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BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Entrepreneurship has to do with activities of individual persons. The concept of economic growth is relevant at levels of firms, regions, industries and nations, hence, linking entrepreneurship to economic growth means linking the individual level to aggregate levels. In order to consider this link we first pay attention to a definition of 'entrepreneurship' inspired by Hébert and Link (1989), Bull and Willard (1993) and Lumpkin and Dess (1996), the following definition of entrepreneurship can be proposed: Entrepreneurship is the manifest ability and willingness of individuals, on their own, in teams, within and outside existing organizations to perceive and create new economic opportunities (new products, new production methods, new organizational schemes and new product-market combinations), and to introduce their ideas in the market, in the face of uncertainty and other obstacles, by making decisions on location, form and the use of resources and institutions (Wennekers and Thurik, 1999). Essentially, entrepreneurship is a behavioural characteristic of persons. It should be noted that entrepreneurship is not an occupation and that entrepreneurs are not a well-defined occupational class of persons. Even obvious entrepreneurs may exhibit their entrepreneurship activities only during a certain phase of their career and/or concerning a certain part of their activities.
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 ‘intrapreneurs’ or ‘corporate entrepreneurs’, undertake entrepreneurial actions as well. In these environments there is a tendency of ‘mimicking smallness’, for instance using business units, subsidiaries or joint ventures. Entrepreneurship is ‘at the heart of national advantage’ (Porter, 1990). Concerning the role of entrepreneurship in stimulating economic growth, many links have been discussed. It is of eminent importance for carrying out innovations and for enhancing rivalry. This directs our attention to two related phenomena of the 1980s and 1990s: the resurgence of small business and the revival of entrepreneurship. There is ample evidence that economic activity moved away from large firms to small firms in the 1970s and 1980s. The most impressive and also the most cited is the share of the 500 largest American firms, the so-called Fortune 500. Their employment share dropped from 20 percent in 1970 to 8.5 percent in 1996 (Carlsson, 1992 and 1999). Acs and Audretsch (1993) and Carlsson (1992) provide evidence concerning manufacturing industries in countries in varying stages of economic development. They advanced two explanations for the shift toward smallness. The first deals with fundamental changes in the world economy from the 1970s onwards. These changes relate to the intensification of global competition, the increase in the degree of uncertainty and the growth in market fragmentation. The second deals with changes in the character of technological progress, which shows that flexible automation has various effects resulting in a shift from large to smaller firms. Also Piore and Sable (1984) argue that the instability of markets in the 1970s resulted in the demise of mass production and promoted flexible specialization. This fundamental change in the path of technological development led to the occurrence of vast diseconomies of scale.
Brock and Evans (1989) argue that the shift away from large firms is not confined to manufacturing industries and provide four more reasons why this shift has occurred: the increase of labor supply leading to lower real wages and coinciding with an increasing level of education; changes in consumer tastes; relaxation of (entry) regulations and the fact that we are in a period of creative destruction. Loveman and Sengenberger (1991) stress the influence of two trends of industrial restructuring: that of decentralization and vertical disintegration and that of the formation of new business communities. These intermediate forms of market coordination flourish owing to declining costs of transaction. Furthermore, they emphasize the role of public and private policies promoting the small business sector. Audretsch and Thurik (2000) point at the necessary shift towards the knowledge based economy being the driving force behind the move from large to smaller businesses. In their view globalization and technological advancements are the major determinants of this challenge of the Western countries
Nigeria as a country fully endowed with human and material resources have the right playing ground for business and investment purposes.
Prior to the 80s, unemployment and poverty were not as disturbing as what it is now. However, inconsistencies in the socio-economic policies of successive governments contributed to the increase in unemployment and poverty. During this period, many workers were laid off, and early retirement of employees due to some shaky government policies.
Nigeria as a developing country is improving in economic sectors such as science, technology, sports, entertainment, and agriculture. Innovative end- products are derived from each of this sectors-foodstuff from agriculture, in the area of technology we have phones/laptops repair, sales of recharge cards, in engineering we have cases of road construction, in tourism we have the preservation of our culture and the list continues. Notwithstanding all these human and material resources Nigeria is blessed with, it is still referred to as one of the poorest countries in sub-Sahara Africa (Salami,2011 p:10). It is obvious on the way some countries have encouraged the entrepreneur sector, thus reducing the level of unemployment to the barest minimum, but that cannot be said of Nigeria. As the government has done little or nothing to bring a lasting solution to this problem; thus leading to increase in crime and other vices just to meet ends needs.
