By PETER OSALOR
Business enterprise is the answer for change in Nigeria, so why aren’t there more businesses popping up all over the country?
Part of this is due to a number of reasons. However, there have been new policies put in place in Nigeria that guide both education and technology so that Nigerians can reach educational goals and use the completion of those goals to take the step.
The next step is in starting a business that will increase individual income and will also produce jobs.
As it stands now, Nigeria is considered a ‘’Third World Giant” with the potential to become an emerging economic giant. This is because the education is there and the government has provided means for individuals to acquire an education.
The Nigerian Economic Policy 1999-2003 cleared the way for all Nigerians to have equal opportunity to acquire the education they need to pull themselves out of poverty.
The emerging technology sector has also opened up a few doors because many of the new businesses and business endeavours revolve around technology.
Many economies, developed and developing, have come to realise the value of small businesses. They are seen to be characterised by dynamism, witty innovations, efficiency, and their small size allows for faster decision-making process.
Governments all over the world have realised the importance of this category of companies and have formulated comprehensive public policies to encourage, support and fund the establishment of SMEs.
Developments in small and medium enterprise are a sine quo non for employment generation, solid entrepreneurial base and encouragement for the use of local raw materials and technology.
Small business operations are propelled by the dynamic theory, which makes them efficient and prone to constant changes which generate employment, increase job growth, and induce change, innovation and competition.
The benefits of SMEs to any economy are easily noticeable, they include: contribution to the economy in terms of output of goods and services; creation of jobs at relatively low capital cost, especially in the fast growing service sector; provision of a vehicle for reducing income disparities; development of a pool of skilled and semi-skilled workers as a basis for the future industrial expansion; improvement of forward and backward linkages between economically, socially and geographically diverse sectors of the economy; provision of opportunities for developing and adapting appropriate technological approaches; offering an excellent breeding ground for entrepreneurial and managerial talent, the critical shortage of which is often a great handicap to economic development, among others.
Besides, technology has taken the entire world by storm and is also linking the world together. An entrepreneur can acquire a client in the US and make more money than if they were to do business with other Nigerians.
That is U.S. money coming into the Nigerian economy because a Nigerian business owner broke the borders and stretched their legs. Fortunately, this is occurring more and more and the government, as well as the people, want to see more of it. This is the answer for change in Nigeria. It is all in business enterprise.
However, there is a dilemma. Nigeria has seen incredible economic decline that started in the 1980s. This decline has made the environment unfavourable for entrepreneurs to succeed.
In other words, there is a degree of fear involved. The infrastructure of Nigeria can also make the road a difficult one to travel, despite the policies that have been put in place. Policies do not take time, but the government must inform those ambitious and hopeful for a better future that the doors are there.
Couple this with the fact that the country has abundance of many other natural resources and has good port facilities and you might think that international businesses would be fighting for a piece of the action in Nigeria.
With enough motivation, even if that means self-motivation, obtaining venture capital through foundations, trusts, and non-governmental organisations can be possible, corruption and greed within the government can be conquered, the lack of enforcement in patent laws can be overcome, and women can be business owners too.