This research work strives to evaluate the extent of development in Entrepreneurship in a depressed economy like Nigeria. A closer and pragmatic approach was adopted by using Nigerian Association of Small-Scale Industrialists (NASSI) Enugu State Chapter. Therefore, the research is suggesting that further studies could be done on this by evaluating the impact of small-scale enterprises in the economy. And the prospects of the Nigerian Entrepreneur in a depressed economy. Consequently, the research solicits for NASSI to be more pragmatic in their operation vis-à-vis the decree of which they were established and then government in its own effort to try and create an enabling environment for entrepreneurship development. In his words Abrahim Maslow (A psychologist known for his theories regarding human needs) insinuated that “the most valuable 100 people to bring into a deteriorating society would not be economists, or politicians or engineer rather 100 entrepreneurs.”
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In a depressed country like ours, global development is entering a phase where entrepreneurship will increasingly play a more important role. There is a need for the Nigerian economy to sustain growth through sustainable access to resources, knowledge, markets, and industrialization putting a premium on innovative entrepreneurship.
There is no doubt that Nigeria is naturally blessed with entrepreneurship opportunities; yet the realization of the full potential of these opportunities has been dampened by the adoption of inappropriate industrialization policies at different times. Several policy interventions that were aimed at stimulating entrepreneurship development via small and medium scale enterprises promotion, based on technology transfer strategy, have failed to achieve the desired goals as it led to the most indigenous entrepreneurs becoming distribution agents of imported products as opposed to building in-country entrepreneurial capacity for manufacturing, mechanized agriculture and expert services (Thaddeus, 2012).
Entrepreneurship is the cornerstone and at the heart of the free enterprise economy (Popoola, 2014). Entrepreneurship is an activity that involves the discovery, evaluation and exploitation of opportunities to introduce new goods and services, ways of organizing, markets, processes, and raw material through organizing efforts that previously had not existed (Shane and Venkataraman, 2000; Venkataraman, 1997).
Economic development here refers to a qualitative process that describes changes in the overall economy aiming to enhance the economic well-being of a community regardless of its size. In economic literature, economic development is frequently described as being a three-legged stool where each leg represents one economic development strategy. The first leg usually refers to business attraction; the second one to business retention and the third one to entrepreneurship development. However, because this analogy assumes the existence of equality and separation among economic development strategies, more useful analogy is that of a pyramid as Dabson (2005) pointed out.
The 2012 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) has empirically identified Nigeria as one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world. The study showed that 35 out of every 100 Nigerians (over a third) are engaged in some kind of entrepreneurial activity or the other. It is therefore imperative at this point in time to critically evaluate not just the principles of entrepreneurship but the practice and its crucial role in fostering economic growth and development in a developing economy like Nigeria. Entrepreneurship is not synonymous with small business. Certainly, small firms are an outstanding vehicle for individuals to channel their entrepreneurial ambitions. The small firm is an extension of the individual in charge (Lumpkin and Dess 1996). However, entrepreneurship is not restricted to persons starting or operating an (innovative) small firm. Enterprising individuals in large firms, the so-called ‘entrepreneurs’ or ‘corporate entrepreneurs’, undertake entrepreneurial actions as well. Nigeria’s GDP growth rate of between 6 – 8 percent in the last ten years shows the country is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The implication is that any good business established is capable of generating unusual and above average returns. It is one of the few countries with the highest returns on investment anywhere in the world- money, market, capital market, mutual funds, real estate and property, entrepreneurship, etc (Popoola, 2014). Furthermore, for entrepreneurs to play an appropriate role, the role of the state remains important; if not more so than before. Strong states, as regulators and gatekeepers, play a particularly vital role. In the absence of appropriate ‘rules of the game’, entrepreneurship may result in undesirable social outcomes, including corruption, crime, speculation and financial crises, and may worsen the vulnerabilities of people during natural disasters (UN Report, 2011).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The present state of inflation in Nigeria affects, income earners especially those with fixed income and very poor ones in the society find it difficult to match with the increasing prices of goods and services. This continues as long as price rises and there is fall in the purchasing power. Standard of living must be emphasized. More values of money is being required by individuals for the purpose of desired products during an inflation period as opposed to normal economic situations. This brings about decline in the purchasing power. This results in a problem as the ability of individuals to purchase “products” in the light of continued rising prices become reduced.
