The study examined the Entrepreneurial Development: A Panacea for Profitable Employment, using Eti-osa Local Government as a study. The study adopted survey design using primary source of data with questionnaire as instrument of data collection. A total of 55questionnaires were administered to different entrepreneurs within Eti-osa out of which 50 were duly filled and returned. Chi-square statistical method was used to verify the degree of significance of entrepreneurship to profitable employment. The result of the findings shows that market men and women lack access to constant power supply. It was also noted that local traders do not have access to fund to support their businesses. More so, in terms of factors that encourage entrepreneurship development, it was discovered that skill acquisition is vital for entrepreneurial development and that membership in co-operatives is essential for entrepreneurial development. Based on the findings the study recommends,that the government should prioritize giving of loans to the small businesses in Nigeria as well as allow them to enjoy some tax c oncessions, Informed government policy, education and international participation are crucial for development of entrepreneurship in Nigeria, Interest rate on loans should be reduced to allow for easy access to fund by small business owners, there should als0 be adequate infrastructural development in terms of constant electricity power supply, good roads, appropriate loan facilities and good communication network for reduced cost and smooth running of small scale businesses in Nigeria.
1.1 Background to the Study
Research from various authors has shown that the economic engine of every country is entrepreneur ship. Entrepreneurs display the necessary character and drive to create value and earn income, but in the process, employ youths that will help drive the business together. Creative ideas are the beginning point of all fortunes. The last hundred years in the history of man has witnessed a tremendous and mind bogging innovations during which man has harnessed nature’s resources. Notable among these is the indomitable conquering of the air, land and sea through the aid of his imagination. As reflected by Napoleon (1966), man’s only limitation, within reason, being his development and use of his imagination. He has not yet reached the apex of development in the use of his imaginative faculty. In essence, imagination is the ultimate missing link in many business failures, and a vital ingredient for success. Candler provided this link when he supplied the needed imagination which turned the formula for coca-cola into a fortune. Thus, behind many fortunes there is somebody who had the creative idea. According to Adebayo (2008), it is believed that the search for employment in the country today can be brought to a very low level, if proper information and the knowledge of entrepreneurship is fully disseminated and understood by everyone.
Entrepreneurship is also known all over the world as the main engine (Power house) that propels the economic prosperity of a nation. It was in an attempt to revive the battered economy that successive government in Nigeria had come up with different rolling plans, such as the austerity measures of the Muritala/Obasanjo’s Administration (1976-1979) and the Structural Adjustment programme of Babangida’s regime (1985-1993), the deregulated and the Abdulsalam Abubakar’s administration (1998-1999) respectively. Nevertheless, all these national policies fail to encourage the expected economic and industrial growth, rather the economy witnessed significant decline in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) hyperinflation and a significant increase in our external portfolio. It is imperative to note that majority of these policies suffer from one reason to the other, ranging from policy contradictions, policy somersault, non-continuity to lack of purpose and vision said Afolaranmi (2003), it is on this backdrop, that the Obasanjo’s regime (1999-2007) made the restructuring of the Nigerian economy, her policy focus. Thus, his economic reforms were primarily centered on market orientation, private sector led, self- employment, self-reliance and technology driven (Adesoto, Akesinro and Oladejo, 2013).
To this end, one of the instruments that the Obasanjo’s regime used was the promotion of the small and medium scale enterprises (SME) and the development of the creative and entrepreneurial ability of its citizenry. Onah (2001) pointed out that national decision makers have discovered that productive entrepreneurship is key to national economic development by enhancing employment creation, economic growth, adoption of new technologies and innovation capabilities. Drying et al(2004) argued that all the earlier mentioned factors result to poverty reduction in the country. Considering the huge database of unemployed youths in Africa, productive entrepreneurship could serve as a veritable avenue to build sustainable livelihoods. Audretsch (2002) opine that it could also be an avenue to integrate the unemployed youths into the society. However, having an understanding of the benefits and threats of youth entrepreneurs in varying environments is an essential criteria for implementing this agenda.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
It is alarming how Organisations hide under the disguise of semantics like Re-engineering, Retrenchment, Restructuring to mention a few, to sack their employees at different levels. Just of recent, around April 2016, Ecobank and other financial institutions layed-off thousands of Nigerian youths. It is annoying and appalling that these youths would return to the streets and start reapplying for non-existent jobs, this is not good for the Nigerian economy.
