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Human Capital Development: A Panacea for Entrepreneurial Growth in Ebonyi State



Background to the Study

          In recent times, human capital development has been the focus of concern towards the development of Ebonyi State. This is for the fact that the growth of tangible capital stock of any state especially developing states like Ebonyi State depends to a considerable degree on human capital development (Gyang, 2011). Any nation or state that fails to take proper care of its human capital should equally say goodbye to having entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship (Obisi and Anyim, 2012).

Human capital according to Obisi and Anyim (2012) are the talents, skills, competencies and other advantages which people possess, which can be put to better use to give organizations and nations more and more benefits. According to Law and Smullen (2008) human capital are the skills, general or specific, acquired by an individual in the cause of vocational and technical education training and the industrial work place after training. Ayandele (2010) noted that human capital is the productive capital of the people in an enterprise or a nation as economic agents. Therefore, human capitals are those talents, skills, and knowledge which are inherent or acquired by individuals that encourage socio-economic growth when harnessed.

Certain skills are require by management to accomplish its challenges. Thus, essential skills which every manager required for doing a better management are called managerial skills (Akrani, 2011). The managerial skills according to Akrani (2011) include: conceptual skills, which is the ability to visualize the organization as a whole; human relation skill: an ability to work with people; and technical skill: the ability to perform a given job. Every manager needs these skills to ensure that his or her company is working adequately. Hence, it is crystal clear from the above stated definitions and explanations from different scholars that human capital development is paramount for entrepreneurial growth of any State.

Furthermore, it is when a state takes proper care of its human capital that it can develop and metamorphose into entrepreneur so that entrepreneurship would manifest, grow and flourish and the state would in turn develop economically (Obisi and Anyim, 2012). Human capital development is something that must exist or happen for state development to take place.

According to Enyekit, Amaehule, and Teerah (2011), human capital development is a process of increasing human knowledge, enhancing skills in vocational and technical education for increase in productivity and stimulate resourcefulness of trainees. To them, human capital development teaches people how to utilize the power of diverse thinking styles (analytical and intuitive) so that they achieve holistic best practical solution. Human capital development is about supporting combined with investing in human capital, coaching, training, internship and human capital management. Engekit, Amaehule, and Teerah (2011) maintained that human capital development presupposes investments, activities and processes that produce vocational and technical education knowledge, skills, health or values that are embodied in people. This implies that building inappropriate balance and critical mass of human resource base and providing an enabling environment for all individuals to be fully engaged and contribute to goals of an organization or a state. Without a well-nurtured, harnessed and developed human capital, entrepreneurship abilities and successes would not develop and grow, and Ebonyi State would continue to lag behind in economic growth (Obisi and Anyim, 2012).

            Omolayo (2006) stated that entrepreneurship is the act of starting a company, arranging business deals and taking risks in order to make profit through the educational skill and knowledge acquired. To him, entrepreneurship can be described as the process of bringing together creative and innovative ideas and coupling these with management and organizational skills in order to combine people, money and resources to meet and create wealth. Nwegor (2007) opined that entrepreneurship is a process of bringing together the factors of production, which include land, labour and capital so as to provide a product or services for public consumption.

            Operationally, entrepreneurship is the willingness and ability of an individual or individuals to acquire educational skills to explore and exploit investment opportunities, establish and manage a successful business enterprise.

            The qualities entrepreneurs bring to a new venture depend on the resources built up through education and experience. ‘Thus, Teece (2011) agrees that there are strong links between effective entrepreneurship and human capital development. This is seen in the light that entrepreneurs were not born but were made through skills, education and experiences acquired.

            Emmanuel (2010) opines that an entrepreneur must possess entrepreneurial qualities which include the psychological and mental ability to bear risks and deal with failures, self confidence, initiative and personal responsibility. In other words successful business people have many qualities in common with one another. This include: discipline, confidence, open minded, self starter, competitive, creativity, among others. This implies that entrepreneurship growth and successes would help lift Ebonyi State from the bottom ladder of development which she has found herself. It is clear that low human capital development in addition to unconducive business environment and political challenges constitute the problems confronting the Nigeria economy (Ajibola, 2012). Ajibola (2012) maintained that the problem facing human capital can be traced to unaffordable cost of education to an average family, the replacement of human capital with technological equipment, lack of effective vocational training/IT centres and research institutes and low quality of education, inadequate and mismanagement of research funds, among others.

            However, entrepreneurship would never grow unless there is a deliberate effort on the part of Ebonyi State to develop and reinvigorate her human capital through education, training, cultural dynamism, commitment, social interaction, leadership, attitudinal training, and orientation (Obisi and Anyim, 2012). This is to say that entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs can thrive only when the human capital is harnessed; nurtured and developed.

