Information and small enterprise development in Borno State of Nigeria
This thesis presents the result of research into small-scale enterprise in Borno State of Nigeria. The development of the small-enterprise sector has been a policy objective in the country over the past decade. Its main contributions are envisaged as creating employment, contributing to industrialisation, spreading industry to rural areas, and mobilisation of local resources. The growth of the sector and its contribution have, however, not been as great as desired.Lack of information and advice for potential and existing small-scale enterprises can restrict their development and growth. This aspect had not previously been studied in depth in the Nigerian environment. This created the need to study the information needs of and sources available to small firm entrepreneurs. The research was concentrated in Borno State. The method of study involved interview with small firm agencies and with small firm owner/managers.The study found that there are quite a number of programmes for assisting small firm entrepreneurs but emphasis is mainly laid in providing material and technical assistance rather than information and counselling. The existing agencies are also found to be constrained in providing effective assistance to small firm entrepreneurs by inadequate organisation. The perceived needs of small firm entrepreneurs on the other hand are mainly related to finding resources. Need for management competence is unrealised or suppressed. They tend to look for information on their perceived needs through informal personal sources and business contacts and are reluctant (due to a lack of confidence) to contact Government sponsored services for assistance.The main recommendation is for an overhaul of government aided assistance to small firms and a need to stress the development of management competence rather than emphasis on material support. In particular it is recommended that the several existing services be coordinated into an information network of assistance programmes. This will consist of consultancy units, a business information unit, a coordination centre and a credit guarantee scheme.