Also of importance is the issues of inflation giving rising to the different society wish income as the distinction factor. There is a large gap between income of fixed income earners and profit earner. This is because the income profit earners rise with the rising prices of products as opposed to those of fixed income earners.
Promoter of small and medium enterprises are people with ideas, dreams and imaginations but majority of the entrepreneurs lack the needed financial means to translate their dreams and aspirations into concrete that will earn them the desire wealth. In spite of the roles play by SMEs in the Nigeria economy, the sub-sector has continued to suffer from the other numerous of problems. The main problem of this study is to identify the issues and problems that militate against entrepreneurship development in Nigerian and the prospects
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major objective of this study is to examine the development of entrepreneurship in a depressed economy, the researcher intend to cross-examine the following sub objectives;
- Identify the problems that militate against sustainable entrepreneurship development in Nigeria.
- Examine critically the sources of these challenges.
- Examine the prospects of entrepreneurship development in the nation’s economy.
- Proffer solutions to these issues and problems that militate against entrepreneurship development in Nigerians.
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following null and alternate hypotheses were formulated by the researcher to guide the study;
H0: there is no existing relationship between adequate provisions of capital to the entrepreneurs and the success of entrepreneurship development in Nigeria.
H1: there is an existing relationship between adequate provisions of capital to the entrepreneurs and the success of entrepreneurship development in Nigeria.
H0: there is no existing relationship between socio-economic, political and environmental factors and the development of entrepreneurship in Nigeria.
H2: there is an existing relationship between socio-economic, political and environmental factors and the development of entrepreneurship in Nigeria.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study would be of immense benefit to both the financial institution and small and medium sale industries in Nigeria, as well as the counties policy makers who have desire to place Nigerian on a sound economic and industrial footing. When this research is concluded, it would have contributed to the study of knowledge already pilling on the issue of constraints on growth and support of entrepreneur development, which cannot be over looked in a depressed nation like Nigeria. Since it is also the aspiration of our national policy on education to train our youths to be self-reliant or self-employed after school, this study will therefore stimulates their zeal to involve in the establishment of SMEs. Finally, the findings of this study will serve as a reference material to scholars who intend to embark on a project of this nature.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study centers on the development of entrepreneurship in a depressed economy, using Nigerian Association of Small-Scale Industrialists (NASSI) Enugu State Chapter as it case study. In the course of the study, the researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
Time factor: The time allocated to the researcher during the period of the study was limited coupled with lectures and exams.
Financial constraint: the finance at the disposal of the researcher during the course of the study wasn’t sufficient enough to run the expenses of the research work.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship is the process of designing, launching and running a new business, which is more often than not, initially a small business, offering a product, process or service for sale or hire. The people who create these businesses are called entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship has been described as the “capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit.
Depressed: A mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life.
Economy: An economy (from Greek οίκος – “household” and νέμoμαι – “manage”) is an area of the production, distribution, or trade, and consumption of goods and services by different agents. Understood in its broadest sense, ‘The economy is defined as a social domain that emphasizes the practices, discourses, and material expressions associated with the production, use, and management of resources’.
Small Scale Enterprise: an enterprise with a labor size of 11-1000 workers or a total cost of not more than 50 million including working capital but excluding cost of land (Sule, 1986:207). Medium Scale Enterprise: An industry with a labor size of between 10-300 workers or a total cost of over 50 million but not more than 200 million including working capital but excluding cost of land (Clifford, 1972:85).
Business: business includes any trade, industry, professional and any occupation carried on for profit Jerome (1996:2).
Growth: According to Anyanwu (1998:300) growth refers to an increase in output as a result of bank loans invested in small and medium scale business. Ploughing back the profit into the business.
Constraints: A hindrance of business not forwarding or not prospering. Enterprises: It means any establishment engaged in production, repairs or services to satisfy human wants and make room for profits.