Supporting Entrepreneurship Development in Multi-Purpose Cooperatives in Nigeria

In Nigeria today, a lot of attention has been taking away from our cooperative societies. Therefore, this article highlights the supporting mechanisms for entrepreneurship development in Multi-purpose cooperatives. It also shows that intersectional relationship for developing entrepreneurship is the first priority of cooperative society, other priorities are arranging governmental essential instructions for supporting and developing entrepreneurship, creating supportive networks for the cooperatives society entrepreneurs, establishing centers for developing entrepreneurship in the cooperatives, and identifying and resolving the structural barriers and limitations of entrepreneurship development in the cooperative society.

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You know for more than 150 years, the cooperatives have operated across the world. Based on their vast experience, they continue to develop in most sectors, such as consumer, banking, agriculture and service provision, not to mention sport and culture and most people don’t have a clue about what it is. It’s just endless if you think about it for a minute. They remain an economic and social reality wherever they operate. According to Dr lawal kamaldeen he said that “far from having passed their “sell-by” date, they are responding to market needs and demands. Moreover, they are also meeting the new and unsatisfied needs of the people”. However, this is their strong point. Entrepreneurship is the process of creating value through establishing a unique assembly of resources in order to exploit the opportunities.

Entrepreneurship is considered as an economic development engine in the competitive market based economy accompanied with the speedy changes and revolutions, which can develop the countries’ economy, increase the productivity, provide jobs and cause social welfare. Then it begs the question “How difficult is it for cooperatives in developing countries like Nigeria to develop entrepreneurial skills?  You see from the point of view of economic organizations, cooperatives are likely to be confronted with several obstacles in this process. First, due to it’s multiple owners and purposes, the entrepreneurial function within a cooperative tends to be less clearly allocated than in an investor owned firm. Moreover, members have a greater incentive to devote time to private entrepreneurial tasks on their own firms, since the returns to entrepreneurial efforts at the cooperative level will always be distributed among the group. secondly, capital accumulation tends to be a problem in cooperatives, because dividends have to be paid obviously to a large number of members. Capital constraints could mean that wages offered to workers or labour and managers are not high enough to attract the most entrepreneurial ones.

So if you don’t already know, well now you know that a cooperative entrepreneur is one who undertakes and assumes the responsibility to discover innovative opportunities, on the basis of collective effort.

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If our Nigerian footballers can come together like this and win a tournament, why can’t we as Nigerians come together like this? you get the picture yeah!! well. Over the last decades, a broad consensus has emerged among the international development community, that a strong private sector is key to ensuring sustainable economic development, employment generation and competitiveness. A number of developing countries have begun to adopt policies reducing the role of the state in the economy in favor of  more market based systems. This has been supported to varying degrees by a series of reforms meant to improve macroeconomic stability, promote more predictable and business-friendly legal and regulatory environments, and increase investments in public infrastructure and education. Such strategies are aimed at supporting private sector development and improve national competitiveness.

Targeted measures have been increasingly implemented in order to accelerate entrepreneurial activity rates. Now i totally understand that establishing and activating cooperatives and developing the entrepreneurial activities, according to the unbalanced distribution of income from the country’s economic growth, is a suitable solution for developing entrepreneurial activities and social justice realization. In addition to providing employment, cooperatives are good for public collaboration, creativity and innovative development in order to realize the economic and social justice. They prevent the government from being the major employer and they reduce monopoly, hoarding, and inflation. The cooperative sector is divided into three main sub sectors, that is, cooperatively-run businesses, a range of community-based organizations and households. The identification of supportive strategies for entrepreneurship in the multi-purpose cooperatives is a significant step for resolving socio-economic problems. There are crucial challenges for cooperative sub sectors. For multi-purpose cooperatives and agricultural cooperatives in developing countries like Nigeria, one of the main issues is how to deal with the inevitable tension between engaging in new entrepreneurial relations while also remaining an organization that is truly controlled by, and works for the benefits of, it’s members. The ability to solve this apparent contradiction between efficiency and equity and to find the right trade-off between a business orientation and the promise of social inclusion are among the key features that make the cooperative’s entrepreneur unique. one of the key challenges for the development sector is how to adopt a more business-oriented vision without becoming part of the mainstream business(keeping it’s identity).

Evaluating the possibility of entrepreneurship in the cooperatives, the most important limiting factors are poverty of rural regions, inequality inside the rural society, rural migration, villages’ evacuation, damage taking of the rural population, unemployment and the employment issue in the rural regions, privation in the rural regions, and abnormality of the settlement system of villages. While the most important problem for developing entrepreneurial activities in the agricultural production cooperatives is creating the continuous learning culture for continuous updating of skills and knowledge specially on the subject of commercial affairs and entrepreneurship training. Based on this culture, no one should be limited to his/her current knowledge.

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This shows that creating appropriate structures for informing the agriculture production cooperatives is necessary and this structure is based on the ICT development. Studies in the United states of America, Europe, and Asia has shown that entrepreneurship training can have a remarkable impact if they are provided along with facilitating and encouraging operations. These includes entrepreneurship for all ages, various loans for entrepreneurship in different fields, facilitating the conditions for those who start a new business, fostering entrepreneurial culture and holding festivals at a national level to glorify entrepreneurship dignitaries. Results of these solutions are consistent with the main activities completed in the successful countries, supports for entrepreneurship in the cooperatives including consulting services, informational supports, intersectional links, making scientific capacities, credits and loans, and education. Entrepreneurship training is a policy which is directly affecting the quality and quantity of an entrepreneurial distribution in a society. That is why the problems are resolved in many countries especially the developed ones and the governments have started to develop the potential ability of their people.

Conclusion

Supporting the cooperative entrepreneurial plans is one of the most important factors for entrepreneurship development. Cooperative manuals should be provided for entrepreneurs on the policies and fields of supports by governments. Pioneer entrepreneurs should collaborate with new cooperatives members in order to provide a manual on information about regulations, instructions, and supportive cooperative programmes.

Recommendations

According to the results in this article, the following recommendations are pointed out :

  • Preparing a manual, with the objectives of harmonizing and classifying the instructions, in order to provide information about regulations, instructions, and supportive programs and giving it, as a reference manual, to the cooperative entrepreneurs.
  • Developing the cooperatives’ members, Board of Directors, and Managing Directors’ awareness and knowledge of entrepreneurship concepts through creating informational websites, regionally, in order to inform and set up scientific and practical courses for cooperatives according to their field of interest. Training of trainers in entrepreneurship is also recommended.
  • To develop entrepreneurship in cooperatives, tax exemptions at least five years should be considered. The ministry in charge of cooperatives should monitor and supervise cooperative organizations.
  • Establishing cooperative entrepreneurial consulting services in various areas of the country to provide consulting, educational, investigational, and promotional services for cooperative entrepreneurs is recommended.
  • It is also suggested that entrepreneurial cooperatives, through establishing an association, share their experiences with each other.
  • Developing and increasing cooperative entrepreneurship education through practical and scientific courses is a strategy for developing the cooperative entrepreneurship. However, in long term, the country’s educational system should develop a complete national program for developing entrepreneurship. Rules and regulations should be clearer and less interferential. It is suggested that a work group should set the appropriate regulations and educational curriculum Ministries of Science and Education

Chinedu Okeke

Chinedu is the founder of Nigerian Tech. He is a tech enthusiast who has the passion for emerging trends in the tech industry. He is also a professional web content developer.

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