Extent of Networking among Operators of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises for Entrepreneurship Development
The study aimed at ascertaining extent of networking among operators of small and medium scale enterprises for entrepreneurship development within Nnewi metropolitan city, Anambra State. Two research questions guided the study and two null hypotheses were tested. Descriptive survey design was adopted for the study. A population of 920 SMEs operators within Nnewi metropolitan city was used for the study. The sample size 197 SMEs operators was adopted using stratified simple random sampling technique. A 20-item structured validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The reliability of the instrument was established using split half test and data were anaylsed using Cronbach Alpha which showed that the clusters achieved co-efficient from A and B clusters 0.82 and 0.86 respectively, with an overall reliability co-efficient values of 0.84 to determine the internal consistency. Data related to the research questions were analyzed using mean and standard deviation, while z-test was used to test the null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. Findings revealed that SMEs operators within Nnewi metropolitan city, Anambra State networked at a moderate extent among themselves to source finance, while, for the acquisition of managerial skills, they networked at a great extent. It was concluded that the sharing of information on financing and managerial skills through networking is critical to the growth and development of SMEs. It was recommended that for effective SMEs financing for entrepreneurial development in the State and the State government should establish intervention funds programme aimed at stimulating the economy and reducing poverty. This will promote the sharing of novel managerial thoughts and promote business operations.
Keywords: Networking, operators, medium, scale, enterprises, entrepreneurship, development