ENTREPRENEURIAL DEVELOPMENT AND GROWTH OF COOPERATIVE SOCIETIES IN AKWA IBOM STATE (A Case Study of West Itam Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society)
1.1 Background of the Study
Entrepreneurial development and cooperative movement constitute a vital engine in the economic growth and development of nations including Nigeria. This is because it helps to line up various sectors of the economy, make more effective use of recourses (raw materials, capital and labour), generates income (locally and externally) contributes to regional activity and cooperation. The term entrepreneur could be referred to as a business man or woman who assumes the risk of uniting together the basic means of production such as capital, labour, goods and services of his or her products and time.
According to David Reaham, entrepreneur is people who undertake or assume responsibility in economic parlance. The entrepreneur is the individual who assumes responsibility for the operation of a business including the production facilities. To social science disciple of economics identifies entrepreneurs as the fourth fact of production. The others are land, labour capital, whereas both land and labour receives wages for its effort, the entrepreneur is the only factor that can receive positive reward for its advection. The encyclopedia American international Edition (2002) on cooperative on the other hand implies the working together which has its origin in England during the period of the great industrial revolution of (1957). At that time there was a widespread unemployment caused by the introduction of various labour saving devices (machinery) in the industries.
Truly speaking cooperative group started when Robert Owen in collaboration with some philanthropists, politicians and church began to preach to the working class a message of salvation which increased the number of marketing and purchasing cooperative making it double during the period of 1930. This variably has given rise to the understanding of the impediments to entrepreneurial success in the rural areas with more emphases to West Itam Multi-purpose Cooperative society being a case study. The important of entrepreneurship to the survival of nation economic growth and development can no longer be over looked (Onouha, 2004). There is no way of solving entrepreneurship problems than to identify the role played by the cooperative movement in facilitating the employment process in the society.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Over the years, there has been several government policies geared towards entrepreneurial development through cooperative societies through the establishment of various financial institutions such as Agricultural Development Banks, Community Banks, Cooperative Banks and Micro-Finance Banks among others.
Observation shows that despite the existence of these financial institutions, entrepreneurial development and cooperative societies have difficulty to strive in Akwa Ibom State. It is against this background that this study sets to find out the reasons with a view to addressing the factors responsible and then suggest a way forward.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
This study was undertaken to examine the entrepreneurial development and cooperative movement in Akwa Ibom State with special emphasis to West Itam Multi-purpose cooperative society.
In specific term this is aim at;
- Identify the problem associated with the entrepreneurial development and cooperative movement in Akwa Ibom State.
- To determined the extent to which the entrepreneurship and cooperative movement has impacted on the development of Akwa Ibom State.
- To make recommendations toward the improvement of entrepreneurial development and cooperative movement in Akwa Ibom State.
1.4 Research Questions
In order to provide solution to the problem of this study, the following research questions were developed;
- To what extent has the entrepreneurial development and cooperative movement impacted towards the economic development of Akwa Ibom State?
- What are the obstacles militating against the entrepreneurial development and cooperative movement in Akwa Ibom State?
- What are the recommendations towards the improvement of entrepreneurial development and cooperative movement in Akwa Ibom State?
1.5 Research Hypotheses