The Roles Of Small Scale Enterprises In Employment Generation And Financial Growth In Nigeria (A Case Study Of Selected Small Businesses In Lagos Sub-Urban)

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The Roles Of Small Scale Enterprises In Employment Generation And Financial Growth In Nigeria (A Case Study Of Selected Small Businesses In Lagos Sub-Urban)


In both developed and developing countries, the government is turning to small and medium scale industries and entrepreneurs, as a means of economic development and a veritable means of solving problems. It is a seedbed of innovations, inventions and employment. Entrepreneurship is as old as Nigeria and had contributed to the growth of the economy. Presently in Nigeria, SMEs assist in promoting the growth of the country’s economy, hence all the levels of government at different times have policies which promote the growth and sustenance of SMEs.

This paper identifies the orientation of SME’s and entrepreneurial trends in Nigeria, tackles the operational definition and scopes, and describes the role of the Nigerian government as a participant, regulator and facilitator, both legally and politically in the growth of SMEs and entrepreneurship. It identifies the marketing problems of SMEs and entrepreneurships in Nigeria, the provision and enactment of beneficial and supportive laws, the provision of infrastructural facilities, constant man-power and development, direct financial assistance to SMEs and the establishment of finance institutions to support SMEs. It identifies the roles of SMEs in Nigeria’s development and growth. It discusses the entrepreneurial thoughts, problems and advance practical marketing solution.

It concludes by clearly specifying the role of marketing to the survival of SMEs and entrepreneurship in Nigeria, and relevant recommendations. For SMEs to survive marketing practice and principles must be given prominence.

Table of Contents

Chapter One:


  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Objectives of the Study
  • 1.3 Statement of the Problems
  • 1.4 Research Question
  • 1.5 Statement of Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Methodology of the Study
  • 1.7 Significant of Study
  • 1.8 Scopes and Limitation
  • 1.9 Organization of Work
  • 1.10 Definition of Terms
  • References

Chapter Two:

Literature Review

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Entrepreneurship Thoughts and Philosophy in the Developing World
  • 2.3 Traditional/Pre-colonial thoughts of Entrepreneurship in Nigeria
  • 2.4 Marketing Problems of Small Business Enterprises
  • 2.5 Entrepreneurship Support Strategies in Nigeria
  • 2.5.1 Participation Strategy an Opportunity for Marketing in Nigeria
  • 2.5.2 Credit Support Strategy
  • 2.5.3 Extension Service Strategy
  • 2.5.4 Industrial Estates Strategy
  • 2.5.5 Private-Led Market Strategies
  • 2.5.6 Privatization Strategy
  • 2.5.7 Delegation Strategy (Empowerment)
  • 2.5.8 Partnership Strategy
  • 2.5.9 International Strategy
  • 2.6 Small Scale Industry – Its Role in the Economic Development in Nigeria
  • 2.7 Obstacles to Entrepreneurship Development
  • 2.7.1 Economic Obstacles
  • 2.7.2 Technological Backwardness
  • 2.7.3 Political Legal Obstacles
  • 2.7.4 Managerial Obstacles
  • 2.7.5 Behavioural Obstacles
  • 2.7.6 Production Operation Problems
  • 2.7.7 Finance and Accounting Problems
  • 2.8 Solution Strategies to SMES Problems
  • 2.8.1 Government Related Solution
  • 2.8.2 SMES – Oriented Solutions
  • 2.8.3 Society Oriented Solution
  • 2.8.4 Bank Oriented Solution
  • References

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Restatement of the Research Hypothesis
  • 3.3 The Population of the Study
  • 3.4 Sample Size and Sampling Procedure
  • 3.5 Source of Data/Method of Data Collection
  • 3.6 Method of Data Analysis

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.0 Introduction
  • 4.1 Presentation and Analysis
  • 4.2 Testing of Hypothesis

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • Appendix
  • Questionnaire

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Small scale enterprises are catalyst in the socio-economic development of any country. They are a veritable vehicle for the achievement of national macroeconomic objective in terms of employment generation at low investment cost, the catalytic roles of SSEs have been amply indigenous technology. The catalytic roles of SSEs have been amply displayed in many countries such as Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, India etc. SSEs contribution substantially to the Gross Domestic products (DGP), export earnings and employment opportunities of these countries.

Using the definition of central Bank of Nigeria (1993), SSEs can) be defined as an enterprise, whose total cost, excluding cost of land but including working capital, is above N10 million.

Financial growth on the other hand may be defined as a gradual and steady change in the long-run which comes about a gradual increase in the rate of savings and population (Schumpeter 1934).

Simply put, Economic Growth is an increase in per capital income over a long period of time or over a business cycle.

