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Entrepreneurship Development: Challenges and Prospects for Nigeria’s Emerging Economy. John Aderibigbe +2348033746076 john@dutconsulting.com. Introduction.

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entrepreneurship development challenges and prospects for nigeria s emerging economy

Entrepreneurship Development: Challenges and Prospects for Nigeria’s Emerging Economy

John Aderibigbe




Entrepreneurship is the willingness and ability of an individual to seek out investment opportunities, establish and run an enterprise successfully (Inegbehebor, 1987). The entrepreneur is essentially a person who owns or controls a business through which income is gained. National Directorate of Employment (NDE) (1989) in Onyebueke and Ochonogo (2002) defined entrepreneurship as the art which involves recognizing a business opportunity, mobilizing resources and persisting to exploit that opportunity. The entrepreneur takes risks, is focused and energized by an inner drive. The ability to develop a new venture or apply a new approach to an old business is sole idea of entrepreneurship.

an entrepreneur
An Entrepreneur

According to Anayakoha (2006), the entrepreneur is one who chooses or assumes risks, identifies business opportunity, gathers resources, initiates actions and establishes an organization or enterprise to meet such demand or market opportunity. From this definition, the entrepreneur is seen as an independent, self-sufficient individual who is willing to sink or swim with his/her idea. It can thus be asserted that an entrepreneur is a person who in the bid to survive makes profit and owns his/her own business. He/she effectively utilizes his/her abilities and potentials confidently.

poverty and unemployment trends in nigeria
Poverty and Unemployment Trends in Nigeria

As normal economic agents, the manufacturing firms started to reduce their workforce. In the public sector, embargo was placed on employment. More importantly with the simultaneous rapid expansion in the educational sector, new entrants into the labour market increased beyond the absorptive capacity of the economy (Central Bank of Nigeria, 2003). These developments have eventually worsened the unemployment situation in the country.

role entrepreneurs in solving poverty and unemployment
Role Entrepreneurs in Solving Poverty and Unemployment

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, a research program aimed at assessing the national level of entrepreneurial activity in selected countries, conducted an entrepreneurship and economic growth study on 48 countries in 2008. According to the study, the economic growth of a country is directly and highly correlated to the level of entrepreneurial activity in industrialized countries.

role entrepreneurs in solving poverty and unemployment issues in nigeria
Role Entrepreneurs in Solving Poverty and Unemployment Issues in Nigeria
  • Entrepreneurs will solve the problem by:
  • Creating jobs for self and others- direct and indirect
  • Producing product of economic value
  • Contributing to the GDP
  • Contributing to the export market and foreign earnings of the country
challenges of entrepreneurs in nigeria
Challenges of Entrepreneurs in Nigeria
  • Lack of entrepreneurial and technical competencies
  • High interest rates
  • Dearth of credit facilities
  • Poor infrastructural facilities
  • Policy summersaults
  • Harsh and competitive business environment
  • Business climate that promotes mediocrity rather than meritocracy
  • High level corruption
levels of interest rates between 1990 and 2002
Levels of Interest Rates between 1990 and 2002

Year Interest Rate Exchange Rate

(Prime %) N/US$(+)

1990 25.5 9.0001

1991 20.1 9.7545

1992 29.80 19.6609

1993 36.09 22.6309

1994 20.19 22.6309

1995 20.20 81.2

1996 19.10 81.2

1997 18.40 82.0

1998 18.30 83.8

1999 28.60 101.81

2000 25.80 121.43

2001 31.20 134.41

2002 30.00 134.05

Source: Federal Office of Statistics (FOS) & Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).


Corruption Perception Index

Country Ranking

New Zealand 1

Denmark 2

Singapore 3

Israel 32

South Africa 55

Malaysia 56

Tunisia 65

Brazil 75

Malawi 89

Liberia 97

Gabon 106

Algeria 111

Egypt 111

Nigeria 130

Cameroun 146

Myanmar 178

Afghanistan 179

Somalia 180

Source: Transparency International Corruption Index Report, 2009

entrepreneurial empowerment
Entrepreneurial Empowerment
  • Promoting entrepreneurship among Nigerian youths to tackle problems of poverty and unemployment is not an easy task. These problems therefore will demand that the youths be empowered with creative problem-solving skills. The training of educated individuals who can function effectively in the society for the betterment of self and the society will require special attention as the system will be deliberately set to concern itself with the development of sound human capital required for national development (Ocho, 2005).
entrepreneurial empowerment1
Entrepreneurial Empowerment

Entrepreneurship education will enable potential entrepreneurs and create avenues for people to: manage innovations; manage entrepreneurial process; and develop their potentials as managers of creativity in given fields. It provides practical applications for students. Training in entrepreneurship has been used by nations like Germany to set up unique engineering-oriented business programmes in the university where their potential engineers are encouraged to seek out ideas and subsequently develop the promising ones from invention phase to commercialization.

