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Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) development has continued to be popular in the business world. The economic conditions of Ikot Ekpene people have necessitated the conduct of this study whose aim was to appraise the performance of SMEs in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area. To achieve this, the four objectives developed were: to establish the relationship between SMEs investment and poverty level in Ikot Ekpene, to determine the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and job creation by SMEs, to evaluate the effect of government policies and programmes on the performance of SMEs and to make recommendations on how to improve SMEs operation in Ikot Ekpene L.G.A. Relevant literatures were reviewed. Survey and descriptive methods and exploratory research designs were used. Tool of analysis used was the simple Linear Regression computed through Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). The three null hypotheses which states that: there is no significant relationship between SMEs investment and poverty level, there is no significant relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and employment generation and there is no significant relationship between government polices and the performance of SMEs in Ikot Ekpene L.G.A., were rejected. Findings were that, SMEs investment was positively and significantly related to poverty reduction in Ikot Ekpene L.G.A. A positive and significant relationship exists between entrepreneurial orientation and employment generation. Also, there was a significant influence of government policies on performance of SMEs in Ikot Ekpene. It was concluded that the recorded performance of SMEs in Ikot Ekpene was driven by factors investigated in this study which are investment, entrepreneurial orientation and government policy. Recommendation was that business support centers be established by both government and rich entrepreneurs to provide monitoring in professional services and general business consultation.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page - - - - - - - - - ii
Declaration - - - - - - - - - iii
Certification - - - - - - - - - iv
Dedication - - - - - - - - - v
Acknowledgement - - - - - - - - vi
Abstract - - - - - - - - - vii
Table of Contents - - - - - - - - viii
List of Tables - - - - - - - - xii
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the Study - - - - - - 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem - - - - - - 2
1.3 Objective of the Study - - - - - - 5
1.4 Research Questions - - - - - - 6
1.5 Research Hypotheses - - - - - - 7
1.6 Significance of the Study - - - - - - 8
1.7 Scope and Limitations of the Study - - - - 8
1.8 Organization of the Study - - - - - 9
1.9 Definitions of Terms as used in this study - - - 10
CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELEVANT LITERATURE
2.1 Conceptual Framework - - - - - - 12
2.1.1 Overview of SMEs in Nigeria - - - - - 12
2.1.2 The Concept of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises - 14
2.1.3 The Relevance of Business Enterprises in Nigeria - - 15
2.1.4 The Constraints of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises - 18
2.1.5 General state of the Economy - - - - - 26
2.1.6 Attitude of Government towards the Growth of SMEs - 30
2.1.7 The Role of Central Bank of Nigeria towards SMEs Financing 31
2.1.8 The Contribution of Commercial Bank to the Growth of Small
and Medium Enterprises - - - - - - 35
2.1.9 Challenges and Opportunities for SMEs funding - - 37
2.1.10 Opportunities for Financial Institutions to Lend to SMEs 38
2.1.11 The Independent Variables - - - - - 38
2.1.12 The Dependent Variable - - - - - - 41
2.2 Theoretical Framework - - - - - - 43
2.3 Empirical Framework - - - - - - 45
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 Research Design - - - - - - - 49
3.2 Research Area - - - - - - - 49
3.3 Sources of Data - - - - - - - 50
3.4 Methods of Data Collection - - - - - 50
3.5 Problems of Data Collection - - - - - 50
3.6 Population/Sample Size Determination - - - 51
3.7 Model Specification - - - - - - 52
3.8 Validity of Instrument - - - - - - 54
3.9 Data Treatment Technique - - - - - 55
CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
4.1 Data Presentation - - - - - - - 56
4.2 Test of Hypotheses - - - - - - 62
4.3 Discussion of Findings - - - - - - 68
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
5.1 Summary of Findings - - - - - - 70
5.2 Conclusion - - - - - - - - 71
5.3 Recommendations - - - - - - - 72
5.4 Suggestion for Further Studies - - - - - 73
References - - - - - - - - 74
Appendix - - - - - - - - 76
LIST OF TABLES
Table 4.1: Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Investment Poverty
level and profitability in Ikot Ekpene L.G.A from
1997 to 2016 - - - - - - - 57
Table 4.2: Entrepreneurial Orientation ratings - - - 58
Table 4.3: Government Policy Ratings - - - - - 60
Table 4.4: Job creation Ratings - - - - - 61
1.1 BACKGROUD OF THE STUDY
Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development (SMEs) has continued to be a popular in the business world. This is because the sector serves as a catalyst for employment generation, national growth, poverty reduction and economic development. SMEs world over can boast of being the major employers of labour if compared to the major industries including the multinationals (Kazeem, Mohammed, Nzelibe, Mohammed, Munirat, Mohammed and Ibrahim, 2015). Aremu (2004) stresses that SMEs help in the achievement and improvement in rural infrastructure, improved living standard of the rural dwellers thereby creating employment utilization of indigenous technology, production of intermediate technology and increase in revenue base of the private individuals and government.
