Entrepreneurship development and skill acquisition is considered an important link to an overall economic growth and Development of a nation through its positive effect on economic and business development especially at the grassroots (Barringer & Ireland, 2012; Weihrich et al. 2018). Entrepreneurships helps to create wealth and reduce unemployment i.e. increase employment, increase creativity and innovation, and increase the gross total production of a nation (Shane, 2013). Arguably, the technological advancement or transformation in any nation mostly can be made real through innovation, ideas and utilizing opportunities; and entrepreneurship is the good way to achieve this. People become self-employed through vocational training and skill acquisition (Ebong & Asodike, 2011; Ikegwu, 2014; Nwanaka & Amaehule, 2011). In general, entrepreneurial skill acquisition scheme introduced into educational institutions especially higher institutions of learning were meant to provide the level of education or knowledge needed to increase entrepreneurial opportunity which could be of help to economic growth and development of such countries (Emaikwu, 2011; Shane, 2013), and research have shown that entrepreneurship skill acquisition is the main factor in the utilization of entrepreneurship opportunity for self-employment and business development and growth (Ekpe et al., 2012).
Entrepreneurship skills acquisition are said to be the necessary or important skills required to be an entrepreneur. In other words, entrepreneurial skills acquisition is those necessary skills an entrepreneur needs to successfully run a business or add value to the business which would to the development for the business. Agu, Chiaha and Ikeme (2013) argued that entrepreneurship acquisition skills must be nurtured through proper education so that it can be directed to responsible and enriching small and medium business endeavors that will profit the individuals and the communities in which the entrepreneurs live. Entrepreneurship skills acquisition can also be seen as those skills that an entrepreneur should possess to enable him/her succeed in a virtual learning environment. Entrepreneurial skill acquisition can be defined as the ability to create something innovative or new with value by devoting the necessary time and effort, assuming the accompanying financial, psychic and social risks, and receiving the resulting rewards of monetary and personal satisfaction and independence. Entrepreneurial skill acquisition is also the ability to of a person to exploit an idea and create an enterprise (Small or Big) not only for personal gain but also for social and developmental gain (Olagunju, 2014). Formal descriptions/definitions shown as entrepreneurial skills acquisition as ability to have self-belief, boldness, tenacity, passionate, empathy, readiness to take expert advice, desire for immediate result, visionary and ability to recognize opportunity (Salgado-banda, 2015). Kilby (1971) states that the array of possible entrepreneurial skills encompasses the perception of economic opportunity, technical and organizational innovations, gaining commands over scarce resources, taking responsibilities for internal and for external advancement of the business in all aspects.
In context with this, the Nigerian government has put in place several entrepreneurship skill acquisition programs and awareness programs, including the introduction of entrepreneurship courses and establishment of entrepreneurship departments in various universities in the country in order to tutor and teach aspiring entrepreneurs. The goals and aims of such programs was to impact skills, attitudes, aspirations and competencies mostly in the Nigerians , and provides micro-credit, to enable them practice entrepreneurship or create self-employment as well as help generate employment for opportunities others (Abdullah et al., 2012; Samian & Buntat, 2012). This is due to the fact that skill acquisition has been proved to lead to business development in many countries of the world (Ekpe et al., 2012). However, despite the government’s effort in this regard, business development among Nigerian youth is still at a low level (Abdullah et al., 2012). Though studies (e.g Ikegwu, 2014) exist that measured skill acquisition and business development; however, scarcity of study exists that measures the moderating influence of self-motivation and social influence on skill acquisition and business development, especially in Nigeria. This is because negative self-motivation (Ekpe et al., 2012) and social influence (Udida et al., 2012) could hinder skill acquisition from resulting to business development among youths. Again, poor societal perceptions about enterprise creation mostly come from social networks such as friends, family members, role models and advisors (Mayer et al., 2007) and this can hinder skill acquisition from maturing into business development.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Small and medium businesses generate major development, wealth and well-being in many countries such as Nigeria and this growth came about by the creation of an effective business environment which provides urge for both start-up and growth-oriented businesspersons. Thus reducing the hurdles forced to existing firms and providing opportunities to learn from mistakes (Pyysiäinen; Anderson; Mcelwee; and Vesala, 2012). According to the research of (Henry; Hill; and Leitch. 