non-governmental organizations could
study the findings and develop capacity building programs for the entrepreneurs/SMEs
owners in the Region. 


A literature review is a critical part of every
research. This has to do exploiting the existing knowledge in the study field.
This research intends to review the related literature in the study area. This
would include the following;

Ø  Global
perspective of SMEs and growth trends

Ø  The
African perspective of SMEs

Ø  Educational
policies in Ghana/reforms

Ø  Challenges
of education in northern region and its impact on development

and employment

Ø  Educational
reforms in Ghana/northern region

Ø  Innovation
and growth of SMEs globally

Ø  Challenges
of SMEs

Ø  Government
interventions towards the growth of SMEs globally, African and Ghana

Ø  Women
and SMEs 

Ø  The
evolution education in northern region

The research would
identify the gaps in the related literature for further researchers to exploit
the area.




part of the study would focus on the brief profile of the study area and the
research design that would employ. The design among other things would include
the sampling technique, sample size determination, the sample frame, data sources
and methods of collecting and analyzing data.

of the Study

Region is the largest Region in Ghana and covers an area of 70384 Square kilometers’
located north of the country. The 2010 Population census estimated the Northern
Region’s population at 2,479,461. The Region has 26 district and municipal
assemblies and numerous government agencies. 


research would employ both primary and secondary sources of data. Questioners,
observations, journals, group discussion and so on. The research would seek
quality information on the study area to come out with findings that can be
integrated into policymaking.

  Sampling technique

most cases, it is difficult for all
characters to be investigated in research within the study area. It is,
however, appropriate to employ the accurate
technique to select some to represent all, in this regard the researcher would
use Stratify sampling, purposive sampling, simple random sampling for this





Moses K. Antwi, Education, Society and Development in
Ghana: Accra Unimax Publishers Limited   1992.

Denison, Trends in American Economics 1929-1982.

Barkham R. G. Gudgin, M. Hart and
E. Hanvey- “the determinants of Small
firm Growth”: An inter-regional study in
the United Kingdom

Schultz, “Investment in Human Capital”

Kwame Nkrumah, Our Civic Duty (Accra: Government Printers, 1963)

Delmar F., Davidson P., W.
Gartner 2003, Arriving at the High-Growth
Firm- Journal of Business Venture.

Muritala T.A., A.M. Awolaja, and Y.A Baako (2012) –”Impact of Small and Medium Enterprises on Economic Growth and
Development. American Journal of Business Management.

Okpara J (2011)-Factors Constraining the Growth and Survival of SMEs in Nigeria

Howard J. L. (2006) Small Business Growth

Statistical Survey Report, 2013

McDade, B.E. Spring,
A. (2005). The new generation of African entrepreneurs: Networking to change the climate
for Business and Priv