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ABSTRACT

The purpose of the study was to determine the impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on small scale enterprise in Anambra state, Nigeria. Four research questions were posed to identify the utilization of ICT to create Operation efficiency, boosting production of goods and services through ICT, utilization of ICT in Timely financial reporting and barriers to utilization of ICT in enterprises. Four null hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance and were used to guide the study. The design used for the study was descriptive survey and the instrument was structured questionnaire. The population of the study was all the 1251 registered entrepreneurs of medium and small scale enterprises in the private sector, from which the respondents, consisting of 723 were drawn. Mean and standard deviation were used in analyzing the data collected and the criterion mean of 2.5 was used to judge the responses as to whether they were high or low. Four null hypotheses tested at 0.05 level of significance were upheld. Findings of the study showed that the utilization of ICT to create Operation efficiency were accepted and enhancing Customers satisfaction through ICT. ICT such as web-based lesson, cyber guide and telecommuting projects for Timely financial reporting were often utilized while the utilization of virtual classroom and personalized courses are minimal. The major barriers for utilization of ICT were customers incompetence in using the technology, limited number of competent staff, and taxation of internet sales. Based on the findings, recommendations were made which include that private enterprises should organize on- the-job training and offer opportunities for in-service training to their staff to make them more competent on the use of ICT, educational institutions should incorporate digital courses in all levels of education to develop ICT compliance workers at the points of employment, entrepreneurs in the Anambra state should develop digital networks to promote digital economy and network of ideas.

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Small scale enterprise stirs up ideas that could enhance enterprises. This perhaps informed why small scale enterprise is fundamental to generating new ideas and developing new business opportunities (Shanghai, 2001). Ayeduso in Osuala (2004) stated that while the word entrepreneur describes the person or the actor, small scale enterprise talks about the actions, efforts, abilities, skills, processes or sometimes the business unit itself. Following the same opinion, Inegbenebor (2006) said that small scale enterprise is about learning the skills needed to assume the risk of establishing a business. It is about developing strategies and executing them with all the vigour, persistence and passion needed. According to him, preparing for small scale enterprise focuses on attitude and skill formation for the identification of economic opportunities, feasibility analysis, business planning and making arrangements for the sustenance and growth of the enterprise. Similarly, the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (SMEDA, 2004) stated that small scale enterprise develops when a person organizes and manages a commercial undertaking. SMEDA also noted that small scale enterprise combines strong character of diligence, innovativeness, readiness to take risk, ability to sense opportunity, ability to mobilize human and material resources, being goal-oriented and focused, preserving and dogged for growth and excellence. Small scale enterprise is certainly critical in economic transformation. Small scale enterprise, according to Ray, Adams and McMilliam (1990) is being able to discover innovations that can enhance Customers satisfaction, create Operation efficiency, Timely financial reporting and deal with barriers to growth.

To define enterprise, Hyper Dictionary (2009) stated that enterprise is a purposeful or industrious undertaking, readiness to embark on bold new ventures and an organization created for business ventures. In Nigeria, as in other countries, many variables have been applied by agencies in the classification of enterprises. Eneh (2005) recognizes micro, small, medium and small scale enterprises. His classifications includes the size of employees, the amount of capital investment, annual sales turnover, total assets or a combination of these to classify enterprises. Medium scale enterprises are those with over 50 million Naira but not more than 200 million Naira or 101 to 300 workers. Obitayo in Eziama (2003) asserted that small-scale enterprises possess a total investment of between one hundred thousand and two million naira. Similarly, Osuala (1993) viewed a small-scale enterprise as any manufacturing or serving industry with a capital investment not exceeding N150,000 in machinery and equipments and employing not more than fifty workers. Again Inegbenebor (2006) stated that micro or cottage industries are those with one and ten workers, small scale industries with eleven and hundred workers, medium scale enterprises with one hundred and one and three hundred workers while large scale enterprises are with three hundred and one workers and above. Eneh (2005) said that most enterprise jobs are in the service and manufacturing sectors. They include soap makers, bakers, furniture makers, leather makers, printers, welders, vehicle repair and maintenance, electrical services, fashion designers, hotels, banks, textiles, plastic and pharmaceutical enterprises.

