Culture Dimensions Supporting Subgroup Entrepreneurs in Nigerian Business Environment

Culture Dimensions Supporting Subgroup Entrepreneurs in Nigerian Business Environment

Osarumwense Iguisi (University of Benin, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2835-7.ch008


This study examined the effect of cultural value perspectives of entrepreneurs from three subgroups of Ibo, Hausa and Yoruba in Nigeria. The results of this study are interpreted within the cultural context of the study. A major research question was whether the results of this study can help illicit information on cultural differences and similarities among the subgroups. The results show Ibos displaying more power orientation, Yorubas displaying high uncertainty, the Hausas at ease with uncertainty. On starting one's own business, experience and lack of alternatives do have a great influence on the subgroup respondents, while desire for creativity, independence and power were factors that motivated the subgroup entrepreneurs involved in the study. Lack of training, cash flows and bad planning were identified as the top three factors contributing to business failures. Family was found to be the most important life-related value factor highly shared by the respondents.
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The entrepreneurs no longer brush aside culture as a vague, non-quantifiable variable that takes care of itself if proper business analyses have been accomplished.

Entrepreneurs are human beings operating within societies, which define, and are defined by, cultures. Clearly, a Hausa/Fulani entrepreneur tends to act differently to an Ibo one who, in turn, behaves differently to a Yoruba one. There are not only great differences between these subgroup cultures which influence the way entrepreneurs work within these cultures. Culture is expressed in both the value judgments an individual makes and the value system of their wider community.

An entrepreneur is someone who perceives profitable opportunities, is willing to take risks in pursuing them, and have the ability to organize a business. In every country, the number of people who are inherently entrepreneurial is limited. A recent review of literature on entrepreneurial characteristics identifies a number of characteristics among which are: inner control, autonomy, innovation, risk-taking, independence, proactiveness, (Lumpkin, 1996). Others include: commitment, motivation to progress, long-term orientation, leadership and obsession with opportunity (Trevisan and Arnoldi, 1995; Trevisan 2014; Lind, 2012). New characteristics are continually being added to this ever-growing list. In addition, many people believe that successful entrepreneurs are individuals who are market oriented with personal initiative to be innovative and not afraid to fail.

Entrepreneurship Development: Promotion and Hindrance Factors

Social scientists (Trevisan, 2014; Lind, 2012) have raised the following general questions: what conditions, economic and non-economic, influence the development of entrepreneurship? Does entrepreneurship appears primarily in response to a particular set of economic conditions? Or, does it appear only where specific economic, social, political, psychological and cultural conditions are present within a society? For the purpose of clarity, we shall compress the responses to these questions into two compartments, economic and cultural.

Economic Factors

There are certain economic factors or conditions that impact entrepreneurship development in any society. Essentially, what promote entrepreneurship development in any given society are usually such economic factors as market, raw materials, capital and technology. We are concerned here with two types of capital, investment or real capital. High income per capital makes investment capital more readily available and accessible to would-be-entrepreneurs who would need it to purchase other inputs like raw materials, labor and technology. Availability and low cost of physical or capital, e.g. building and equipment will depend on the level of entrepreneurial activities going on in the society.

In entrepreneurship development availability of investment capital is one thing and its accessibility is another. The question that needs to be answered here is; does the would-be-entrepreneur have easy, constraint-free access to credit facilities from the financial institutions in the society?

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