Small and Medium Scale Enterprises have been considered as the engine of economic growth for promoting equitable development. The major advantage of the sector is its employment potential at low capital cost. The labor intensity of SMEs sector is much higher than that of the enterprises. The role of Small and Medium Enterprises in the economic and social development of the country is well established. Small Scale Enterprises provides income, savings and employment generation. They are seen as veritable engines for the development of entrepreneurial capabilities and indigenous technology which will generate employment in the country. Small and Medium Scale enterprises can be regarded as one of the important element of a country development and this play a crucial role in the economy of this nation (Kazeem et al, 2015). Small and Medium scale Enterprises contribute substantially to the gross domestic product, export earning and development opportunities of the countries. After the attainment of independence much emphasis has been laid on growth of small and medium scale industries as a means of reducing the incidence of poverty and employment in the country (Aremu, 2004).
The rate of unemployment in Nigeria has continued to be on the increase since 2007. In this year, the unemployment rate was 16.3% but has risen 25.2% in the last quarter of 2016 (National Bureau of Statistics, 2017). The assertion by Kazeem et al (2015) that SMEs is a catalyst for employment generation, national growth, poverty, reduction and economic development is in doubt particularly in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area. Report shows that poverty and hunger have remained high in remote communities and among female- headed households with prevalence ranging from approximately 46.9 (Opejobi, 2016).
Many are of the view that entrepreneurial orientation could help solve the performance problem of SMEs in Ikot Ekpene. It is a combination of innovativeness, proactiveness and risk-taking. Entrepreneur orientation has been shown to be a strong predictor of firm performance (Wales, Gupta, Mousa, 2013). The fact is that entrepreneurial orientation is a multi-dimensional construct, applied at the organizational level to capture an organization’s strategy making practices, managerial philosophies and firms behaviour that are entrepreneurial in nature.
Another factor that is eminent in appraising the performance of SMEs is government policies and programmes. The government can come up with policies that can boost and support the growth of SMEs. It can likewise hinder SMEs performance when it introduces policies which can restrict the autonomy, as well as the entrepreneurial freedom of some variety. Trend in investment in SMEs in Nigeria dates back to the pre-colonial period and witnessed more concerted effort in the past decades. The number of persons employed by medium scale enterprises has increased since the advent of democratic dispensation in Nigeria. According to Kazeem et al (2015), the federal government has shown more concern in policy measures for the promotion of SMEs as vehicles for rapid industrialization sustainable economic development poverty alleviation and employment generation. It is necessary to assess the success of this measure by appraising the performance of SMEs in Ikot Ekpene L.G.A of Akwa Ibom State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In Nigeria, the factors working against the development and growth of small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are quite numerous among which are financial constraints, inadequate infrastructural facilities, poor management, low entrepreneurial skills and lack of trained manpower. However, the source of the fund is not the major problem but the accessibility. Most of these enterprises cannot access loans on a long term basis.
Also, lack of infrastructural facilities is a serious impediment to the performance of Small and Medium enterprises. The problem of infrastructure ranges from inadequate facilities like power supply, access road network, water supply and solid waste management and business are to provide parallel infrastructures of these problems, the problem of water supply has been the most critical in Nigeria. The epileptic power supply has seriously hindered the business environment in Nigeria.
Some states in Nigeria like Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and Aba are concentrated with large number of SMEs but only a paltry number are located in Ikot Ekpene Local Government in Akwa Ibom State. The economic condition of Ikot Ekpene people is worsened by high rate of unemployment, poverty and lack of
infrastructures compared to other local governments like Uyo and Eket. If successful operation of SMEs in other part of the world has helped mitigate harsh economic conditions in these areas, why is the situation different in Ikot Ekpene? This research is set out to tackle this question by appraising the performance of SMEs in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The main objective of this study is to appraise the Performance of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State
The specific objectives are to:
1. establish the relationship that exist between SMEs investment and poverty level in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area.
2. determine the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and job creation by Small and Medium Enterprises in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area.
3. evaluate the effect of government policies and programmes on the performance of SMEs in Ikot Ekpene Local Area.
4. make recommendations on how to improve SMEs operations in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area.
1.4 Research Questions
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