Emphasizing on the importance of enterprises, Eneh (2005) stated that it is indisputable that enterprises hold the key to national economic development because they create jobs, wealth, alleviate poverty, promote equity, social security, encourage the culture of self–help and self– reliance. He added that they promote enterprises, productivity, provide opportunities for careers and skills development as well as rural and community development. Similarly, World Bank International Finance Corporation Report in United Nations Development Programme (UNDP, 2007) maintained that enterprises are important because on the average, enterprises comprise over 95 percent of the economy, the contributions of the enterprise to employment and the countries’ gross domestic product (GDP) are by no means trivial. UNDP still reported that close to 140 million enterprises in 130 countries employed 65 percent of the total labour force. Enterprises are the frame work for economic growth and innovation. Moreover, Ike (2004) noted that enterprises respond positively to social and free markets, creativity, innovation, promotion of individual and group initiative, self-reliance and above all self fulfillment.

 

ICT skills can be impacted to the adult managers through adult education which serves as an up grader. Crompley in Ugwoegbu (2003) stressed that one of the quickest ways that productivity can be improved in countries that are less developed is to make sure that adults are trained when they are already on the job. This is to help adult population to adjust to a rapidly changing world. In the same way Lowe in Ugwoegbu (2003) observed that adult education adopts the posture that education is life not necessarily the preparation of an individual for the unknown. This is why in adult education, attempt is made always to mobilize, train and educate available manpower for their immediate improvement and utilization. In the same view UNESCO in Ihejirika (2007) pointed out that adult education is a component of life-long education which begins in the cradle and ends in the grave. The concept arises out of the awareness of rapid changes in technology and institutions which in turn require human beings to update their skills and knowledge in order to catch-up with modern events. Programmes geared towards life-long education help the individual adults. Part of the goal of life-long education is to offer adults broad opportunities for self-renewal and social advancement. Supporting the above view Anyanwu (1987) pointed that adult education affects our economy in a number of ways. Not only does it increase the flow of skills but assists people to acquire new techniques such as ICT. It helps people to destroy the traditional attitude that impede progress and at the same time links knowledge with methods of production. In recent times, it has been noted that traditional crafts are dying away. As a result people need to be taught basic knowledge which will enable them to learn about modern production methods and how to adapt themselves to these changing techniques which appear during adulthood. In the same vein Eyibe (2005) noted that the training and retraining programmes in adult education will enable the adult learners acquire relevant skills to do the productive work in the society. This is because this training and retraining programmes are aimed at occupational training and retraining in vocational, technical, agricultural and small scale enterprise skills. The objective is to prepare participants in self- employment, small scale enterprise system or wage employment in factories or industries. Moreover, David in Ihejiribka (2007) opined that adult education must be continuing as a means for each individual to improve the insufficient education received during his compulsory schooling. It must be a continuous process of adaptation of worker’s training to technological changes and the resultant increase in the minimum of knowledge required. It is continuing as an opportunity provided each citizen to assume widening responsibilities with ever increasing competence. It is continuing as a factor for promoting personal affirmation in a society in which all roads are open to the worker for a better, finer and more cultural life. Also Hebborn (2010) posited that the concept of continuing education and training encompasses an emancipator function. Continuing education contributes significantly both to ongoing individual development and to a sustainable future for the economy and for society as a whole. It ensures the progressive acquisition of know-how, skills and qualifications, while fostering new vocational orientations against a background of changing occupational biographies. Moreover, continuing education is an important factor for the economic development of a region and its attractiveness as a location for business.

For Nigerians to be employable and entrepreneurial the demand is not degree or qualification but innovative people who can contribute meaningfully to the economy and society. It is against this background that this study seeks to find out how the utilization of ICT has enhanced small scale enterprise in Anambra state, Nigeria.

 

1.2 Statement of the Problem

In the past entrepreneurs use obsolete but cheaper technologies such as typewriter and cyclostyling machines which are now filled with disadvantages in the present day of information and communication technology. These has negative implications for boosting of entrepreneurial skills. For example, with the use to this technologies error correction, communication, document scanning and formatting are not possible.

