The study examines the effect of entrepreneurial characteristics on business performance in Jos North. The research questions that guided the study were: What are the characteristics of an entrepreneur? What is the relationship between entrepreneurship traits and business performance? What are the challenges militating against entrepreneurs in the performance of their business? A survey method was used for this study. The population of the entire business entrepreneur in Ahmadu Bello Way Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State. Out of 1050 persons 180 persons were selected as the sample size. A questionnaire developed in five Likert scale was used to obtain data. Mean scores was used to analyze the data obtained from the field. The result of the analysis indicates that entrepreneurial characteristics in an entrepreneur facilitate effective management and creativity required to survive in the competitive business world today. The characteristics of an entrepreneur are basically risk taking, creativity, goal oriented and need for achievement, strong leadership quality and forecasting in to the future enhances the performance of an entrepreneur. Inspite of this, entrepreneurship in Jos North is constraint with problems arising from inability to access loan, poor infrastructural facilities as well as unconducive environment sequel to political crisis.                       


Title Page    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    i

Declaration    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    ii

Approval Page    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    iii

Dedication    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    iv

Acknowledgement    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    v

Abstract    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    vi

Table of Contents    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    vii


1.1    Background of the study    -    -    -    -    -    -    1

1.2    Statement of problem-    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    2

1.3     Objectives of the study-    -    -    -    -    -    -    3

1.4     Significance of the study-        -    -    -    -    -    4

1.5     Research Question-    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    4

1.6    Scope of the study-        -    -    -    -    -    -    5

1.7    Limitation of the study-    -    -    -    -    -    -    5

1.8   Definition of terms-        -    -    -    -    -    -    6   


2.1     Introduction-    -    -    --    -    -    -    -    -    7

2.2     Concept of entrepreneurship-    -    -    -    -    -    7

2.3    The characteristics of an entrepreneur -    -    -    -    12

2.4      The effect of entrepreneurial characteristics on business     performance    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    17

2.5      The practical approaches to entrepreneurship development -    19

2.6    The problems militating against entrepreneurship development in Nigeria -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    31


3.1    Introduction -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    34

3.2    Research Design -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    34

3.3    Area of the Study -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    34

3.4    Population of the Study-    -    -    -    -    -    -    35

3.5    Sample Size and Sampling Techniques -    -    -    -    35

3.6    Instrument of Data Collection    -    -    -    -    -    35

3.7    Validation of Instrument    -    -    -    -    -    -    35

3.8    Reliability of instrument    -    -    -    -    -    -    36

3.9    Method of Data Collection and Justification    -    -    -    36

3.10    Method of Data Analysis and Justification    -    -    -    36


4.1      Introduction    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    38

4.2      Characteristic of Respondents    -    -    -    -    -    38

4.3      Data Presentation and Analysis    -    -    -    -    -    39

4.4     Summary of Findings    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    43

4.5    Discussion of Findings    -    -    -    -    -    -    44


5.1     Summary    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    45

5.2     Conclusion    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    46

5.3     Recommendations    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    47

References    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    49

Questionnaire    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    51



1.1    Background of the Study

 An entrepreneur is an innovator who implements changes within a market through the carrying out of new combinations. The carrying out of new combination can take several forms; the introduction of a new good quality, there fore; the introduction of a new method of production, the opening of a new market; the congress of a new source of new materials or parts; the carrying out of the new organization of any industry. Further more, an entrepreneur is an individual that identifies, develop and brings vision to life under condition of risk and a considerable uncertainty. The vision may be an innovative idea, an opportunity or simply a better way to do something (Mamma, 2010).

This is the reason why it is often said that every entrepreneur is a human being but not every human being is an entrepreneurs. Going by this adage; it can be said that entrepreneurs are special people with distinguishable features or characteristics. As such an entrepreneur is result oriented; future oriented; creative, innovative, has self confidence; has a good human relations;   must be self-discipline; copies with uncertainty and above all profit oriented.

A lot of business falls due to the inability of the innovators of such business to exhibit the time entrepreneurial characteristic in the day to day management of their business enterprise, hence such business do not stand the test of time. This is evident in the way and manner in which small and medium scale business collapse in Nigeria. It is against this background that the research sees the subject matter of this research: the effect of this entrepreneurial characteristic of business performance worthy of empirical investigation.

