PROJET TOPIC- SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT IN ABAKALIKI; STRATEGIES FOR GROWTH” A STUDY OF ABAKALIKI RICE MILL INDUSTRY LIMITED

ABSTRACT

This study was designed to investigate Small Business development in Abakaliki, Strategies for growth; with special reference to Abakaliki Rice – Mill Industry Limited. In carrying out the study, the researcher states the problems and objectives of the study, equally formulates 4 research questions to executes the work and some relevant related literature were reviewed. The population of the study is 400 Mill-owners of Abakaliki Rice – Mill Industry and the Sample Size is 200 Mill-owners, which were randomly and purposely selected from the area of study. Survey method was employed and data was collected through self-structured questionnaire personally distributed to selected samples. Total of 200 questionnaire were distributed while 185 returned, the data was analyzed by the use of frequency distribution and simple percentage (%). The findings revealed the problems befalling small businesses, suggest prospects for small business growth, formulates survival strategies to small business and lastly evaluate the relevance of government policies and regulations on small business. The researcher based on the findings of the study made recommendations that will be of immense advantage to small business if duly implemented.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

This topic “Small business development; strategies for growth”, seeks to provide or short list the possible methods or techniques to be adopted by small businesses to improve or increase their level of operation or productivity, particularly within Abakaliki metropolis. Furthermore, in reviewing the past and present economic situation of the Nation, it could be observed that small businesses contribute in no small measure to the to the growth of the economy not withstanding the numerous problems confronting them. Small

businesses have not received the type of attention they deserves. In most developed countries of the world, small businesses play crucial roles in their economic development. But in Nigeria, Abakaliki in particular research had proved that many small businesses will spring up very well and they will collapse in no distance time due to one problem or the other. It is suggestive that small – scale business organizations fail and that 90% of these failures could be due to the constraints confronting the businesses. The constraints may include poor planning,

inexperienced manager/workers, poor location/site, corruption, diversion or embezzlement of funds, heavy operating expenses, inadequate managerial competence or lack of skilled manpower, under-capitalization, Unaccountability and poor record keeping, inadequate credit control, lack of proper inventory control, inadequacy of infrastructural facilities and many other, while 10% are recorded as negligence to work activities, fraud and disaster. Generally, the economic condition of small businesses are still weak due to lack of implementation of Government policies.

On the other hands, small busines Act of 1953 defines a small – scale business as one, which is independently owned, operated and not dominant in its field of operation. Therefore, to facilitate small businesses growth or survival, there is need to find out those constraints that pose a lot of threats to the survival or growth of these businesses as well as suggesting operative measures to the owners managers for effective and efficient control and management. Small businesses are important and indispensable in the Nation’s economic growth because they offer about 70% of the Nation’s population employment opportunities through self-actualization programme.

The Federal Government in 1998 introduced the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP) with the aim of assisting small-scale businesses through formulation of appropriate policies and strategies for improvement and accomplishment of objective identified by such Organization. Therefore, formulating appropriate policies and strategies will be a survival ground for small businesses and its bearings aimed at ensuring organizational efficiency quality control, design of

information system, dealing with competition, dealing with inflation, dealing with rough times and insuring perfect business management and control. However, other favourable survival ground to small businesses proved that the growth of any small business depends on their product or service Line which can be obtain in necessary volume at a cost so that after adding the profit, it can be sold at a competitive price to buyers who will pay for it and in total will buy enough that necessary volume will be reached. Again, Business men who are interested in

establishing small businesses should first explore opportunities that can guarantee long growth and existence. Finally, to alleviate the problems of Small Business in Nigeria, the Researcher is using Abakliki Ricemil Industries Limited as a reference point. Small Business Managers must be convinced that formal and proper planning are the prerequisite for successful operation and growth of any business. They should be acknowledgeable on planning the strategies that will best suit their various small businesses.

1.2 Statement of Problem

The Nature of Nigeria economy shows that Nigeria businesses especially the small businesses are in crises. A good number of them fail after a short period of establishment, while a good number is in the process of liquidation. Indeed, they is no doubt that under these situation, the Nation’s economic growth is affect in no small measure by small-scale business leaving those goals they proposed satisfying. However, the researcher decide taking up the task to investigate those constraints that normally lead to the failure or collapse of such business in Nigeria, particular in Abakaliki in order to formulate an appropriate survival or growth strategies for small businesses.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

This research work seeks to accomplish the following;

  1. To investigate the actual problems (Constraints) facing Small businesses in Abakaliki Urban.
  2. To find out the prospects of small business in Abakaliki metropolis.
  3. To formulate growth or survival strategies to small business for efficiency and perfect management.
  4. To evaluate the relevance of government policies on small business operation and management.

1.4 Significance of the Study

The importance of this research are as follows:

  1. The small business operators and managers through the findings of this study will become conversant with the constraints that hinder their businesses.
  2. The business operators and managers through this work will know the relevance of proper planning any business.
  3. The small business operators and managers through this project will understand government policies on small businesses and their relationship to organizational efficiency.
  4. This project will expose the business operators especially those in Abakaliki metropolis to various managerial skills and functions so as to apply them perfectly.

1.5 Scope of the Study

The study is limited to investigating the problems (constraints) facing small businesses within Abakaliki Urban, with special reference to Abakaliki Rice Mill Industry Limited. As such, the it study will cover the problems or constraints of small businesses, their prospects, the growth or survival strategies as well as the relevance of government policies on small business operation and management.

1.6 Research Questions

For the realization of this research objectives, the following are the research questions out lined for testing:

  1. What are the actual problems or constraints facing small businesses in Abakaliki Urban?
  2. What are the prospects of small businesses in Abakaliki metropolis?
  3. What are the growth or survival strategies to small – scale businesses in Abakaliki Urban?
  4. What are the relevance of government policies on small business operation and management to small business in Abakaliki metropolis?
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