A person is said tobe unemployed if a job is not available when he is willing and able to work at the prevailing wage rate.

The Federal Government of Nigeria has long recognized the need to promote the development of SSEs in order to stimulate employment, mobilize local resources, reduce migration from rural to urban area and disperse industrial enterprise more evenly across the country. This is why the government has established institutions to provide both financial and non­financial services to SSEs. The roles of SSEs will be examined in this work in relation to employment generation and financial growth in comparison to that of large scale.

1.2 Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study are:

  1. To evaluate the performance of small scale industries.
  2. To assess the roles of small scale enterprises in employment generation.
  3. To determine the extent at which small scale enterprises contribute to financial growth.
  4. To identify the major constraints hindering the operations of small scale enterprise
  5. To make suggestions on how the performance of small scale enterprises could be improved.

1.3 Statement of the Problems

Nigeria is a country with increasing labour force. She lacks capital as well as foreign investment into the country as a result of political instability and other reasons. Therefore, a proper and efficient way of utilizing her scarce other resources must be found in order to reduce unemployment and increase economic growth. it must be noted that unemployment is not only an economic problem but also a social problem. This means, it does not only under growth, it also gives room for social problems such as robbery, arson, suicide etc.

The key problem facing most small-scale enterprises is lack of finance whether for the establishment of new industries or to carry out expansion plans. The inability to attract financial credit or resources has hindered or stifled the growth of small scale enterprises.

The reasons for the lack of fund include the following:

  1. High rate of inflation that led to the vast depreciation of the naira exchange rate, thus making it difficult for most small and medium enterprises to obtain the required input for expansion
  2. Low level of savings in the economy, which leads to low capital formation
  3. High rate of interest charged on loan, which scares off potential small and medium scale entrepreneurs

The unwillingness of retail banks to grant credit to small and medium scale enterprise because of the low creditworthiness of these enterprises has also hampered their growth over the years.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. Do small scale enterprises play any role in employment generation?
  2. Do small scale enterprises contribute to financial growth?
  3. What are the major constraints hindering the activities of small scale enterprises in Nigeria.?

1.5 Statement of Hypotheses

In order to achieve the above stated objects, the following hypotheses shall be tested:

Hypothesis One
  • Ho: Small-scale enterprises do not play significant roles in employment generation.
  • H1: Small-scale enterprises play significant roles in employment generation.
Hypothesis Two
  • Ho: Small-scale enterprises do not play significant roles in financial growth.
  • H1: Small-scale enterprises play significant roles in financial growth.

1.6 Methodology of the Study

The study will base its data collection on both the primary and secondary sources. The secondary source shall include, textbooks, journal, speeches delivered in various seminars, information from Federal Offices of Statistics, CBN Annual Report etc. The primary source is through the use of questionnaire, which will be used to obtain information from the respondents that from the sample of the study. Data obtained through the questionnaires shall be presented through the use of simple frequency distribution table. The data shall be analyzed through the use of chi-square distribution, which is the statistical method use to test for the difference of two independent statistics.

1.7 Significance of Study

The study is significant in that it will show how SSEs may be used to generate more employment, improve financial growth and help the country from her present recession if not depression as it has done in many other countries mentioned in the introduction.

1.8 Scopes and Limitation

The study will be limited to SSEs as defined. Also the study shall limit five (5) SSEs in Lagos state, the selection of these Small Scale Enterprises will be done by the use of strategic sampling method that would represent the entire population of Small Scale Enterprises in Lagos.

1.9 Organization of Work

The study will be divided into five main chapters.

  1. Chapter one will cover the general introduction into the study under which introduction, statement of problems, objectives of the study, statement of the study are discussed.
  2. Chapter two will focus on literature review, which has to do with a general presentation of views by former researchers as well as scholars on the main variables of the study.
  3. Chapter three will contain the structural composition of the study under which the sources of the finance of small scale enterprises are discussed.
  4. Chapter four will be devoted to data presentation and analysis and
  5. Chapter five will be used for summary, conclusion and recommendations.

1.10 Definition of Terms


An enterprise is an entity engaged in an economic activity.

Autonomous Enterprise:

Is an enterprise which is not classified as a partner.

Small Scale Enterprise (SME):

Is regarded as small or medium sized if it has not more than 250 employees and not more than 50 Million Euro turnover respectively a balance sheet total of less than 43 Million Euro and if not more than 25% of the shares of such an enterprise are in the ownership of another enterprise.


