THE ROLE OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE RURAL POPULACE IN NIGERIA

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Abstract
Rural entrepreneurship can help develop rural areas through good management of the local resources. Within the framework of integrated rural development theory, this study attempts to determine the perceptions of rural entrepreneurs on the nature and role of entrepreneurship in rural economic development. The study adopted the survey and descriptive design. The researchers randomly selected 200 rural entrepreneurs from five towns in Oyi Local Government Area. The major source of data was primary data, though secondary data such as journals, textbooks and Internet materials were also consulted. A 24-item questionnaire of strongly agree, agree, disagree and strongly disagree was designed and administered. Findings showed that rural entrepreneurship can help increase output, create employment and reduce rural urban migration among other things. However, rural entrepreneurs are faced with certain challenges such as insufficient funds and lack of government support. Based on these findings, the researchers recommended that rural areas should be made attractive and government should create enabling environments for rural entrepreneurs through their policies and other assistance.
 
CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION

  • Background to the Study

Governments in developing countries have now come to the realisation that no development will be meaningful except when the rural communities are also carried along. This realisation is borne out of the reality that rural dwellers constitute a significant component of their population. Indeed, Onibokun (1987) in his policy paper revealed that the rural population constitutes 70% – 80% of the entire population of most third world countries. Nigeria’s rural dwellers constitute 53% of the country’s total population (World Bank 2015). The bulk of Nigeria’s food and fibre supply come from the rural areas, whose production of cassava, palm produce, etc. has long contributed significantly to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). However, poverty and infrastructural deficits are a common phenomenon in Nigeria’s rural sector. Egwemi and Odo (2013) observe that Nigeria still falls far short of the economic and social progress required to impact the well-being of the average Nigerian, given that over half of Nigeria’s population live on less than 1 dollar a day. These obviously suggest the need for attention to rural areas for sustainable development. Taking cognisance of the level of economic activities in rural development, it becomes apparent that action must be taken to ensure sustainable rural development.
Rural development is a strategy designed to improve the economic and social life of the rural poor (Umembali & Akubuilo 2006). Deji (2005) sees rural development as a way of restructuring the national economy to bring about improvement in the standard of living of people in rural areas. But rural development cannot be achieved unless certain strategies are used. Ebiriwa (2005) outlines some approaches to rural development as modernisation approach, transformation approach and demonstration approach, while Nwobi (2007) adds agricultural approach, internal combustion approach, basic resource approach, etc. to the list. Each of the listed strategies has contributed in one way or an other to the development of rural areas. However, the inclusion of rural entrepreneurship as a strategy appears to be capable of contributing much more.
1.2 Statement of problem
The poor state of most rural economies is very devastating and pathetic. Rural areas have peculiar problems of low income, low productivity, high degree of unemployment, high population rate, poor technological growth, low infrastructures, high illiteracy rate, malnutrition, etc. Entrepreneurial orientation to rural development, in contrast to development based on bringing in human capital and investment from outside, is based on stimulating local entrepreneurial talent and the subsequent growth of indigenous companies. This in turn would create jobs and add economic value to a region and community and at the same time keep scarce resources within the community. To accelerate economic development in rural areas, it is necessary to increase the supply of entrepreneurs, thus building up the critical mass of first-generation entrepreneurs (Petrin 1992). But there are worries that progress in the promotion of rural entrepreneurship may be hindered by lack of or inadequate understanding of its concept and role in the rural sector. Institution of appropriate promotional policies cannot be guaranteed unless there is adequate knowledge of rural entrepreneurship (on the part of the people) and its potential in rural development. Therefore, the focus of this study was to investigate The Role Of Entrepreneurship In The Development Of The Rural Populace In Nigeria
 
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is on The Role Of Entrepreneurship In The Development Of The Rural Populace In Nigeria
 
SCOPE/DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
            The scope was limited to corporate organizations and individuals. Who know the problems Nigeria’s are facing in the world economic policy especially the exchanges of our currencies.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
            This study was embarked upon with the hope that the results and findings will add to the existing stock of information on this area of study.
Therefore, it is the researches belief that policy makers will gain and moreover, be in a better position to articulate policies on exchange rate given the results of this study. Also corporate organizations individuals and respond to various exchange rate policies which believe will enhance the management of scarce resources at their disposal.

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