CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background of the Study There is no country in the modern world where an improvement in the material level of living is not regarded as a desirable goal by rulers and citizens alike. The growing acceptance of the need to do something for the poor, can be noticed in the numerous poverty alleviation programmes in Nigeria, the average Nigerian still lives subsist below the absolute poverty line. Amongst the challenges that confront Nigeria, a major contributory factor was the style and expectations of the development strategy that was pursued and faced with this failure; the need for a meaningful national development is not only necessary but also imperative. To this end, a lot of economic reform programmes or strategies have evolved but recently special emphasis is being made on self-reliance via entrepreneur and its numerous small and medium enterprises. The economic success of the countries of south east, Asia, and America is traceable to the contributions made by self-reliant individuals (entrepreneurs), through their numerous small medium development depend on the entrepreneur who makes a living by creating new business new jobs and new ideas. Entrepreneur means different things to different people. In other to appreciate this study more, some concepts that are associated with this study will be explained. According to Oxford advanced Learner?s dictionary it defines entrepreneur as a person who starts or organizes a commercial enterprises, especially one involving financial risk. To an economist, entrepreneur is one who brings resources, Labour, materials and other assets into combination that make their value greater than before and who introduce changes, innovations and a new order. Entrepreneurs are the risk takers who create businesses; they assemble all the factors of production in an effort to start and operate a business and to make a profit. For Schumpeter ?the whole process of economic change hung ultimately on the person who makes it happen?the entrepreneurs?. Entrepreneurship involves combining to initiate changes in production hence it is essentially the promotion of economic change, it is a process involving the entrepreneur and an entrepreneurial career. Hirsch and Peters in their text entitled entrepreneurship: describes this process as one of creating something difficult with value by devoting the necessary time and assuming the accompanying financial, psychic and social risks and receiving the resulting, the rewards of monetary and personal satisfaction. In Nigeria, many policies are constantly being implemented to ensure their survival which will in turn enable them contribute maximally to economic development but there challenges were intensified more by the perennial energy crisis, weak infrastructure, poor import and export policies, tariff structure among others, which have prevailed in the country for sometime now. These have, inevitably led to the near collapse and failure of the small medium enterprises. The government of this country should look into the modalities of solving these challenges. It is therefore against this background that this work sets out to evaluate entrepreneurship development in BENUE state: issues and challenges. 1.2 Statement of The Problem It has been observed that some of the problems associated with entrepreneurship development in BENUE state include but not limited to: In Competence of Management: The major hazard of an entrepreneurship business is the incompetence of management. A small business owner may know will may know all the management principles and theories, his management practice may Jeopardize his business. He may not possess the leaderships qualities, be unwilling to delegate authority, lack of appropriate human relations ability and may not possess the appropriate skills of management, such a business operated by this business owner is likely to fail. Inadequacy of Infrastructural Facilities: Water, electricity, accessible roads, and other means of communication is are sine quanon to the efficient performance of entrepreneurship enterprise. Their absence or inadequacy affects negatively the efficient performance of entrepreneurial businesses. Disaster: There are certain circumstances over which small scale business owner may have little or no control. Natural disaster such as thunder, product or accident or sudden death of the owner may adversely affect the operation of the small scale business enterprise. High Rate of Loan Diversion and Defaults: Both loans obtained from government, banks and individual persons are used to promote personal aggrandizement instead of the corporate objective of the business and hence failure to repay the loan plus interest affect the business. Inadequate Credit Control: A common problem facing entrepreneurial business owner is whether or not to extend credit. Some small scale business enterprise possesses credit granting practices, credits extended to friends and relations are often times too hard to collect in times of need. This therefore, increases the financial predicament of the business owner. Inadequate Planning: Planning a business begins with gathering and evaluating data on resources requirements, operating costs, potential markets and sales, competition, supplies, relevant government regulations, etc. Unfortunately, however, many eager business owners push ahead impulsively, without

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ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN BENUE STATE: ISSUES AND CHALLENGES

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