The entrepreneurship performances are those activities an entrepreneur exhibit and practice in order to achieve his goal in business. The entrepreneurial performances used in this study were derived from in-depth interview with the respondents.
A four point Likert type scale was used to measure the extent of the entrepreneurial skills performed by trained and untrained respondents. Their performances served as indicators to measure the effect of entrepreneurship training on them. Research question one is represented in Table 1
Table 1 shows that all the performance indicators rated positive and were accepted for trained respondents as their means are above the set criterion of 2.50. The untrained respondents performances were negative for all the indicators as their mean value is below 2.50 set criterion. This indicates that entrepreneurship training has a positive influence on their performances in business.
The result in Table 1 shows that majority of the trained respondents belonged to cooperative societies, where they put their resources and money together to help each other in business. They also knew how to keep records of all activities in their businesses and efficient in book-keeping which helped them to know when they are making profit and the financial status of their businesses at any point in time.
They were able to prepare business plan which helped them to obtain loan from formal financial institutions. They invested in stocks and were able to diversify their products and businesses. They were able to determine the extent a product will sell (market analysis) because they belong to networks such as business association and unions and attend business functions where they get information about market, supplies and opportunities. All these activities they performed led to the expansion of their business. According to them, they were not able to do these until after the entrepreneurship training which now opened their eyes and understanding to the skills they need to acquire in order to be successful entrepreneurs. The latent potentials were activated through the training. Infact the training improved their managerial performances. The reverse was the case for the untrained respondents because they lack the skills.
These findings indicate that the trained business operators exposure to entrepreneurship training has a positive effect on their business performances. The negative performances of the untrained business operators were as a result of their ignorance on entrepreneurial skills. That is why earlier studies observed that entrepreneurship education/training opens opportunities to acquire relevant managerial skills for greater productivity (Leeedholm and Mead 1999; Oluyibo and Hill, 2003). In the same line, Osuala (2006) suggested that it is necessary for small business operators to acquire many managerial skills and exhibit them in the course of their career in order to be successful entrepreneurs.
The findings concur with Onu (2006) that relevant entrepreneurship education can equip the entrepreneur with appropriate skills in such area as decision making, management, marketing and personnel management. Parker (1994) identified entrepreneurship training as one of the basic skills needed by small business operators to influence the behaviour of people around them in order to reach the goals of their enterprises. He also noted that entrepreneurship managerial skills are needed for effective managerial work. Olomi (1999) assets that desired entrepreneurial success factors can be learned through proper designed entrepreneurship training programmes. He also points out that there is a general agreement that having entrepreneurship education is positively associated with becoming self-employed. In this regard, O’Riodan et al (1997) stresses the importance of entrepreneurship training for micro and small enterprise operators. In the same vein, Carr (in Kristiansen, 1999) see education and training as key enabling resources for the sustainability of micro and small enterprises. Rwanshen (2000) concluded that lack of training is associated with business failure. She also found that entrepreneurs become more confident, motivated and organized after training. Hypothesis 1 is represented in Table 2
The t-test calculated value is higher than the critical t-value of 1.96. This indicates that the business performances are significant at 0.05 level of significance.
Consequently the hypothesis that states that there is no significant difference between the mean business performances of trained and untrained respondents is rejected. The implication of this finding is that the 2 groups differ on their managerial/business performances. Research Question 2 is represented in Table 3
The result shows that before the training 48% of the respondents had income level of N10,000 – N30,000 per month being the highest frequency. This was followed by 32% of the respondents earning N31,000 – N50,000, 10% had income of N51,000 – N70,000, 7% had income of N71,000 – N90,000 and 3% had N91,000 – N110,000. None had income above N110,000 per month. The results also showed that after the training their income increased as majority of the respondents (36%) had income of N51,000 – N70,000 followed by 31% earning of N71,000 – N90,000. 12% had income of N31,000 – N50,000, 8% had N91,000 – N110,000. 7% had N131,000 – N150,000 and 6% had N110,000 – N130,000. None of the respondents had low income of N10,000 – N30,000 after the training.
From the result above, it is clear that the training has a positive influence on their income level as it increased after the training. This is because, during the training they were taught proper business management, managerial skills, excellent customer services, creative and innovative skills and proper record keeping including how to prepare a business plan. After the training, they employed the skills which are shown in table 1 and that led to a positive change in their income level. An increase in income reduces poverty. This is in agreement with ILO (2006) that entrepreneurship education alleviates poverty and is a vital way of curbing unemployment and getting to use variety of skills and talents. These results were in support of the study carried out by Gorman, Harlow and King (1997), which pointed out that entrepreneurship training is a program that is focused on impacting entrepreneurial skills, managerial skill and issues on entrepreneurship on an individual for improved standard of living. The result of 10-year (1985-1994) on the review of enterprise, entrepreneurship, business management and innovation revealed that entrepreneurship leads to an increase of income to the entrepreneur and expansion of the entrepreneur’s business (Brown 2000).Hypothesis 2 is represented in Table 4
The t-calculated value is higher than the critical t-value of 1.96. This indicates that the income levels are significant at 0.05 level of significance. Consequently, the hypothesis that states that there is no significant difference between the mean income of trained respondent before and after the training is rejected. The implication of the finding is that entrepreneurship training has a positive influence on the income of trained respondents. Research Question 3 is represented in Table 5
The constraints as shown in Table 5 that is affecting the small business operators in the study area are Lack of access to financing, effect of market saturation, level of market demand, Inflation, Shortage of inputs, Market competition, Lack of infrastructure, Lack of or inadequate support services, Compliance cost, low level of skills and knowledge, lack of relevant education and Lack of equipment respectively, Crime/theft was not a problem as it rated below the set criterion of 2.50. Labour was not an issue as it rated 1.58 being the least score. This is because most micro enterprises did not have to hire labour but use their apprentices and family labour. The result above also shows that lack of access to financing was their major constraint. This is because most financial institutions do not grant loan to small businesses because of lack of collateral and small amount of credit requested. They may have a good business plan but lack the collateral. Inflation was also a serious problem as money value was reducing, their profit margin was also reducing. These are in agreement with Osuala (2006) that Lack of credit is a major constraint that affects the perceived success of a business. Poor infrastructures were another major problem. Onu (2006) in her own words, opined that poor influences creates a bad business environment and constitute a barrier to entry and also inhibits international competitiveness of goods.
Market competition is a problem because globalization and internationalization of markets are posing threat for the survival of small enterprises both at the policy and operational level. With the appearance of new customers, new competitors SMEs have to become more efficient and improve the quality of their products and delivery performance to compete and remain in business (Osaze, 1985).
Small enterprises lack access to modern equipment and access to new materials. (Ikeano, 1985). Olashore (1985) observed that cost compliance is a major constraint facing small enterprises. These relate to time and money needed to learn about and meet government regulations. They increase transaction and the start up cost of small enterprise.
Lack of inadequate support services is another problem affecting the success of small businesses. Many of the business operators are unaware of the existence of such services and because the enterprises are small, they are not usually the target of such scheme (George, 2006). Lack of relevant skill and knowledge is a constraint on growth and productivity of small businesses. That is why small business operators are being encouraged to undergo training in entrepreneurship to enable them acquire the relevant skills and knowledge needed for the success of their businesses.