EVALUATION OF THE CONTRIBUTION OF
ENTREPRENEURIAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE NIGERIAN ECONOMY
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The word entrepreneur was first used in the early 18th century
by an Irish man named Cantillon who was then living in France. The word
therefore originated from the French word, entrepreneur, which means to start a
business. It was used broadly in connection with the innovative modern
individual business leaders. The entrepreneur has been described as the person
who perceives business opportunities and takes advantage of the scarce
resources to use them. He bears the non-insurable risk in his enterprise and
directs human business.
According to Ndechukwu (2001), an entrepreneur is an individual who takes
upon him-self the risk of going into business with the expectation of earning
all the profits or losses. He is, in economics, regarded as a special type of
labour that assembles all the other factors of production namely, capital, land
and labour and endeavor to ensure optimal combination of these resources to
maximize profit. The world as we know is becoming a global village; great
forces are pursuing the nations to have a dynamic and sound economy. Economic competition
and intimidation has become the era of the day, so one is justified if one
becomes interested in one of the important factors of a strong and virile
economy, the entrepreneur and the entrepreneurship.
Many societies placed great values on the entrepreneur. To encourage
their activity, they may be offered access to in-expensive capital, tax
exception and management advice. An entrepreneur has the greatest chance of
success by focusing on a market niche either too small or too new to have been
noticed by established business. The practice of entrepreneurship promotes
self-reliance. Entrepreneurial skills are translated into practical business
activities in the form of both small and medium scale enterprises in private
and public enterprises. With this close relationship, entrepreneurial
development relates to and also embraces the activities and role of small and
medium scale entreprises particularly in the area of reducing the level of
unemployment, provision of goods and services and their combination of national
The dynamic role of private and public enterprises in Nigerian economy as
a mechanism for growth has recognized its effect in achieving macro economic
objective such as full employment, income distribution, development of local
technology as well as diffusion of management skills and stimulation of
indigenous entrepreneurship cannot be over emphasized. At the emerging of a
modern day Nigeria in the early 60’s and 70’s, white collar jobs were at the
disposal of every fresh graduate, with this idea in mind, the issue of self
resourcefulness tending towards entrepreneurial development was at the ebb.
The introduction of Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in 1986 has a
lot of effects in the private and public enterprises of the Nigerian economy
which lay off a large number of their work force. This consequently led to
economic hardship coupled with unemployment. For this reason, the need for self
reliance and resourcefulness and development of new initiative for economic
survival has led individuals to set up enterprises of various sizes and
structure to meet up with the trend in the economy and to earn a living. This
has indeed led to entrepreneurship development in Nigeria.
To qualify as an entrepreneur, it is not sufficient to be just managing
an enterprise; one has to be an originator of profitable business ideas.
According to Schumpeter (1911), the single function, which constitute
entrepreneurship is innovation and indeed it creates a resource (the business
entrepreneur). It should be noted that, nothing should be considered as
resource until man finds a use for it. These resources must be combined,
recognized and efficiently utilized by entrepreneurship to achieve a desirable
satisfaction for human needs which entrepreneurship readily provides.
Entrepreneurial development hold a lot for economic growth and development. A
typical example of what it has to offer is seen in the case of Dangote Group of
Companies, which grew from a small enterprise into a large conglomerate. Today,
it is with several lines of business and diverse product, it is making a
tremendous contribution to the development and growth of the Nigerian economy.
For a nation to say it is independent, it must be economically
independent and these is based upon the development of entrepreneurship spirit.
The establishment of a new business involves a thorough understanding of
entrepreneurial process. This process does not just involve problem solving but
also an entrepreneur must find, evaluate and develop opportunity by overcoming
the strong forces that every new ventures faces.
Entrepreneurial process has four distinct phases which include ability to
identify business opportunities, ability to be able to harness the necessary
resources to utilize opportunities identified, ability and the willingness to
initiate and sustain appropriate actions towards the actualization of business
objectives and managing the resulting enterprise. Some useful sources of
business opportunity are consumers existing companies, distribution channels,
research and development, as well as the Federal government involvement in
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The developments of entrepreneurial skills in Nigeria have been affected
by various factors. One of this is the issue of entrepreneurial education. The
graduates of our educational system are ill prepared to meet challenges of the
global economy. Our educational system prides it-self as producers of
businessmen and women rather than entrepreneurs.
