Integral viability analysis of entrepreneurial projects in critical contexts: Application to the case of the management of a shea mill in Kumbungu, Ghana

Ester Guijarro, Aitana Castro, Álvaro Fernández-Baldor


Purpose: This research presents a methodological proposal to analyse the viability of entrepreneurial projects in critical contexts of developing countries.

Design/methodology/approach: The methodological proposal is applied to a case study on the integral viability analysis of a shea mill in Kumbungu (Ghana). Based on a qualitative design, different ad hoc participatory tools are implemented, such as a daily routine schedule, combined with other research techniques (focus groups, interviews, etc.).

Findings: The proposal includes ten specific steps to analyse the viability of entrepreneurial projects. It involves, on the one hand, the active participation of the members of the community in order to be able to make a real analysis of their needs; and, on the other hand, an integrating analysis that allows evaluating the sustainability of the project from an economic, social and technological perspective. The methodology is applied to the start-up and management of a shea butter mill in Ghana. Some core aspects are highlighted: 1) people are considered key when making decisions, thus participatory tools (such as the daily routines workshop) can be essential in ensuring the sustainability of the enterprise; 2) the need to adapt the tools to the context. This is crucial in contexts such as Ghana, where language may be a barrier or because the illiteracy rate is high. And 3) from the methodology, it is concluded that it is necessary to prioritise the sustainability of the enterprise in general, not just efficiency.

Originality/value: The research combines the classic tools of business viability analysis with those of development cooperation. In this sense, it is proposed to carry out an integral viability analysis that includes not only the economic sustainability of the project, but also the social and technological aspects and, more important, where the active participation of all the stakeholders is considered.


Community participation, development, social entrepreneurship, sustainability, viability analysis, Ghana

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Intangible Capital, 2004-2024

Online ISSN: 1697-9818; Print ISSN: 2014-3214; DL: B-33375-2004

Publisher: OmniaScience