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The impact of Entrepreneurship in Community development in Nigeria A case study of Rice Mill Industries Abakaliki Ebonyi State

The Impact of Entrepreneurship in Community development in Nigeria A case study of Rice Mill Industries Abakaliki Ebonyi State



Clearly stated, the point at which man stopped satisfying only his needs and accommodated the needs of a second party marked the real origin of entrepreneurship. Its development has been gradually corresponding, of course, with the development of the human race.

For instance, when Adam and Eve were eventually sent out of the Garden of Eden and they started to procreate, there was the need for increased efforts on the part of all members of the first family.

Succinctly, for the early man to have survived, could only be ascribed to “entrepreneurship”.

But, admittedly, the actual entrepreneurial development could be traced back to that early period in the development of human race. When individuals became conscious of the fact that they could not satisfy themselves by producing all items individually (subsistence living). In fact, building an entrepreneurship may not be radically different from building a house. How long the house remains standing depends largely on its foundation and it is the owner who chooses whether to build on the rock or marshy terrain. In most cases too, the owners who wants a good house will set out with the end picture or an idea of the house to be built in mind. It is this goal or plan, which informs the structure and labour that go into the making of the house, and indeed its maintenance to preserve the original desire.

The object of these rather simplified comparisons is to underscore the importance of the entrepreneur’s   tenacity of purpose and passion in laying the critical foundation for entrepreneurship building at the initial stages of the business. His power of vision and the mental, emotional and physical abilities to transform the vision into reality is what lifts the business off the ground, and keeps it growing till it attains the respectable status of an entrepreneurship.

This is what makes the entrepreneur the moving force behind the enterprise and indeed a leader in his own right.

It is pertinent at this point to take a closer look at the entrepreneur for a better appreciation of this make-up and what makes him tick.

The emergence of the entrepreneur in the business arena in the 19th century came as a momentous change in the structure and management orientation of an enterprise. Indeed, the French economics Jean Baptise say, who first popularized the concept described the entrepreneur as “one who starts his own new and small business. Since then, entrepreneur have been variously called risk-taker, owner-manager, innovator, maverick, etc. All these appreciations reflect an attempt to capture the essence of the entrepreneur as a dogged achiever, in fact, as a phenomenon.

However, there are few characteristics that can provide some insight about this class of business people.

Vision – the entrepreneur is driven mainly by his vision or dream.

He comes on the scene armed only with ideas and conviction about the viability of such ideas. Often, they could be fresh ideas about a product or service.

Passion – This is perhaps the greatest strength of the entrepreneur, as reflected in the tenacious pursuit of his goals in the face of impossible odds. The workshop or office for the business at this stage could be the garage or any available space a round the house, it does not prevent the entrepreneur from working long hours day and night.

Informal structure/relationship – There is no room for any formal structure in the work pattern of the entrepreneur because all that matters at this stage is the goal. He might have brought on board a few other people as partners, but these would be people with common traits, and who share the entrepreneur’s dream. As such, a typical entrepreneurial firm exhibits a lot of camaderie among the workers. Relationships are very inform, and everyone switches roles easily as there is no boss or subordinate. There is a strong bond from the passion of the dram they all share, and this affinity may even extend to family members who are encouraged to intermingle.

In a similar twist of events, the Abakaliki Rice Mill Industry which was established in 1933, at the present site of the college of Agricultural science (CAS), of the Ebonyi State University, by foreigner has undergone so many structural changes.

Apparently, an outstanding rice farmer, Mr. James Iweka, whose aim, probably, was to run a subsidiary venture to his paddy, was the first to install a rice milling engine, at the present “meat market” site, Abakaliki.In response to the insatiable demand for milled rice in the country. In 1939, a rice milling engine was also installed at number 1 Ogoga Road (ie at the present central Cinema), Abakaliki.

Accordingly, sequel to the promulgation of the indigenzation decree during the early 1970s By Gowon Yakubu regime, expatriates were compelled to loosing their ownership of the industry, to the hands of indigenous millionaires, who created five functional line (A-E), in the industry at the permanent site.

It need be recalled however, that before the floating of this industry, the people of Abakaliki to be précised, had relied on the flair of using a mortal and pestle to mill their rice.However, the main thrust of this research work is to evaluate the role(s) of entrepreneurship in community development.


Many have always argued that entrepreneurs in Nigeria have not been playing those roles that have always been expected of them.

In fact, it has always been reported that:

  • Entrepreneurs have not been much helpful in job creation, so as to cut down the endless queues of unemployed.
  • Seemingly, Nigerian entrepreneurs have not been creating satisfactorily, such needed raw-material to help in the survival of infant industries.
  • Reportedly, some entrepreneurs have not been performing their social responsibilities.
  • It does appear that entrepreneurs have not been providing the much needed business education to enhance the skills and knowledge of prospective entrepreneurs.