2013; Undiayaundeye, 2015) entrepreneurs are identified as the engine and integral of economic progression and the establishment of wealth, and are very are essential to the quality of life by providing employment opportunities for the educated and un educated. However, despite the main contribution of this sector, the issues of unemployment are not total resolved generally. According to Global Entrepreneurial Monitor (2012), Nigeria is a global leader in entrepreneurial spirit, and they opine they have necessary skills and knowledge. However, despite this research, the amount of failed SME has not reduced in recent years as a result of less skill acquisition. The focus of research in entrepreneurship over the years is on building theory without the consideration or attention on what it takes for a venture to survive (i.e skill acquisition among other factors). The empirical studies of Bosire and Nzaramba (2013) in their findings concluded that development of entrepreneurial acquisition skills could serve as a measure for improving the self-reliant of startups and established entrepreneurs. Similarly, (Coric, Katavic, and Kopecki,) claims that entrepreneur’s growth depends on the connection of important entrepreneurial acquisition skills for starting businesses, as well as the survival and growth in their early years. However, such study is still missing in Nigeria context to the best of the researcher knowledge. To add to this the research of Undiayaundeye (2015), identified lack of entrepreneurial skills among business owners and thus, degenerate to failed entrepreneurial journey of business owners and persons in Nigeria. As a result of the above discussions, this study, therefore, intends to examine the influence of these entrepreneur skills on business development in Nigeria.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of this study is to examine entrepreneurship skill acquisition as a major determinant for business development. The specific objectives are to;
1) Examine the importance of entrepreneurship skill acquisition on business development in Nigeria
2) Examine the relationship between entrepreneurship skill acquisition and business growth in Nigeria.
3) Examine the impact of entrepreneurship skill acquisition on business development.
4) Examine challenges affecting growth of small and medium enterprises towards skill acquisition in Nigeria.
5) Suggest solutions to the challenges affecting SMES in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1) What is the importance of entrepreneurship skill acquisition on business development in Nigeria?
2) What is the relationship between entrepreneurship skill acquisition and business growth in Nigeria?
3) What is the impact of entrepreneurship skill acquisition on business development?
4) What are the challenges affecting growth of small and medium enterprises towards skill acquisition in Nigeria?
5) What are the solutions to the challenges affecting SMES in Nigeria?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
HO: Entrepreneurship skill acquisition has no significant impact on business development in Nigeria
H1: Entrepreneurship skill acquisition has a significant impact on business development in Nigeria
HO: There is no significant relationship between entrepreneurship skill acquisition and business development
H1: There is a significant relationship between entrepreneurship skill acquisition and business development
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study would have contribution to enlighten the society on Entrepreneurship skill acquisition as a major determinant for business development. It will be beneficial in highlighting the importance of entrepreneurship education and its impact on unemployment reduction in Nigeria. One of the SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) goals highlights education (training) as a critical factor to reducing poverty and dependency. Allow the identification of the concept and framework of entrepreneurship. It will also be beneficial in the area of development and its contribution to Nigeria’s economy as well as generating greater awareness among youths on the importance of having proper and practical strategies for acquiring entrepreneurial skills. It would also prepare ground for interested researcher who might wish to conduct further research in related areas and could contribute to the existing literature.
The study is restricted to Entrepreneurship skill acquisition as a major determinant for business development.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
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)
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.
SME’s: SMEs are broadly defined as businesses with turnover of less than N100 MM per annum and/ or less than 300 employees. Studies by the IFC show that approx. 96% of Nigerian businesses are SMEs.
Entrepreneurship skill Acquisition: Entrepreneurial skill acquisition can be defined as not just about acquiring skill but acquiring knowledge and driving towards enterprise in skills that enhance personal livelihood through enduring business startups, enhancing employment opportunities, and promoting economic development and growth.
Business Development: The activity of pursuing strategic opportunities for a particular business or organization, for example by cultivating partnerships or other commercial relationships, or identifying new markets for its products or services.
Entrepreneur: A person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit. "Many entrepreneurs see potential in this market"
Skills acquisition: the ability to learn or acquire skills. It involves the development of a new skill, practice of a way of doing things usually gained through training or experience.
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