Entrepreneurship and Socio-economic Development in Oron Municipality
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
This study hopes to achieve the following objectives:
1. To ascertain the role of entrepreneurship and managerial capacity in the socio-economic development in Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria.
- To identify the factors affecting entrepreneurship and managerial capacity in contributing to the socio-economic development of Akwa Ibom State.
3. To evaluate the extent to which entrepreneurship and managerial capacity have contributed to the socio-economic development of Akwa Ibom State.
4. To identify problems or constraints that militates against the growth and development of entrepreneurship in Akwa Ibom State.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Our focus in this chapter is to critically examine relevant literatures that would assist in explaining the research problem and furthermore recognize the efforts of scholars who had previously contributed immensely to similar research. The chapter intends to deepen the understanding of the study and close the perceived gaps.
Entrepreneurship is generally described as the ability of an individual or a group of individuals to create or discover an opportunity and utilize it to the benefit of the society, which, in turn, will bring success to the innovators and their organization. According to Dau and Cuervo-Cazurra (2014), the authors take a legalistic view of entrepreneurship and define it ‘as the creation of fresh businesses a stable collection of people who coordinate their efforts to produce fresh value-added economic activity’. The relationship between entrepreneurship and economic growth of a country has increasingly gained a lot of interest from economists and policy makers over the years. However, while some view it as a direct relationship, others see it as an indirect kind of relationship. According to Sarkar (2014), this interest has been fuelled by the desire to understand how entrepreneurship influences the economy of a country. Both the economists and policy makers recognize the effect of entrepreneurship on the economy of a country. In fact, entrepreneurship has been considered as the engine of economic growth and it has come to be perceived as a catalytic agent for expansion and promotion of productive activities in every sphere of economic life all over the world. The role and significance of entrepreneurship development in numerous nations worldwide were quite significant. Numerous countries leaders and scholars have proposed that entrepreneurship can be a remedy for empowerment, job creation, economic transformation, and poverty eradication. Nigeria as a country has numerous business and investment potentials due to the abundant, vibrant and dynamic human and natural resources it possesses. The performance and effectiveness of entrepreneurs in the country as an instrument of economic growth and development has long been under scrutiny. This intense scrutiny has been against the backdrop of the low performance and inefficiency that characterized small business particularly in assessing its role on economic growth and development. A nation’s ability to generate a steady stream of business opportunities can only come about when its people take to entrepreneurial activities. Good entrepreneur can create a strong economy. Nigerians have equally made their marks in diverse fields such as science, technology, academics, business and entertainment. Entrepreneurship activities and innovative ingenuity in Nigeria have developed enterprises in areas such as agriculture/agro-allied, solid minerals, transportation, information, and telecom, hospitality and tourism business, building and construction etc. According to Nkechi, Emeh, and Okechuku (2012), these human and natural resources notwithstanding, Nigeria is still one of the poorest countries in the world and has one of the highest rates of youth unemployment in Africa despite its alleged strong economic growth. In respect of the above sad and deplorable situation, the government has done little to reduce the misery and frustrations of the citizenry. This has foisted a state of hopelessness on majority of young and old people who have resorted to any means including crime to succeed in life. They resort to vices because they are not gainfully engaged. In order words, they are unemployed; not because they lack the qualification but because the system has been crippled politically, economically, socio-cultural and even religiously Nkechi etal (2012). The need for entrepreneurship development in the country today is necessitated by the fact that entrepreneurship development is a major factor in economic growth and development and also the permanent cure for extreme hunger and poverty necessitated by unemployment. Entrepreneurship is the act of being an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are people who have the ability to see as argued by Abdullahi (2008), stands as a vehicle to improve the availability of life for individuals, families, communities and to sustain a healthy economy and environment.