1.2    Statement of the problem

Launching into a business venture without having the basic trade instinct or the characteristic of an entrepreneur is suicidal. This is so because such an enterprise cannot stand on the test of time. For instance, an individual who goes into business initially must face difficulty before the business break-even. However, people who do not have trait of an entrepreneur would not be patient enough to nurture a business to a profit-making stage. This is the reason why so many small and medium scale businesses fail. The inability to effectively exhibit a basic trade instinct as well as lack of motivation, goals, and talent for venture creation sequel to the absence of entrepreneurial characteristics in most business proprietor impedes the performance of business enterprise in no small way. As such, the subject matter of this research becomes an empirical issue worthy of investigation.

1.3    Objectives of the study

           The central subject of the study is to examine the effect of       entrepreneurial characteristic of business performance in Jos North Local Government Area, Plateau State;

         The specific objectives are to:

i.    Identify the characteristics of an entrepreneur.

ii.    Evaluate the relationship between entrepreneurship traits and    business performance.

iii.    Identify the problems militating against entrepreneurs in the performance of their business.

iv.    To proffer solutions to the identified problems

1.4    Significance of the study

The study will be beneficial to entrepreneurship development; as such joss north can utilize the findings of the research as a basis for policy formulation as regard entrepreneurship development.

The study will also contribute to the existing knowledge on entrepreneurship development.

It is also worthy to note that the study can be use as a basis for further research, as the research can be use as a spring board for further research as well as a good reference material to students undertaking similar research.

1.5    Research Question

i)    What are the characteristic of an entrepreneur?

ii)    What is the relationship between entrepreneurship traits and business performance?

iii)    What are the challenges militating against entrepreneurs in the performance of their business.

1.6     Scope of the study

The study covers an empirical examination of the effect of entrepreneurial characteristics on business performance. The study also identifies the practical approaches use in developing entrepreneurship as well as the problems militating against entrepreneurship development. The study is limited to joss north local government area of plateau state.

The study covers a time from 2006 – 2011.

1.7    Limitation of the study

The study is limited to Jos Local Government Area of Plateau State, as it will be difficult to generalize the findings to other states.

For the fact that a survey study was used as the research design as well as the questionnaire as the research instrument, it is not certain if the same result would be obtained if other designs and instruments were used. Besides, another limitation is that the respondents could have either over exaggerated or understate their responses while scoring the items in the questionnaire. Also the nonchalant attitude of some of the respondents could affect the validity of their response to the questionnaire. This limitation should be taking cognizance of other researches conducting similar studies.

1.8     Definition of terms

-     Entrepreneurship: is an innovative act, which includes endowing existing resources for new wealth – producing capacity (Afonja, B. 1999).

-    Entrepreneur: An individual that identifies develops and brings vision to life under – condition of risk and a considerable uncertainty (Bashar, O. 2005)

-    Entrepreneurial Characteristic: These are traits that make an individual an entrepreneur (Tonga, R. 2009).

-    Business Performance: The success or failure of an enterprise (Tonga, R. 2009).

The Concept of Entrepreneurship

Throughout the theoretical history of entrepreneurship, scholars and researchers from multiple disciplines such as anthropology (steward, 1991), psychology (shaver and Scott, 1991), sociology (Reynolds, 1991), economic (Kirchhoff, 1991), management (Stevenson, 1985), and technology (Roberts, 1991), and (Litvak and Maule, 1999) cited in tonge (2002) have grappled with a diverse set of interpretations and definitions to conceptualize this abstract idea. A further search of the literature also reveals that researchers have been inconsistent in their definition of entrepreneurship. There are a minimum of a hundred definitions to explain the concept of entrepreneur and entrepreneurship. Their meanings depend on when they were devised and on the society in which the various researchers developed them (Di – masi, 1999). In the last century, many writers have identified entrepreneurship with the function of uncertainty and risk bearing and others with the coordination of productive resources, the introduction of innovation and the provision of technical know – how (Hoselitz, 1952) cited in  Izurnet, (2000). During the sixteen century, people who organized and managed military and exploration expeditions in France were called”Entreprendre”.  The word entrepreneur originates from the French verb “Entreprendre” and the German word “unternehmen” both of which means to undertake (Afonja, 1999). In the oxford dictionary, an entrepreneur is defined as one who organizes, manages and assumes the risks of a business enterprise.