The study (research work) set to achieve the following objectives:

  • To know if entrepreneurs have been creating much employment opportunities in Nigeria.
  • To determine whether entrepreneurs have been producing the needed raw-materials to boost the survival of infant industries.
  • To appraise the efforts of Nigerian entrepreneurs in the area of their social responsibilities.
  • To examine whether Nigerian entrepreneurs provide enough business education to guide prospective entrepreneurs.
  • To evaluate those facts that hinder entrepreneurial development with a view to knowing how best to over come them.
  • The study will serve as an important indices to any one who wishes to know more about entrepreneurship development.
  • It is going to review and evaluate the performance of entrepreneurship in Nigeria.
  • It is going to serve as reference material to researchers on similar problem especially to research student.
  • It is going to help government in making policies that are related to entrepreneurship development in the country.
  • The research will open people’s eye on the need to establish or own business enterprises.

First Hypothesis

H1:    Entrepreneurs create enough employment opportunities.

H0:    Entrepreneur, do not create enough employment opportunities.

Second Hypothesis

H1:    Entrepreneurship is the backbone   of Ebonyi State economy.

H0:    Entrepreneurship is not the backbone of Ebonyi State economy.


H1:    Entrepreneur performs social responsibilities in the community.

H0:    Entrepreneur do not perform their social responsibilities in the community.


H1:    Entrepreneurs produces enough non-material needed for the survival of infant industries.

H0:    Entrepreneurs do not produce enough non-material for infant industries.

  • operational definition of term

(i)      COMMUNITY: It is a group of people, small or large, living in a geographical area and shares things in common.This means that for one to belong to a community He or she must share things in common – geographical area, common culture, must belong to group of people, sharing a social system with them.

(ii)     ENTREPRENEUR: It can be seen as a person or group of persons or government that initiate, innovate, manage a business, bears the ability to see and evaluate business opportunities and also have the ability to take advantage of resources available to ensure success.

(iii)    DEVELOPMENT: It is the improvement in economic and social life of people including life – sustenance; and freedom of the people.

(iv)    COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: It is a strategy designed to improve the economic and social life of people of given community. It can equally see as a process of social action in which the people of the community organize themselves for planning , and actions, finding their common problems and they plan how to solve the problems by themselves or by any other external body either government or non-government agencies/organization.

(v)     ENTREPRENEURSHIP: It is the ability to seek out investment opportunities or innovate, bear the risk, and manage it and ensure the success of its objective.


          The study will cover all enterprise including sole proprietorship, partnership and public liability company, Government owns business as well as multi-national business in Ebonyi State.

          It will equally cover the definition, contribution and limitation of entrepreneurship.

          It also cover the sources of fiancé or fund to Abakaliki Rice Mill industries.


          Some problems were encountered during the period of this research work.. Some of the constraints include logistics, financial, library and time constraints.

          The research was limited to Abakaliki Rice Mill Industries in Ebonyi State due to financial constraint and time for running round. The sample size is not up to half of the population under study due to financial constraint as well.Hence, the sample choosen was purely for monitoring purposes. Since people who could have given more relevant information were sometimes not available all the time in their store or office for one reason and another.


This work adopts Adam Smith Competitive market system framework and Keynesian monetary and fiscal framework of analysis. Adam Smith in his work stated that under the competitive market system, market forces can maintain, guarantee or restore equilibrium and development in the economy. According to Smith, state should maintain a non-interventionist position in the running of the economy, arguing that state intervention in the economy has disruptive effect and may not guarantee effective development. Development here answer the question of unemployment level, poverty level, self esteem etc. Capitalism according to him has inbuilt mechanism of self adjustment and can spur development and therefore advocated for a non-interventionist stake in the economy.

The other is Keynesianism, which is an off-shoot of Smithism, emerged as a result of capitalist crises.It was in realization of this fact that He advocated for an interventionist state to regulate the economic activities through its policies to ensure orderliness in the society. He is against the background of laissaz fairism.In the light of the above, the position of entrepreneurship in community development is predicated on the theoretical perspective of the free market system.

This framework assumes that under certain assumptions, if the private individuals initiatives are also allowed in the economy, the market equilibrium will correspond to a point of maximizing efficiency in production, consumption, exchange etc. It equally believes that their involvement help to improve life standard of people and spur development generally even at the rural communities. This is on the ground that a nation is considered developed only at the level of development of its local communities.Therefore, private involvement in the economy encourages entrepreneurial development.

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