However, with the advent of ICT it has been found that entrepreneurial skills are facilitated. ICT has great potentials in enhancing skills of entrepreneurs. It has facilitated training through on-line learning and helped in the area of enhanced business environment. To scan, organize and store documents are possible with computer but not with the old technologies used in business by entrepreneurs. According to Chris (2012) the growth of personal computer and computer networks continues to impact businesses both large and medium. Through computer and internet connection entrepreneurs can perform administrative tasks like paying your business bills on your computer, as well as marketing your business online, e-mail and instant messaging allow for easy communication. Moreover, Uchegbu (2002) pointed out that the introduction and use of internet has caused an important revolution in communication and that is capable of improving the way we communicate, study, contract and transact business. This progress in business in noted as a result of progress in the ability to link up computers.

Despite these obvious advantages opinions from the background of this study still show that entrepreneurs are not yet taping the benefits of ICT in enhancing their skills. These are however opinions and there is need to verify the authenticity of the opinions. It is therefore the problem of this study to verify the impact of ICT on small scale enterprise in Anambra state, Nigeria.

 

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The general purpose of this study is to determine the impact of ICT on small scale enterprise in Anambra state. Specifically, the study sought to:

  1. Determine the extent to which entrepreneurs of medium and small scale enterprises utilize ICT to create Operation efficiency.
  2. Find out the extent to which entrepreneurs of medium and small scale enterprises utilize ICT in enhancing Customers satisfaction.
  3. Determine the extent to which entrepreneurs of medium and small scale enterprises utilize ICT in Timely financial reporting.

 

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions guide the study:

  1. To what extent do entrepreneurs of medium and small scale enterprises utilize ICT to create Operation efficiency.
  2. To what extent do entrepreneurs of medium and small scale enterprises utilize ICT in enhancing Customers satisfaction.
  3. To what extent do entrepreneurs of medium and small scale enterprise utilize ICT in Timely financial reporting?

 

1.5 Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study at 0.05 level of significance.

  1. There is no significant difference in the mean rating of entrepreneurs of medium and small scale enterprises on the extent to which ICT are being utilized to create Operation efficiency.

2 There is no significant difference in the mean rating of entrepreneurs of medium and small scale enterprises on the extent to which ICTs are utilize in enhancing Customers satisfaction.

  1. There is no significant difference in the mean rating of entrepreneurs of medium and small scale enterprises on the extent of utilizing ICT in Timely financial reporting.

 

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study is of great significance to private enterprises because the finding would provide data that would make managers to became producers and creators in high value areas of knowledge economy. The managers would be drivers and not consumers in the global digital economy. It would expose the staff to new ways of working in the enterprise.

Government would understand the need to be proactive in exploiting ICT for enterprise development. The government and international funding agencies would be interested in general development of ICT in higher institutions.

Educational institution would also find that the study would benefit them in that it would expose the challenge of globalization and information age for the transformation of the academic system from traditional role of teaching, learning, research and development methodology, to ICT application which is the latest revolution changing all aspects of human endeavour.

The study will enable adult education administration fill the gap of ICT knowledge in the society through continuing and life long education. The findings of this study will have significant effect on the way people live, work and play in the society.

Finally, future researchers would also benefit by identifying further areas to explore in ICT.

 

1.7 Scope of the Study

The focus of the study is on utilization of information and communication technology on small scale enterprise in Anambra state, Nigeria. This study covers the registered private enterprises in Anambra state, Nigeria. The study focused on utilization of ICT to create Operation efficiency, enhancing Customers satisfaction through ICT, utilization of ICT in Timely financial reporting and barriers to utilization of ICT. The researcher did not cover other areas o of ICT utilization since the researcher believes that such areas can be carried out by future researchers.

1.8 Limitations of the Study

The researcher encountered the following limitations in the course of the study:

  1. The respondents were skeptical in giving out information to the researcher on the grounds of uncertainty in the use of
  2. Some questionnaires were not used for analysis because of inappropriate filling and failure of the entrepreneurs to return the

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