Entrepreneurship activities and innovative ingenuity have developed enterprises in the following areas as observed by Adeboye (2015): agricultural/agro-allied activities where there are food stuffs, restaurants, vegetable farmers, poultry and life stock, fruits and vegetable sellers, and fast food vending, petty trader etc. In the area of solid minerals, there are quarrying, gem stone cutting, polishing and crushing engineering. In power and transport, there are power generations, haulage business (cargo and passengers). In the area of information and telecoms business, there are manufacturing and repairs of GSM accessories and the printing and selling of recharge cards. In hospitality and tourism business, there are hotels, accommodation, drinks/bar sellers, ticketing centres, film and video production, photography. In fashion and lifestyle, there are tailors, seamstress, fashion design, shoe makers, hair dressers. In oil and gas, there are construction and maintenance of pipeline, welding, drilling, refining of bye-products. In the area of waste management business, there are refuse collection/disposal, recycling as well as drainage/sewage construction jobs.
In engineering and fabrication work, there are machines and tools fabrications such as welders, mechanics and vulcanizer. There is also building and construction where there are bricklayers, carpenters, painters, gardening and landscaping, electricians, plan and design services and material sourcing (Agbeze) in spite of the fact that entrepreneurship development has been regarded as the bulwark for employment generation and technological development in Nigeria, the sector nevertheless has had its own fair share of neglect with associated unpleasant impacts on the economy. Finding a sustainable employment has become a serious strategic issue, hence this study is focussed on fathoming if entrepreneurship could be the solution for this malady.
1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to critically evaluate entrepreneurship as panacea to profitable employment while the specific objectives are to:
i) identify factors that encourage entrepreneurship development.
ii) identify if entrepreneurship engagement can bring about gainful employment,
iii) identify if entrepreneurship education will elicit entrepreneurship engagement.
iv) Examine how entrepreneurship engagement can promote profitable employment.
1.4 Relevant Research Questions
The principal question of this research is how entrepreneurial development has improved profitable-employment. This research will also try to provide answers to the following sub-questions in the course of this study:
1. What factors encourage entrepreneurship development?
2. How can entrepreneurship engagement bring about profitable employment?
3. How would entrepreneurship education elicit entrepreneurship engagement?
4. How can entrepreneurial development lead to profitable employment?
1.5 Relevant Research Hypotheses
H0: Entrepreneurial development has not proved to be a panacea for profitable employment in Nigeria.
h1: Entrepreneurial development has proved to be a panacea for profitable employment in Nigeria.
Ho: Small and Medium scale businesses establishment have not significantly improved the employment rate in Nigeria.
H1: Small and Medium scale businesses establishment have significantly improved the employment rate in Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The importance of this study will include but not limited to the following:
i) It will throw light on the relevance of entrepreneurship in serving as a lasting solution to profitable employment,
ii) It will also promote an understanding on how a profitable employment can be attained by creativity and innovation of entrepreneur,
iii) It will also impart on the students generally, positively by eliciting thoughts of self-reliance.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study covers entrepreneurship development as a panacea for profitable employment. The study will take into consideration all micro, small and medium business owners within the Eti-Osa locality. By choosing this class of entrepreneurs, I will be able to assess the impact of entrepreneurship development on profitable employment.
1.8 Definitions of Terms
Entrepreneur: a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.
Creativity: is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. Creativity is characterised by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions.
Entrepreneurship: has traditionally been defined as the process of designing, launching and running a new business, which typically begins as a small business, such as a start-up company, offering a product, process or service for sale or hire.
Panacea: a solution or remedy for all ills, difficulties or diseases.
Audretsch D. (2002). ‘Entrepreneurship: A Survey of the Literature’, Published by the European Commission, Enterprise Directorate General, July 2002, Onah, F. (2001). Urban unemployment situation in Nigeria. In: E Ezeani, N
Elekwa (Eds.): Issues in Urbanization and Urban Administration in Nigeria. University of Nigeria Nsukka. Enugu, Nigeria: Jamo Enterprises, pp. 154 -167.
Dyring C, J, & Goedhuys, M. (2004). Impact of National Policy and Legal Environments on Employment Growth and Investment in Micro and Small Enterprises, Small Enterprise Programme, working paper No. 63.