Small businesses have the potential to contribute to the development process. The economic importance of microenterprises according to Liedholm and Mead (1999) includes: contribution to household income and welfare, contribution to self confidence and empowerment of individual, contribution to social change, political stability, and democracy, contribution to distributional or developmental objectives and contributions in the area of demographic change. Although some of these contributions are interrelated and complex, they show the multifaceted nature of the concept in handling poverty and development. Microenterprises also contribute to the macro economy by creation of employment and production of good and services.
Furthermore, in assessing small business contributions to economic development and poverty reduction, OECD (2004), reports that most enterprises in transition and developing countries are MSMEs, and predominate over large firms around the world both in number and the share of the labour force they employ. These MSMEs accounts for more than 90% of all firms outside the agricultural sector, statistics have it that over 50% of most countries employees are employed in small business. Approximately 40% of the total volume of business is done by small firms, 75% of new jobs are generated by these small businesses; and it accommodates the biggest share of employees in wholesaling, retailing and services (ILO, 2006). Unfortunately, 50% of all small businesses fail in the first 2 years due to poor management (ILO, 2006). That is why small business operators should be trained on entrepreneurship in order to remain in business. The Centre for Entrepreneurship and Development Research, University of Nigeria, Nsukka embarked on this project since 2007 and over two thousand (2000) small business operators have been trained on Entrepreneurship and business management in Enugu State. The study therefore examines the influence of entrepreneurship training on these small business operators’ performances as against those in the same line of business that did not undergo the training.
Specifically, it will sought to
• Compare the performances of trained and untrained business operators in the study area;
• Compare the income of trained respondents before and after the training;
• Identify and analyse the constraints of small business operators in the area.
• Is there any significant difference between the mean response performances of trained and untrained respondents in the study area?
• Is there any significant difference between the mean income of trained respondents before and after the training.
• What are the constraints militating against the small business operators in the study area.
The Null Hypotheses that Will be Tested are
• There is no significant difference between the mean response performances of trained and untrained business operators in Enugu State.
• There is no significant difference between the mean income of trained respondents before and after the training.
• There is no significant constraint militating against the small business operators in their businesses.
• It is hoped that the study will provide a data bank for economist and other researchers who are interested in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. It will help to create awareness of the importance of MSMEs in Nigeria.