Consumption, Savings and Perception of Poverty among Informal Entrepreneurs in Accra

Matthew Owusu-Mensah, Prince Koranteng Kumi, Ernest Christian Winful, Daniel Osabutey


This study argues that the urban poverty indicators that suggest that poverty in Accra is the lowest may be biased against certain communities in Accra because the surveys for these indicators are not community-based. Thus, this study was motivated by the need to undertake surveys at the local level. This study set out to explore the pattern of expenditure of informal entrepreneurs, establish the poverty status of informal entrepreneurs, identify the savings practices of informal entrepreneurs and assess the perception of poverty among informal entrepreneurs. A survey of informal entrepreneurs was conducted at three communities in Accra. A set of questionnaires was administered to a sample of informal entrepreneurs in James Town, Chorkor and Nima. The reason for choosing these communities is that they are characterised by Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) as high ‘poverty pockets’. The questionnaire consisted of separate inventories on accommodation, education, food, health, utilities, business performance, savings and perception on poverty. In addition, three Focus Group Discussions were held in the communities. The study found that the poverty level in the three communities is nearly three times higher than the poverty level in Accra. Whilst urban areas recorded a poverty level of 10.8% under Ghana Living Standards Survey 5 (GLSS5), the current study recorded 31.5% in the communities surveyed. In addition, it was found that over half of the sample suffers poverty in one way or the other as about 23.5% live between the lower and upper poverty lines. It was also found that the enterprises set up by most informal entrepreneurs are micro enterprises.

Keywords: Poverty, Small Enterprises, savings. Consumption, Accra.


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