Emergence of Small Business in Nigeria

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OLABISI ONABANJO UNIVERSITY
AGO-IWOYE, OGUN STATE, NIGERIA

FACULTY OF SOCIAL AND MANAGEMENT SCIENCES

GOVERNMENT AND SMALL BUSINESS (ENT841)
A TERM PAPER ON

THE EMERGENCE OF SMALL BUSINESS IN NIGERIA

BY
ODUNLAMI MICHAEL A. (09/07/0089)
OMIYALE ABIMBOLA (09/07/00484)
ADENUGA JOHNSON O. (09/07/0075)

PRESENTED TO: PROF. (MRS) OSOBA

NOVEMBER 2012

INTRODUCTION

Before addressing the history of small business, it is better to briefly discuss the meaning, scope and characteristics of small business. Small businesses have many definitions, which vary. The differences in these definitions are usually as a result of differences in the level of development of a country, differences in the organization and structure of industries in different countries and other consideration.

There are various criteria used in classifying small businesses such as employment (number of workers), assets value, turnover, etc. Each country tends to adopt which ever parameter or criteria suitable for it, based on their economic policies and the role small businesses are expected to play in the economic growth and development of the country.

A business is a concern, an enterprise, or organization set up by an individual or group of individuals for the purpose of making profits from operations of the concern. Olagunju (2008) defines business as an enterprise that engages in the production of goods and services that provide satisfaction for consumers.

The definition of small business differs from country to country and from industry to industry. Each country tends to derive its own definition based on the role small businesses are expected to perform in the development of the country. Definitions change over a period of time with respect to price levels, levels of technology, and other considerations. Small businesses are synonymous with small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs). SMEs are usually referred to as small businesses in developed countries.

Generally, a small business is an enterprise or an organization that is privately owned and operated with a small number of employees and relatively low volume of sales. Olagunju (2008) defines small business as those business concerns with a total capital investment of not more than two million (N2,000,000), with the number of employees not more than 50. In Nigeria, small businesses are commonly found in small shops, hairdressers, trade men, photographers, etc. The owner of the business is referred to as an entrepreneur. He provides the capital required for the running of the business. He is the chief coordinator, controller and organizer of the business.

HISTORY OF SMALL BUSINESS

Having explained the meaning, scope and characteristics of small business, this term paper will not be meaningful if we do not discuss the history of small business in Nigeria. People have always participated in the economic activity of producing, trading, etc, most of which are carried out on a small scale. Thus, small business is not a new phenomenon. It is as old as trade itself.

Before 1960, small business was written off as an out dated form of economic activity. Most policy makers were of the view that large firms are the important foundation or basis upon which any nation’s meaningful development is anchored. By the late 1960, the importance of small business was globally acknowledged, which led to the establishment of programmes and schemes aimed at developing small business.

Every country has an account of how small business evolved to this present stage. To avoid boring you with the experience of so many countries, our discussion will be limited to the Nigerian economy. This study therefore examined the historical evolution of small business in Nigeria.

HISTORICAL EMERGENCE OF SMALL BUSINESS IN NIGERIA

For easy understanding, we will like to explain the historical emergence of small business in Nigeria under three main sub-heads:...
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