The topic: The Role Of Medium And Small Scale Entrepreneur In A Developing Economy is very evergreen particularly now that our economy is let to apply this topic to the Nigerian situation. Entrepreneur is a word invented by Jean-Baptist Say in the year 1800. Jean-Baptist Say way a French economist. He described an entrepreneur as one who shifts economic resources out of area of lower into a real of higher productivity and greater yield. That was the position of an entrepreneur according to Jean-Baptist Say some two hundred years ago. Entrepreneurs are self starters. Among them in the society are food sellers, musicians, furniture makers, shoe makers, dress makers and other who have chosen to be independent. The good entrepreneurs are customers oriented in order to increase patronage, make money and create wealth.
Virtually every worthwhile activity has opportunity to make money embellished underneath. A typical example is that beautiful lady drummer by name Ara. What Ara is doing is uncommon and fantastic. Her show is always well packaged and marketed globally.
A common product packaged with innovation will attract unusual large number of consumers. And if the standard is maintained, the sky may be the limit. Education is a booster when it comes to entrepreneurship. Good education at the National Diploma or Degree/HND coupled with knack for trading will make one a refined business man. Such persons will have superior manner of approach to customers, ability to source products and potential customers, with informed ability to make forecast will also be for there for the educated entrepreneurs.
However, higher education is not a must before one start a business venture. Familiarity with the trends in the business is also valuable asset. Entrepreneurship is applicable to tangible product and services. It does not stop by buying and selling. A motor mechanic workshop may make a little innovation by making provision of a television sets and 2 and 3 set of daily newspapers for the customer so that waiting will not be being for them.
QUALITY OF ENTREPRENEURS
There is a different between a career minded person and entrepreneur. While the entrepreneur is out to make success through dint of hard work, creativity and risk taking, the career minded person is after salary work with security of labour. He does not want uncertainty and prefer to maintain the comfort zone. I am not condemning salary earners. Both of them are necessary in any economy.
Here, we are concerned with the he entrepreneur. What set a business man or woman apart includes the following:
1. Vision: – A typical entrepreneur must be visionary.
2. Risk Taking: – Entrepreneur takes realistic risks. They delve into uncommon projects and break new grounds. They take risks on realistic projects.
3. Quick Adaptation: – The ability to adapt to change and move on is one of the qualities of an entrepreneur. Sometime, the Climate economy or government regulation can dictate the direction of change.
4. Salesmanship: – Everything about tangible products or services is about sales. Entrepreneur cultivate friendly attitude and maintain peace in the society to save their business. Entrepreneur wants to be likeable for the sake of success in business.
5. Constant Improvement:– Entrepreneurs understand that occasional failure is inevitable but to prevent it, is to gather information from time to time and update plans.
Entrepreneurs search for information through journals, internet and membership of related organizations.
NIGERIA BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
Among the third world countries is Nigeria. We have developed countries of the world, developing countries and under developed counties. We are not like the United State of America, Germany or Japan who are developed countries. We are not like Togo, Somalia, or Nepal who are underdeveloped. We are classified among the developing countries but the variables of under development are with us. Now things have started to become stiffer due to the oil glut. In November 2014, a barrel of crude oil we were exporting was 140 U.U. Dollars. Now it is around 40 dollars. The drastic fall in price of crude oil is affecting us.
For many years we have been utilizing the oil money to grow but no development. In the sixties, before the real oil boom, we had just four universities.
Now we have One Hundred and Fourteen Universities. We also have in the past, there were few roads but due to financial buoyancy we have many good roads, express ways, flyovers, and tremendous are indicative of growth but we actually lack development. The variables of underdevelopments that have been military against our development include:
1. Excessive Foreign Debt: – Loans granted by World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), International Development Institutions and other developed countries have been a serious burden. Before we were paying One Billion Dollars as Interest every year. Many thanks to President Obasanjo for clearing all the accumulated debt of over 40 years to free Nigeria from loan bondage. But the most unfortunately thing now is that we have started to pile up more debt.
2. Political Instability and Insecurity:– Terrorism, Thugery, Assassination, Civil Disorder, such as Fulani herdsman issues, cultism, bank robbery are inimical to business similarly. Advanced countries of the world do not experience these at the same time.
3. Currency Devaluation: – The serious problem we are battling now is currency devaluation. Last two weeks when I was travelling to Pomia International University, Benin Republic, I exchanged 700 Naira for 1,000 CFA. In February this year 1,000 exchanged for 360 naira. In the year 1990 our 34 naira exchanged for 1,000 CFA. Our currency is being devalued at alarming rate. This is not helpful to business activities at all. It is alarming.
4. Poverty:– Poverty is biting hard in the society. Some people are now into executive begging. They are doing “Fine Bara” to feed their children especially women. Cases of sudden death have been reported due to lack of money to buy food and drug. Under this environment business can hardly flourish in the country.
5. Widespread Corruption:– corruption at the Local Government level is terrible. Coming to state and Federal Government levels.
6. Neglect of Agriculture:– We have neglected agriculture and this is affecting the cost of living. Our penchant for foreign food items such as wheat and rice is serious. We expend a lot of foreign reserve on these two items at the expense of other important items.
7. Lack of Technological Milight:– What are we capable of manufacturing? We import cooking stoves, torchlight, wristwatches, bicycles, cars, motor bike, cutleries and minimum.
ADVICE TO NIGERIAN ENTREPRENEUR
Many of our businessmen in Nigeria today are exploitative and ruthless. They contribute to the social problems we have in the country today. I want to site a few examples, particularly spare parts, patient medicine and books. Today, parts business is dominated by dangerous business men. The notorious among them travel to places like Taiwan or China to duplicate genuine parts and put the logo on it cleverly making them look like the original parts and ship them to Nigeria for sales to the unsuspecting members of the public. This is a serious crime coupled with clever theft. Such attracts severe punishment in civilized countries. These dangerous people give Nigerians bad image all over the world.
These days one hears of fuel tankers being involve in accident due to brake failure. Many people have died and valuable properties have been destroyed as a result. Apart from fuel tankers, uncountable number of trailers, tippers and cars.
Sustain War Against Take Product: The Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) has promised to sustain ongoing war against fake and substandard products in the country. It assured that the campaign will be taken to every nook and cranny of the country until sanity is restored.
Our business men and upcoming entrepreneurs are to imbibe decency in all their business activities if we must overcome the lingering hardship bedeviling our economy.
The Federal Government has been doing a lot to help us. One of the measures is the Nigerian Export Promotion Council which was established in 1976. Entrepreneurs and other small scale industrialists can delve into export and be earning foreign exchange. Another is the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) which was established by former president Obasanjo’s government in 2003. SMEDAN is out to help entrepreneurs no matter how small.