entrepreneurial empowerment2
Entrepreneurial Empowerment
  • Practically speaking therefore, stakeholders must do the following:
  • 1. ensure that schools deliberately provide sector specific skills needed for the development of human capital, use professional and entrepreneurs as instructors and mentors.
  • 2. teach entrepreneurship and creativity at an early age.
  • 3. organize for curricular integration of education, entrepreneurship and community development
business vs entrepreneurial empowerment
Business vs Entrepreneurial Empowerment
  • What we had in the past had been more of business empowerment in which people learn a particular business and later start. It has provided limited potential for growth
  • Entrepreneurial empowerment would involve a total mindset change as well as the development of the right attitude and skills for development.
constraint of entrepreneurship education in nigeria
Constraint of Entrepreneurship Education in Nigeria

There are several factors that hinder entrepreneurship education in Nigeria. they include:

  • poor knowledge based economy and low spirit of competition
  • poor enterprising culture
  • Dearth of competent entrepreneurship teachers, materials and equipment.
  • unavailability of fund
  • non-inclusion of entrepreneurship programme in the school curricula
  • poor societal attitude to Technical and Vocational Education development
  • inadequate facilities and equipment for teaching and learning
  • insensitivity of government to enterprise creation and expansion strategy
  • poor plan and execution of processes of action
  • Isolated pockets of ineffective programmes and management incompetency

(Oviawe and Ekhovbiye, 2008).

student entrepreneur
Student Entrepreneur
  • Google

The quintessential account of innovators turned entrepreneurs are Larry Page and Sergey Brin of who founded Google while they were students at Stanford University. Brin is the son of Russian immigrants of modest means. They are both still students on the doctoral program at Stanford from which they are on sabbatical. The company was incorporated as Google Inc. on 4 September 1998 at a friend's garage in California with start-up capital of approximately $1.1 million. IN a very short time, the Google search engine attracted a loyal following among a growing number of Internet users, who liked its simple design and useful results. As of March 31, 2009, the company has 19,786 full-time employees with assets totaling over $31billion.

fostering entrepreneurship
Fostering Entrepreneurship

A typical line of inquiry could analyze the decisions of individuals to become either wage-earners or self- employed or focus primarily on personal factors, such as psychological traits, formal education and other skills, financial assets, family background and previous work experience that may influence or affect entrepreneurs. An analysis of entrepreneurship at the firm level would focus on market-specific determinants of entrepreneurship, such as profit opportunities and opportunities for entry and exit. The macro perspective focuses on a range of environmental factors, such as technological, economic and cultural variables as well as government regulation.

responsibilities in promoting entrepreneurial spirit
Responsibilities in Promoting Entrepreneurial Spirit
  • Individuals should develop the right mindsets, attitudes and skills required for wealth creation and self actualization
  • Firms especially financial institutions should provide the right financial framework that would create easy access to startup credits.
  • Government should provide enabling environment that makes doing business easier- tax holidays, export support, incubation centres, credit guarantees etc
prospects for entrepreneurship in nigeria
Prospects for Entrepreneurship in Nigeria
  • Entrepreneurs can tap into opportunities in:
    • Policy support from various levels of government like the creation of the Entrepreneurship Development Centre
    • The crisis and under utilized sectors of the economy like energy, export etc
    • Changing trends- cash to cashlite economy
    • Under utilised resources- Labour intensive economy
    • Changing technology in every sector of the economy
    • Renewable energy

"I had to make my own living and my own opportunity! But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for opportunities to come. Get up and make them". Madam C.J. Walker (December 23, 1867 – May 25, 1919) an African-American businesswoman, hair care entrepreneur and philanthropist. She made her fortune by developing and marketing a successful line of beauty and hair products for black women under the company she founded, Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company.

  • Oviawe, Jane Itohan (2010); Repositioning Nigerian Youths for Economic Empowerment through Entrepreneurship Education. Department of Vocational and Technical Education Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria
  • Oteh, Arunma (2009). The Role of Entrepreneurship in Transforming the Nigerian Economy. Seventh Convocation Lecture Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State
  • Anyakoha, E.U. (2006). Practical tips for economic empowerment and survival. Nsukka: AP Express. DiaBelen, A., Oni, B., & Adekola, A. (2000). Labour market prospects for university graduates in Nigeria. Washington D.C.: World Bank.
  • Diejomal, U. & Orimolade, W. (1991). Unemployment in Nigeria: Economic analysis of scope, trends and policy issues. Nigerian Journal of Economic and Social Sciences 13 (2), 127 – 132.
  • Eno-Obong, H. (2006). Challenges of entrepreneurship in home economics and enhancement strategies. Journal of Home Economics Research (7), 69 -75.