Evolution of Entrepreneurship in Nigeria
In the beginning, entrepreneurship started when people produced more products than they needed, as such, they had to exchange these surpluses. For instance, if a blacksmith produced more hoes than he needed, he exchanges the surplus he had with what he had not but needed; maybe he needed some yams or goat etc. he would look for someone who needed his products to exchange with. By this way, producers came to realize that they can concentrate in their areas of production to produce more and then exchange with what they needed. So through this exchange of products, entrepreneurship started. A typical Nigerian entrepreneur is a self made man who might be said to have strong will to succeed, he might engage the services of others like; friends, mates, in-laws etc. to help him in his work or production. Through this way, Nigerians in the olden days were engaged in entrepreneurship. Nigeria was traditionally an agricultural country, providing the bulk of its own food needs and exporting a variety of agricultural goods, notably palm oil, cacao/cocoa, rubber, and groundnuts (peanuts). At this time, the place called Nigeria had entrepreneurs who had the entrepreneurial mind-set prevalent at the time. The peoples of Hausa, Ibo, Yoruba and Benin all had their own entrepreneurs (13th-19thcentury), who were exposed to entrepreneurship opportunities outside their native areas. The Hausas had astute entrepreneurs who managed workers with skills in tanning, dyeing, weaving, and metalworking which were highly developed. The Hausas have long been famous for wide-ranging itinerant trading, and wealthy merchants shared the highest social positions with the politically powerful and the highly educated. In Hausa land, entrepreneurial success in Islam is not merely measured by the end result but also by the way and means of achieving them (Ebo 2012). The Ibos also specialized in buying and selling goods and have perfected their entrepreneurial expertise in inventory control, management and distribution – which up till today, has remained their prevalent way of entrepreneuring. The Yoruba are predominantly town dwellers who practiced small-scale, domestic agriculture and are well known as traders and craftspeople. Since the 13th century, Yoruba artists have been producing masterpieces of woodcarving and bronze casting. Like the Ibos, the finished products were traded on as business ventures and enterprises.
The Portuguese, the first Europeans to traverse the coast of western Africa, were attracted to Benin City in 1486. The Oba established trading contacts with the Portuguese and initially sold them some war captives, which the Portuguese sold as slaves (another sad reminder) to the Akan of Asante (modern Ghana) in exchange for gold. Later, Benin’s trade with Europeans in the 16th and 17th centuries was in palm oil, ivory, pepper, and textiles. Dutch traders to Benin City in the 17th century remarked about the astute entrepreneurs they met in Benin kingdom (Ebo 2012).
In this chapter, we described the research procedure for this study. A research methodology is a research process adopted or employed to systematically and scientifically present the results of a study to the research audience viz. a vis, the study beneficiaries.
Research designs are perceived to be an overall strategy adopted by the researcher whereby different components of the study are integrated in a logical manner to effectively address a research problem. In this study, the researcher employed the survey research design. This is due to the nature of the study whereby the opinion and views of people are sampled.
POPULATION OF THE STUDY
According to Udoyen (2019), a study population is a group of elements or individuals as the case may be, who share similar characteristics. These similar features can include location, gender, age, sex or specific interest. The emphasis on study population is that it constitute of individuals or elements that are homogeneous in description. This study was carried out to evaluate the Entrepreneurship and socio-economic development in Oron municipality, Using 10 selected SMEs in Oron municipality, Akwa Ibom State as case study.
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
In this study, our focus was to evaluate the Entrepreneurship and socio-economic development in Oron municipality, Using 10 selected SMEs in Oron municipality, Akwa Ibom State as case study. The study specifically was aimed at ascertaining the role of entrepreneurship and managerial capacity in the socio-economic development in Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria; identify the factors affecting entrepreneurship and managerial capacity in contributing to the economic development of Akwa Ibom State; evaluate the extent to which entrepreneurship and managerial capacity have contributed to the economic development of Akwa Ibom State; identify problems or constraints that militates against the growth and development of entrepreneurship in Akwa Ibom State.
The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 50 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are SMEs in Oron municipality, Akwa Ibom State.
