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The rapid emergence of women as owners of small businesses has important implications for the study of women’s entrepreneurship. Differences in views and theoretical submissions call for more research on the role of gender in entrepreneurship. While liberal feminism holds that men and women are essentially equal, social feminism focuses on the unique needs, experiences, competencies and values of women as women. In entrepreneurship research, efforts on the effect of gender on firm’s performance are still very scanty and results from the few efforts are inconsistent. To extend knowledge on hoe gender influences entrepreneurial operations, this study investigates the impact of gender on business-related knowledge of small-scale manufacturing entrepreneurs in Lagos State, Nigeria. Two hundred and twenty five purposively selected firms participated in the study. Results revealed significant relationship between gender and the comprehensive knowledge set of respondents. Further analysis revealed a strong association between gender and knowledge of how to serve market, but no significant association was found between gender and familiarity with customers’ problems. Findings suggest that small scale female entrepreneurs possess more business-related knowledge that their male counterparts.

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Literation has established the importance of small businesses in contributing new things such as innovations and new jobs to the economy. In Nigeria there are many small businesses but their effect on national economy has not been felt. This may be due to lack of innovation activity in the firms. Also, the nature of entry into micro-firms in Nigeria calls for concern. Participants’ observation showed that due to the high level of unemployment in the country, young people, some of whom have not acquired any meaningful education start fragile micro businesses that can easily die off. Underperformance of the micro firms might have been influenced by the entrepreneurs’ age academic background, firm age or firm size. This study investigates the extent of technological innovation/new product introduction and the impact of the four socio-demographic characteristic on technological innovation/new product introduction among technology-based micro-entrepreneurs in Lagos State, Nigeria. Survey method was used. Out of the 250 randomly administered questionnaire, 225 (90%) were retrieved. The result shows that majority of the respondents were female, young and with low academic background. Majority of the firms developed 1 – 3 technological innovation in a period of five years but these did not translate to new products introductions. The results revealed that majority of the firms did not have any new product introduction in five years. All the four socio-demographic characteristics examined in this study were positively and significantly associated with technological innovations and new products introduction except entrepreneur’s age whose association with the new product introduction was not significant. This study concludes that the technology-based micro entrepreneurs in Lagos State in Nigeria need governmental intervention which should be directed towards increasing their level of education and provision of technical assistance in running the businesses to enhance their performance. Other results and implication are discussed.

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Organization’s ability to continuously innovate its products is essential to its business success. Also, firm’s survival and improved performance hinge on introduction of innovative new products.  Following existing literature, we define technological innovation as work activities that concern new products and production processes and define new product introductions as new market offerings introduced by firms to meet external uses or needs in the market environment. This study investigates the impact of socio-demographic characteristics of technology-based micro-entrepreneurs on technological innovation and new product introduction among technology-based microenterprises in Lagos State, Nigeria. We go further, using chi square technique, to investigate the relationship between technological innovation and new product introduction. Survey method was used. Out of the 250 administered questionnaires 225 (90.00%) were retrieved.  The results show that technological innovation is distinct from new product introduction; however, there is a strong association between number of technological innovations and the number of new products introduced by the enterprises (p< 0.05). Other results and their implications are discussed.

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