Small and Medium Enterprises are those firms, which satisfy the definitions given above


Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria


Bank of Industry, which provides medium or long-term loans to enterprises


Central Bank of Nigeria, the apex bank in Nigeria, which supervises other banks

Total Quality Management (TQM):

This is a concept in management which says that every individual and division in an organization should emphasize the satisfaction of customers and client


A type of plan that specifies anticipated result in numerical terms and serves as control device for feedback evaluation and follow-up.


A method of predicting future business conditions for the purpose of establishing goals and budget.


A general guide to thinking and action or decision of people to do something through certain ways or procedures.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary

This research work is generally about the effects of small-scale enterprises on the creation of employment and financial growth. The project has undertook the general introduction into the research work led to the review of various literature that relates to the major variables involved in the research work especially small-scale, employment and financial growth under which-719 was pointed out that there is not unanimous agreement among the countries of the world and individual on the definition of small-scale enterprises. Each country tends to define the category of enterprises base on the peculiar needs of public policies; however, there are common indicators in the definition ‘given, such as size of capital invested, value of annual turnover and number of paid employees.
In view of the growing public interest and government realization of the many advantages as well as problems being faced by the enterprises, the government has come out with some monetary measure to offer support, for SSEs development. Banks were also directed to provide specified proportion of their loan/credit to SSEs and financial intermediates were established to provide incentives to SSEs. However, despite the provisions of finance by those institution as well as government effort at promoting SSEs, much is yet to be achieved.

Full employment does not mean that the economic is experiencing 100 percent employment of the labour force since there are always frication and structural unemployment. There are various theories of unemployment ranging from the classical to Keynesian. There are also the search theory, and the dualistic theory. The Marxist and Neo-Marxists theory of unemployment also emphasize the structural causes of unemployment in a society ‘developing’ or ‘developed’.

Economic growth is a long-term increase in the GDP of a country. The controversy that revolves around the difference between growth and development is resolved around structural changes in the mode of production. The relationship between growth and employment can be summarized through the Okun’s law thatstates that, for every percent point rise in the unemployment rate, the national output of goods and services falls by 3 percent point.
Over the years different forms of financial institutions have been established by the government, some of are now defunct, they include small-scale industries credit scheme. The Nigeria bank for commerce and industries. Industrial development centre, the national economic reconstruction fund, small and medium enterprises loan scheme.

5.2 Conclusion

The data analysis of the data collected that was carried out in chapter four of this study result in the following findings:

  1. Most of SSEs are financed through personal savings, loans from associates such as friends and relatives with small proportion of capital coming from private profit oriented banks.
  2. Most of the entrepreneurs do not know about the existence of most of the financial institutionsestablished by the government to provide finance to their sector.
  3. Small-scale enterprise effectively involved in employment generation in Nigeria.
  4. Small-scale enterprises effectively play significant role in financial and economic growth in Nigeria.
  5. The main factors that militate against most SSEs are capital shortage and bad environment under which they are operating.
  6. The main reason why loans are difficult to obtain from banks has to do with the inability to produce well- prepared financial statements.

5.3 Recommendation

As stated in chapter one of this study one of the objectives of the study is to make necessary recommendations based on the findings of the study. Recommendations are necessary in order to put policy maker in the right step during the formulation of policies that have to do with the small and medium scale industries.

Firstly, as indicated in the findings, most of the small and medium scale enterprises are financed through personal saving and loans from associates that include friends and relatives. As other findings show, the inability to obtain loan is due to the fact that banks perceive the small-scale industry as having a very high level of credit risks. However, it must be that the credit risk of small scale enterprise is not too high if necessary monitory activities are put in place as they are for their large-scale counterpart.

Also, most SSEs do not prepare proper and regular financial reports that makes them not to have one for loan purposes. Policy should be put in place to make compulsory preparation of business names so that names of which do not subsequently prepare financial report may be struck off from the register book.

The roles play by SSEs has been conformed by this study. It therefore means that the SSEs can effectively be used to improve the country’s employment generation and financial growth if the above stated problems that they face are tackled. More activities of the government should therefore be directed to the industry.

As it has been shown in the findings, most of the small-scale entrepreneurs do not know about the existence of government financial institutions that are meant to provide loans to them. The government should therefore do more by creating proper awareness programmes. Since most SSEs are in the rural areas, the awareness programmes should be directed at these areas. Though the national environment is not so conducive for a lot of reason ranging from political to non-availability of infrastructure facilities, the small-scale industries seem to be more affected since the large scale counterpart can adjust due largely to availability of capital. The government should therefore create policies that will ensure and guarantee good business environment so that the advantages embedded in small-scale enterprises can be achieved.

In concluding this research project, the findings of this work do not differ significantly from what has been said by former researcher as reviewed in chapter two of this work. However, this does not mean that further study into this area cannot be undertaken since new facts are emerging everyday.

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