Business Support and Small Business Survival: A Study of Selected Cooperative-Financed Enterprises in Ogun State, Nigeria
In the face of the prevailing credit crunch in the Nigerian economy, the typical Nigerian budding entrepreneur is guided by such institutional credit markets as the Bank of Industry, Microfinance banks and cooperative societies as avenues for improving the wealth creating potentials of such entrepreneurs. Against a background of serious unemployment and dwindling fortunes of small and medium scale businesses all over Nigeria, the study has a main objective of evaluating the business support activities of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) in her bid to ensure the survival of cooperative financed small and medium scale enterprises in Ogun State, Nigeria. The study, designed as a survey, utilized a two pronged approach in sourcing primary data through the use of questionnaires. Out of the 140 questionnaires administered, 135 were returned representing 96.4% response rate. 27 respondents were officials of Ogun State Cooperative Federation Limited (OGSCOFED), while the remaining 108 were cooperative members who are owners of small businesses in the State. With a Cronbach α coefficient of 0.902, the internal consistency and reliability of the questionnaire was confirmed while the data were analyzed using inferential and descriptive statistics such as simple percentages, rating indices and the Students distribution. The study revealed that the establishment of Business Support Centres, though important, was not significantly crucial to the survival of some selected businesses (especially cooperative financed small businesses) in Ogun State, Nigeria, within the study period of 2005–2010. Among the study’s recommendations are that the Federal Government of Nigeria should put in place necessary infrastructure like regular power,good roads, water and enhanced security across the states in order to enhance the survival of small businesses in Nigeria. Inasmuch as the small and medium enterprise sector is the nerve centre of most nations’ industrial sector, implementing the study’s recommendations would serve to encourage and engage the army of the nation’s fresh university graduates and subsequently reduce unemployment.