1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
It is an undisputable fact that the contribution of microfinance to entrepreneurship activities is increasing
being recognized as a primary engine of economic growth. (The Economist, May 18th 1996). By combining existing resources with innovative ideas, entrepreneurs add value through the commercialization of new products, the creation of new jobs and the building of new firms. The Global
Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) indicates that nations with higher levels of entrepreneurial activity enjoy strong economic growth. In short, entrepreneurs are the link between new ideas and economic development. This is proper using the experience of the industrialized countries of North America and West Europe. Legislative actions has been taken by countries like United States of America, the Netherlands and Japan to see to the fact that entrepreneurial activities can contribute to economic development. This may explain why various governments around the world promoted it since entrepreneurial skills and strategies are used to tackle different social problem and addressing poverty as well as a means of employing the disadvantaged.
Speaking at the conference with a theme “Improving Access to Microfinance”, Soludo (2008) revealed that in order to sustain increases participation of skilled entrepreneurs in
the credit and other financial service delivery to the micro, small and medium enterprises in the microfinance subsector, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is forging ahead in its determination to develop a pool of articulate and well focused entrepreneurs through setting up one Entrepreneurship
Development Centre (EDC) in each of the six geo-political zones in the country. The three pilot entrepreneurship development centres, he said,. Will commence January, 2008 are in Kano (North West), Ota (Southwest) and Onitsha (Southeast). Also speaking at the international microfinance
conference and annual microfinance conference and annual microfinance and entrepreneurships awards held at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja, Soludo (2008) stated that access microfinance by the economically active poor and low income earners in Nigeria is a collective responsibility for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);
He added that it provides a strong focus on macro-economic stabilization, especially in the pursuance of massive trades and investment liberalization program to encourage entrepreneurial capacity to develop business and for the business to success (Nwoye, 1997).
Despite the missing links in Africa’s development process, researchers and scholars have increasingly
recognized the crucial role that entrepreneurship plays in economic development of nations, especially through the development of microfinance sub-sector. (Rashed, H.S, 2000, Dozie, 2005 Aglion and Howilt 1997). For instance, Dozie argued that this vital factor of production which