THE MICRO-ENTREPRENEUR RECHARGE-CARD RETAILERS’ OPPORTUNITIES AND CONSTRAINTS AMONG RECHARGE-CARD RETAILERS IN NIGERIA - Project Topics & Materials - Gross Archive
THE MICRO-ENTREPRENEUR RECHARGE-CARD RETAILERS’ OPPORTUNITIES AND CONSTRAINTS AMONG RECHARGE-CARD RETAILERS IN NIGERIA
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The central aim of the millennium development goals is to alleviate extreme poverty which is deeply entrenched in sub-Sahara Africa of which Nigeria is a part. (United Nations, 2013). Majority of business owners are sole proprietors who can also be called micro-entrepreneurs. Micro-entrepreneurs are the owner of small- scale businesses that have fewer than five employees. Examples of micro-entrepreneurs are recharge card retailers, beauty parlors, child care facilities, repair shops, arts and crafts shops, contracting businesses, family owned shops, Gsm mobile shops, restaurant and small-inventory trading businesses (Answers.yahoo.com). Micro entrepreneurs and micro entrepreneurship are more often associated with small and medium scale enterprises’ even though not restricted to them (Okafor,Chinonye, Onoche, Prosper, & Maxwell, 2013). Micro-entrepreneurship can also, be conceived as a process, which involve the effort of an individual in identifying viable opportunities in a business environment and obtaining and managing the resource needed to exploit those opportunities (Hill & McGowan, 1999). The main focus of this study is to explore the daily income of a group of micro-entrepreneurs in Nigeria, namely, recharge card retailers, to see if their daily income is above the millennium development goals poverty line income (Us $1.25 a day) (NG N200 a day). The study also explored whether the trade could rightly be regarded as ‘decent work’.
Since the arrival of private sector mobile phone companies in Nigeria in early 2000s; an auxiliary business also emerged in the form of mobile phone recharge card retailing (selling). Its operators are typically young sole proprietor whom we can rightly describe as micro- entrepreneurs (Ogunrin, 2014). Mobile phone operators contribute to the economy by creating jobs that rely on the distribution of mobile technology and services. This contribution also takes the form of employment beyond the telecom operators ranks by enhancing entrepreneurship, productivity and other commercial skill. From a development perspective, Nigeria is recognized as a major market for recharge card retailers, telecommunication equipment and service on the Africa continent (Pyramid Research, 2010).In conclusion this study also focuses on the Nigeria micro-entrepreneurs perceptions of the work they do. This descriptive research examines issues of poverty and decency of work among micro-entrepreneur recharge-card(air-time vouchers) retailers. Our aim is to investigate whether this trade qualifies as decent work according to ILO parameters; and whether income made from the trade is above or below poverty line as established by the UNO (Ogunrin, 2014).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
Entrepreneurs are the beacon of the economy. No economy in the world survives, grows or develops, without efficient and effective entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial practices. The managerial style of small business entrepreneurs, generally, is autocratic, impulsive, egocentric, and substantially unpredictable (Ket de vries, 1977).
In this study, the work being performed was chosen out of necessity (Trebilcock, 2005), rather than out of positive motivator such as the love of the occupation (Kantor, Rani &Unni, 2006). Jobs that are taken up just to earn an income often tend to be low paying jobs that lack decency. The main concern of this investigation therefore is to explore and describe whether or not recharge-card retailing provide enough income to permit the retailers live above poverty ad measured by the United Nations’ MDGS; and whether the trade passes decent work indicators as set out by the ILO.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Based on the foregoing discussions, the two research questions which this study sought to answer were:
1. Do recharge-card retailers earn daily income that is above $1.25 per day set by the UN as the poverty bench-mark daily income?
2. Does recharge-card retailing qualify as decent work as conceived by the ILO
1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
In line with the above stated research questions, this study sought to achieve two research objectives:
1. To find out whether recharge-card retailers earn daily income that surpasses the $1.25 per day poverty bench-mark set by the UN
2. To explore whether recharge-card retailing qualify as decent work as conceived by the ILO
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RESEARCH
Poverty means inadequacy of materials property or money. Further, poverty varies in degree from absolute poverty (destitution) to relative poverty. Absolute poverty is the most severe and it pertains to lack of basic human needs like food, water, clothes, shelter, and so on (Wikipedia.Org ,2014).
There is need, therefore, for governments everywhere to improve the well-being of their citizens, one way of ameliorating poverty is for governments to provide decent work condition for their citizen, because of the intricate link between poverty and decent work indicators. To do this, governments require data on specific groups of workers and economic units and their challenges (Trebilcock, 2005, p.27). A study such as this which focuses on a particular trade from the perspectives of poverty eradication and decent work will guide policy action towards tackling these problems of lack of decent jobs in the economy.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The investigation of this study focused on one type of work: recharge-card retailing. The sample was limited to one city in Nigeria namely Benin City, the capital of Edo state. There is therefore much room for future researchers to consider other vocations and location within the country.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The major limitation anticipated in this study bordered on the tendency for respondents to be biased. Other limitations that were also encountered include:
• Unreliability of secondary data obtained from journals, unpublished materials as well as information retrieved from the internet as some may not be up to date.
• Huge financial implication involved
• Inability to include many more localities besides Benin City, due to time and funding constrains. However efforts were made to overcome these limitations; so as to make to meaningful and accurate contributions to existing knowledge on mobile phone recharge card retailers (sellers) performance in Nigeria
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