The Conceptual Quandary of Informal Sector, Micro-Enterprises and Small-Scale Industries

The phrase “informal sector,” which encompasses informal, micro-enterprises, and small-scale industries (SSIs), concerns macro and micro difficulties that have yet to be adequately addressed by several publications on the subject. Despite the fact that the industry has become the engine of growth and sustainable development in many nations, policymakers are unsure of what it entails. As a result, governments, institutions, and organisations have been left to develop and adjust their own definitions to fit the goals of their programmes and their specific circumstances. As a result, this chapter examines the definitions proposed by various institutions and agencies, with the goal of renewing, if at all feasible, the debate on a clear definition of the informal sector for universal use. The goal is to highlight the difficulties that a lack of exact definition poses for policymakers, researchers, and practitioners, which must be addressed. It recognises that the SSI sector’s variety necessitates that definitions be adjusted according to the environment in which the sector is being studied. However, the chapter concludes that using firm employment levels to gain consensus on a hypothetical universal definition of the informal sector would be the optimal and simplest approach to do so.

Author(S) Details

S. E. Edusah
Bureau of Integrated Rural Development (BIRD), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), UPO, Kumasi, Ghana.

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