Lack of adequate financing is another factor especially for small
business enterprises operating in developing economies, such as Nigeria. Every
small business is concerned about financing policies and strategies for
efficient and effective business management decision. It takes the resource of
money to make money in small business enterprises in Nigeria are many, and many
include payroll, taxes, insurance, rent, office supplies, inventory and
telephone bills among others.
The commercial banks and financial houses, which are expected to be a
source of finance for the growth and development of business enterprises, have
been too rigid in providing adequate collateral in order to make funds
available for entrepreneurs. It is against this background that the study
evaluates the contribution of entrepreneurial development to the Nigerian
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is to assess the contribution of
entrepreneurial activities to the Nigerian economy.
Other objectives are:
To examine the extent to which the
existing financial institutions have been able to meet the needs of
To examine the role of government
in providing supportive facilities to entrepreneurs an the short-coming in the
working of these institutions.
To examine those self made problems
of the entrepreneurs themselves in stifling entrepreneurial development in
Finally, to make recommendations
based on the problem identified in the course of this study.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
For this study, the following research questions are proffered with
What are the contributions of
entrepreneurial development to the Nigerian economy?
How can the contribution of
entrepreneurial development be enhanced in Nigeria?
What problem affects
entrepreneurial development in Nigeria?
1.5 STATEMENT OF THE HYPOTHESIS
To achieve the major objective of this study, the hypothesis below is
HO1 Entrepreneurial development
has made no significant contribution in GDP and provision of employment in the
Entrepreneurial development has made a significant
to GDP and provision of employment in the country.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Government has declared that there is an urgent need to tap into the
potentials of entrepreneurs; hence, it became absolutely to work into the
approaches and their involvement. It is in line with this guest that the study
of entrepreneurship became necessary in order to undertake proper analysis.
Understanding in this case will help in bringing under control, personal,
social and economic variables such as employment, income distribution, and
price and wealth creation in the most desired manner.
This research work intends to be beneficiary to the followings:
1. Banks: The
existence of many entrepreneurs creates a wider market in any economy thereby
expanding the market/banking activities and creating avenue for more banking
2. Businessmen: This
study however directs businessmen in acquiring the necessary capitals, the
requisite knowledge and the essential managerial know-how.
3. Government: The
quest to provide employment to all Nigerians as the government stands a greater
chance to benefit from this research work if they carefully study the content
of this work. The problem with Nigeria is not initiatives but the inability of
the government to provide enabling environment for entrepreneurship.
4. Producers: Entrepreneurial
development aims at making more creative innovation; this however, brought
ideas to the producers in proving the quality of their product for consumer
5. Individuals: Nigeria
on yearly basis is producing lots and lots of graduates each looking forward
for a white-collar job but the government’s inability to provide enough
employment to this set of individuals lead to unemployment. Graduates of all
levels of education will benefit much from this study if they lay their hands
on this project, because it will broaden their knowledge on entrepreneurship.
6. Researcher: It
will serve as a guide to more competent researcher to carry out investigation on
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on evaluating the contributory role of
entrepreneurship to the development of the Nigerian economy.
However, evaluating entrepreneurship as a tool in the growth and
development of Nigerian economy seems too broad for the time frame of this
research work. Hence, the scope of this work is framed towards the contribution
of small and medium scale enterprise to the development of Nigerian economy.
1.8 DEFINITION OF KEY TERMS
The following key terms are used in this study:
is that part of wealth used for further production of wealth.
Development: This is when the real per capital income of a
country increases over time.
This involves taking an occupation or trade or
This is accepting as an established system of political administration by which
a nation is governed.
Domestic Product (GDP): This is the monetary values of all
the goods and services produced by an economy over a specified period.
This is the ability of the entrepreneur to develop new ideas.
Investment: This is placing of money, capital or other
resources to make profit.
This is the creation of utility for the satisfaction
of human wants.
Industry: This is an enterprise with capital base not
exceeding N 75,000 to N 3.0 million.
The financial gain made in a transaction.
specified collection of interrelated marketed and non-marketed productive
productive human resources, mental and physical, both inherited and acquired.
area over which buyers and sellers negotiate the exchange of a well-defined
Price: The price at which quantity demanded equals quantity
Property used to secure a