The role of entrepreneurship in the curbing of unemployment, unstable economic growth and development cannot be emphasized. The current state of the global world brings entrepreneurship to a fore. Countries practicing capitalism makes the current state of the economy glaring that private ownership of business is a way forward. The youths are unemployed not because they don’t have the qualifications; but because politically, economically and even religiously the systems are paralyzed (Kuratko, 2009).
Entrepreneurship constitutes immensely to the social, economic, financial and otherwise development of any country. Due to this, successive governments have tried to revive this sector while current governments seem more serious; and that is why they saddled some agencies with the responsibility of achieving this-agencies like: National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), National Directorate of Employment (NDE), etc. the truth still remains that for a country to grow in all ramifications, it must have strong private partners who involve in wealth creation, backed with great skills. (Akpomi ,2009 p:156).
It is crystal clear that entrepreneurship development enhances the sustainable development of a country, the sector has been neglected and of cause, this has an effect on the economy. Bearing the aforementioned in mind, entrepreneurship if given the needed attention it requires will place Nigeria on the right pedestal nationally and internationally.
This study is aimed at presenting entrepreneurship as a panacea to current economic challenges facing Nigeria, most especially the high level of unemployment.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
It is quite disheartening on how the teeming population of unemployed graduates of Nigeria keeps increasing on a daily basis. There are no white collar jobs and this is what every Nigerian graduate looks up to after his national youth service (NYSC).
Due to this, some of resorted to very dubious means of making money, with cases of arm robbery attacks, kidnapping, prostitution, drug/human trafficking, oil theft, etc always on the news.
Another problem to the subject matter is that the government is not doing the needful to revive the entrepreneurship sector and this is tied to a major problem of the country; which is corruption. The agencies saddled with this responsibility are dormant doing nothing, other than embezzling funds allocated for such task. On some occasions, you have the government allocate certain funds to purchase equipment meant to empower youths who have learnt some skills, but at the end of the day such funds are diverted.
In addition to this, schools, secondary and tertiary institutions are lack entrepreneurship education of students. Students are not well enlightened on the need to have a skill and create their own wealth instead of waiting for the government to create employment.
However, Nigeria being a mono economy also poses a challenge. Nigerians including the government concentrates so much on the oil sector, thus relegating other sectors of the economy that can create jobs for the unemployed.
Meanwhile, these are some of the problems this study will be seeking ways of proffering solutions to.
1.3 AIMS/ OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of this study is to examine Entrepreneurship as a panacea to economic development; a case study of Etsako west.
Other specific objectives include:
1. To examine the challenges of entrepreneurship in the sustainable development of Estako west.
2. To examine the relationship between entrepreneurship and economic development.
3. To examine entrepreneurship education as a means of encouraging entrepreneurship in Estako west.
4. To examine entrepreneurship as having a link with the economy of Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What are the challenges of entrepreneurship in the sustainable development of Estako west?
2. Is there a relationship between entrepreneurship and economic development?
3. Is entrepreneurship education a means of encouraging entrepreneurship in Estako west?
4. Is there a link between entrepreneurship and the economy of Nigeria?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H01: Entrepreneurship does not drive the development of the economy in Etsako west LGA
H02: Entrepreneurship does not facilitate the achievement of equitable and sustainable industrial diversification and job creation in Etsako west LGA
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY/ JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY
This study is meant to educate the general public, the government and policy makers on the need to encourage entrepreneurship.
The public need to be well informed that gone are the days when Nigerians sit and wait for the government to create jobs; now is the time for private individuals to create jobs in other to enhance economic growth.Also, the government has a part to play in promoting entrepreneurship. The government can embark on meaning projects; enact policies that will support entrepreneurship in Nigeria. The government equally needs to see to it that funds allocated to empower such programmes are well utilized. Panacea
In addition, the government needs to enforce entrepreneurship education in schools, in other for our students to be educated on the need to acquire skills to enhance job creation in the country. However, policy makers need to add this study to their work in other to educate upcoming generations about entrepreneurship.
This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this topic and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other work or study.
1.6 SCOPE/ LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study is restricted to examining Entrepreneurship as a panacea to economic development; a case study of Etsako west.
LIMITATIONS OF STUDY
1. 1. Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
2. 2. Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.7 Definition of terms
Entrepreneurship:This is the willingness to take risks and develop, organize and manage a business venture in a competitive global marketplace that is constantly evolving. Entrepreneurs are pioneers, innovators, leaders and inventors.
Panacea: This is an answer or solution for all problems or difficulties.
Economic development:This is the process and policies by which a nation improves the economic, political, and social well-being of its people.
It is also referred to as the quantitative and qualitative changes in an existing economy.
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