It can be seen that entrepreneurship entails identifying, utilizing and maximizing profitable business opportunities in a sustainable manner that can foster the economic growth and development of a community or nation. Business entrepreneurship usually results in flourishing micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which generates gainful employment, creates wealth and consequently grows the economy. Nevertheless, government policies and the prevailing business environment, particularly the uncontrollable factors can impede the significant impact of entrepreneurship on economic growth/development. This can be seen in the Nigerian economy situation in the past decade. Although Nigeria has been experiencing a reasonably consistent economic growth, the rates of unemployment and inflation have been far greater. This means economic development has not actually been achieved as it were. Because of the lack of data to measure the level of entrepreneurship development in Nigeria, an empirical is often impossible. However, a critical narrative textual case study, such as one done in this research work can provide a degree of confidence to make a conclusion. The framework and policy for entrepreneurship with consistency is fundamental and enabling infrastructural developments are perquisites for any impactful entrepreneurship development. Until sufficient jobs are created and wealth created, entrepreneurship has a long way to go in Nigeria. In summary, we found that;
1) Entrepreneurship plays a crucial role in the economic growth and development of any nation. In order words, there is a veritable link between entrepreneurship development and economic development.
2) Economic growth is a necessary factor to foster economic development of any nation; just as Nigeria’s economy has continued to grow over the last decade- with the real GDP growth rate hovering around 7%. However, economic development, which has to been in improved living standards of the populace, has remained a great challenge in the country.
3) Nigeria business environment and prevailing government policies and programmes are quite unstable and turbulent to allow for any significant impact on entrepreneurship development.
4) Entrepreneurship can foster economic growth and development primarily by generating employment and foster the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises in Nigeria.
5) A fundamental requirement to enhance the prospects of entrepreneurship development in Nigeria would be reviewing the National Policy on Education as well creating a clear National Policy on Entrepreneurship to re-orientate Nigerians.
6) Wealth creation and poverty reduction are key benefits when entrepreneurship is taken seriously by the Nigerian government since unemployment will gradually be curbed. The findings revealed that there is no significant difference between the role of entrepreneurship and socio-economic development in Akwa Ibom State.
Based on the responses obtained, the researcher proffers the following recommendations:
Policy makers should recognize the essence of entrepreneurship to economic development. Entrepreneurship deserves equal emphasis as is being placed on science and technology; it is the entrepreneur that translates the innovation in science and technology into wealth. Thus, entrepreneurship should be recognized as an important factor of production just as land (raw materials), labor and capital (liquid and physical), since it is only the entrepreneur that can combine all the other factors to produce wealth. Therefore, as the nation exerts efforts to exploit our natural resources, educate the citizenry and provide human & physical capital, sufficient emphasis should be made to promote entrepreneurship in order to create enterprises, wealth and employment and thus promote positive economic development.
However, it is important to first of all provide way for proper policy coordination and policy stability. There have been several government interventions and programmes aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and fostering micro, small and medium enterprises and yet no significantly impacted on Nigeria’s economic development.
A pragmatic and strategic plan on gainfully engaging Nigerian youths is another indispensable solution. The primary focus of this piece is the youth who are correctly regarded as the future of every nation. Several governments are handling entrepreneurship education given its crucial nature. Some governments are rethinking the way the young are educated by infusing creative thinking and innovation in their nation’s educational curriculum. In the same vein, they are putting much emphasis on the need to train future entrepreneurs through infusing entrepreneurship components within the educational option, especially at the tertiary level. Some countries have taken this initiative to a higher level by introducing entrepreneurship education at elementary school and encouraging them to be future entrepreneurs when they are of age.
A more sustainable approach to poverty reduction if not elimination is through encouraging youths, particularly those with identified entrepreneurial skills to go into private business particularly in science and technology because these have natural potentials for business development. As a result, there is need for reforms in the educational curriculum to prepare students for self-reliance.
Fixing Nigeria’s basic infrastructure can do the magic in reviving entrepreneurship development in Nigeria and promoting the micro, small and medium enterprises sector to facilitate economic growth and development. If the government of the day will face square the daunting problem of epileptic power supply, entrepreneurs would survive and their businesses sustained. The resultant effect on the economy would be immense because jobs will abound and wealth created in abundant.
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