The early 18 century French economist Richard cantillon (Circa, 1755) introduced the term entrepreneurship. In his writings, he formally defines entrepreneur as the agent who buys means of production at certain prices in other to combine them into a new product. He further defines entrepreneurship as self employment of any sort where the entrepreneur is the bearer of the uncertainty and risk. Shortly there after, the French economist jean Baptist sayed (1824) defines the entrepreneur as someone who shift economic resources out of an area of lower to an area of high productivity and greater yield. He added to cantillon definition by including the idea that an entrepreneur is one who brings other people together in order to build a single productive organization. But says definition, according to peter Drucker (1985), does not tell us who the entrepreneur is. And since they coined the term almost two hundred years ago, there have been lack of consensus over the definition of entrepreneur and entrepreneurship. In the 19th century, British economist such as Adam smith, David Ricardo and john Stuart mill defined the concept of entrepreneurship under the broad English term of business management (Burnett, 2000). However, schum peter (1947) argues that whereas the writing of smith and Ricardo suggest that the lively undervalued the import ants of entrepreneurship, mill actually stresses its significance for economic development and growth. He further claims that entrepreneurship requires “no ordinary skills” and laments the fact that there is no good English language equivalent wants to encompass the specific meaning of the French term entrepreneur. The necessity of entrepreneurship for production was also recognized by Alfred Marshall in 1890 when he asserted in his treatise of principle of economics that there are four factors of production i.e. land, labor, capital and organization. Entrepreneurship, both technical and commercial, is the driving element behind organization. He further argue that the skills associated particularly with technical entrepreneurship are rare and limited in supply and that the ability of entrepreneurs are so great and so numerous that very few people that exhibit them all in a very high degree. Another research carry out by Penrose (2006) posit that entrepreneurship, particularly technical entrepreneurial activity, involves identifying opportunities within the economics system, filling market deficiency through input – completing activities including the process of identifying, developing and bringing a vision to life. This vision may an innovative idea, an opportunity or a better way of doing something. The end result of this process is the creation of a new venture the expansion of an existing one carried out under condition of risks and considerable uncertainty (Meyer, 1976). Therefore, in recognition of the considerable risk and uncertainty with entrepreneurship, Afonja (1999) made a clear distinction between technical entrepreneurship and commercial enterprenuship. The former involves product manufacture or the provision of technical service while the letter involves trading, buying and selling or provision of non – technical services. The prerequisites for success and risk factors involved differ significantly for the two types of entrepreneurship.

Therefore, the focus of this study is on the effect of technical entrepreneurial characteristics on the performance of small industry manufacturing operators in the food, textiles, and wood processing and fabricated metal products all of which are generally important in the industrialization of a developing economy such as Nigeria.

2.3    The Characteristic of an Entrepreneurship

Personality attributes have been studied extensively and a wide range of tests has been developed to identify and even measure them. Such testing, termed “psychometric testing” has become common place and is now standard part of the interview process with many enterprises. The psychometric testing revealed many varying characteristics from an entrepreneur to another. Any attempt to describe entrepreneur characteristics against only one dimension would be inadequate. To give a holistic view, the characteristics of entrepreneur as reported by scholars and researchers of different disciplines are discussed below (Egbe, 2006).

2.3.1   Need for Achievement

McClelland work on the need for achievement identified     psychological characteristics present in entrepreneurs. He specified three attributes from his overall theory of need for achievement as characteristics of entrepreneur (a) individual responsibility for solving problems, settings goals and reaching these goals through their own efforts. (b) Moderate risk taking as a function of skill, not chance; and (c) knowledge of result of decision task accomplishment. Since he is result oriented means that he must always set clear and meseaurable goals. A result and action oriented entrepreneur must also, therefore, be goal oriented. He set goals that are high, challenging and difficult but realistic and attainable. After setting the goals and objectives, he then he determined to know the result of his efforts in achievement the set targets. Bearing in mind the goals set, he persists even in the face of adversity and difficulty to achieve these goals. He is preservers, determine and persistent to ensure that his objectives are met. (Obodoechi, 2007). The entrepreneur should define the goal he set for him self in terms of resources, time frame and measurement .for instance , for an entrepreneur to say, `I want to make a profit` this goal is not define in terms of resources, timeframe and not measurable as such. Making profit in any business I a relative term, that involve ambiguity. An entrepreneur should set a goal like this, `I want to make a profit of N10 million, at the end of financial year.



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