According to Ajibola (2012) most people work in smaller enterprises; hence growth objectives based on human capital development must extend even to single person enterprises. Collective productivity improvement through human capital development among small business has an unimaginably large and undervalued pay-off. Therefore, maximizing what one may call gross domestic of the work force driven at the level of the individual enterprises is the primary source of growth, productivity, wealth creation and social instability.

Statement of problems

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) report (2002) rates Nigeria low in its human capital development balance sheet on various fronts ranging from education down to infrastructure. According to the report, Nigeria occupies one hundred and forty six (146th) positions out of one hundred and seventy four (174) countries covered in the report.

Ebonyi State is one of the poorest States in Nigeria as a result of government’s nonchalant attitudes towards human capital development as well as entrepreneurship development. Things have deteriorated to the extent that human capital development project is not included in the annual budget of Ebonyi State owing to the fact that political leaders in the state do not fully understand and appreciate the importance and dividends of developing human capital.

Workers in Ebonyi State lacks the required skills, education, proper training, qualities and other competences that are needed for performing their duties effectively in their various duty posts; these have made both the public and private sectors to lay off these workers from their respective establishments thereby increasing suffering, hardship and poverty.

There is constant increase in poverty level and unemployment rate in Ebonyi State recently. This is for the fact that many Ebonyi people especially the youths are wasting their resources searching for white collar jobs which are not in existence instead of being self reliant and employers of labour. The effects of poverty and unemployment in Ebonyi State are seen in the light of increase in political and social crises, civil unrest and crime of various kinds like kidnapping, rape, arm robbery, child abuse, et cetera.

Consequently, workers lack motivation and sponsorship to attain conferences, seminars, workshops and short courses within and outside the country which will enable them to be more equipped and competent in contributing to the development of the state.

This study is set to find out permanent solutions to these numerous endemic and pandemic phenomena militating against human capital development and entrepreneurial growth in Ebonyi State.

 Purpose of the Study

       The main purpose of this study is to discuss human capital development: a panacea for entrepreneurial growth in Ebonyi State.

            Specifically, the study seeks to;

  1. Find out the managerial skills require for entrepreneurial growth in Ebonyi State.
  2. Find out the entrepreneurial qualities require for entrepreneurial growth in Ebonyi State.
  3. Ascertain how entrepreneurial growth can enhance socio-economic development of Ebonyi State.
  4. Find out the problems of human capital development in Ebonyi State.
  5. To proffer solutions to the problems of human capital development in Ebonyi State.

Significance of the Study

            The findings of this study will be of great importance to the students of home economics department, the lecturers, civil servants, business owners, prospective investors and other interested users of information and findings of this nature.

            The findings of this study will stimulate the interest in human capital development and entrepreneurial growth. This will serve as a means of motivating and redirecting students’ mindset from the huddles of searching for non-existing white collar jobs, to be self reliant, job creators and employers of labour.

            To the lecturers, the findings of this study have the potentials of contributing immensely to the existing body of literature on this subject matter. In same vein, this study will enrich the knowledge of the lecturers on the need and importance of teaching human capital development and entrepreneurship education.

            This study will widen the knowledge of civil servants and prospective investors with the required skill to be successfully operational in the area of business and right attitude towards entrepreneurial growth.

            This study will suggest the panacea through which well developed human capital can be achieved to the political leaders and other top management officers in Ebonyi State. Hence, it will strategize practically means of ensuring entrepreneurial growth which will drastically reduce unemployment.

            Academically, this research will serve the academic as a useful and veritable bibliographical reference which will stimulate further research on the topic.

Scope of Study                                                        

            This research work is limited to human capital development: a panacea for entrepreneurial growth in Ebonyi State. The study focuses on the required managerial skills for entrepreneurial growth in Ebonyi State, the entrepreneurial qualities required for entrepreneurship growth in Ebonyi State, how entrepreneurial growth can enhance socio-economic development in Ebonyi State, the problems facing human capital development in Ebonyi State, and the solutions to the problems facing human capital development in Ebonyi State. Registered entrepreneurs in Ebonyi State will be the respondents.

Research Questions

            The following research questions guided the study;

  1. What are the managerial skills require for entrepreneurial growth in Ebonyi State?
  2. What are the entrepreneurial qualities require for entrepreneurship growth in Ebonyi State?
  3. How can entrepreneurship development enhance socio-economic development of Ebonyi State?
  4. What are the problems of human capital development in Ebonyi State?
  5. What are the possible solutions to the problems of human capital development in Ebonyi state?


  1. Ho: There is no significant relationship in the mean opinions of male and female entrepreneurs on human capital development and managerial skills require for entrepreneurial growth in Ebonyi State.
  2. H0: There is no control mechanism in the mean opinions of male and female entrepreneurs on the constraints of human capital development in Ebonyi State.
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