The Role of Formal Business Training

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Research Proposal-Enterpreneurship Business: The Role Of Formal Business Training

ENTERPRENEURSHIP BUSINESS SUCCESS:

THE ROLE OF FORMAL BUSINESS TRAINING

TABLE OF CONTENT

RESEARCH TITLE

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

AIMS:

OBJECTIVES:

CENTRAL RESEARCH QUESTION

RELEVANCE TO PROFESSIONAL AND ACADEMIC FIELDS

RESEARCH APPROACH AND METHODLOGY

Qualitative (Gathering Insights):

Quantitative research (Establishing Statistical Reliability):

DATA COLLECTION METHODS

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Secondary Data:

Primary Data:

EXPLICIT RESEARCH OUTCOME

PROGRAMME GANTT CHART

PHASE 1: REGISTRATION

PHASE 2: RESEARCH

PHASE 3: COMPLETION

REFERENCES

RESEARCH TITLE

ENTERPRENEURSHIP BUSINESS SUCCESS:

THE ROLE OF FORMAL BUSINESS TRAINING

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

AIMS:

Entrepreneurs are seen as folk heroes of business, who are able to overcome insurmountable odds to make a business work, conversely in reality this is not so as majority of start up businesses actually fail (Lyve, 2009). Research findings shows that Africa has the highest failure rate for businesses around the world, with only one out of five small and medium scale businesses started surviving after five years of operation, recognizing lack of formal business training as the major reason for the failures (Tunde, 2009).

Consequently, this investigative and explorative study aims to examine and ascertain the extent formal business training impact on entrepreneur business success. This will be achieved through existing literature and carrying out field work in few selected private businesses in Nigeria. The study is aimed at finding summative facts of the significant role formal business training play on entrepreneur business success, which is logically intended to promote brilliant start-up business ideas and inbreed characteristics of an entrepreneurs.

OBJECTIVES:

The research aims to explore several questions relating to the impact of formal business training on business success of entrepreneurs; this can be achieved by the following objectives:

  • To review existing business models and policies adopted by Entrepreneurs’ in managing their businesses: This objective will be achieved using reports, webinars, conferences, existing literatures etc.
  • To establish and examine the factors that influences the success and failures of start up businesses established by entrepreneurs. This objective seeks to know from Entrepreneurs the factors that influence business success and failures. This objective will be achieved through extant literature, interviews, especially structured interview to be administered on a face to face basis.
  • To establish the link between formal business training and entrepreneur business success: It has been generally believed that there is a clear connection between formal business training for entrepreneurs which will markedly reduce business failure. However, there seems to be little or no empirical research on the subject matter. This objective sets to find out relationship between formal business training and entrepreneur business success and will be achieved using reports, webinars, conferences, existing literatures etc.
  • To evaluate the expected impact of formal business training on entrepreneur business success. This objective will be achieved through the use of structured interviews and questionnaires, to assess the probable effect of formal business training on the productivity of the business.

CENTRAL RESEARCH QUESTION

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The research questions listed below will touch on key issues:

  • To what extent does formal business training play in the success of start up businesses of entrepreneurs?
  • What are the key factors that influence the success of start up businesses established by entrepreneurs?
  • Does brilliant start-up business ideas and inbreed characteristics of entrepreneurs enough to make a start up venture successful?
  • Does formal business training in management, financial management and marketing play a significant role in the start-up business by entrepreneurs?

RELEVANCE TO PROFESSIONAL AND ACADEMIC FIELDS

Entrepreneurs have been the bed rock of every economy since the beginning of time. Without their driving force in the economy, providing critically needed products and services and employment, the financial burden on the government would be enormous and a lot of the products and services we take for granted now would not be available to us.

Thus, Entrepreneurship is the recognition and pursuit of opportunity without regard to the resources an investor currently control, with confidence that success is certain, with the flexibility to change course as necessary, and with the will to rebound from setbacks (Bob, 2002).

From the foregoing, an entrepreneur is one who brings resources, labour, materials and other assets into combination that make their value greater than before, and also one who introduces changes, innovations and a new order (Robert et al, 2005).

From the above definition, it can be deduced that entrepreneurs own and manage a business for the purpose of making profit, takes initiative and are risk takers pursuing opportunities without regard to resources at hand.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy (2009) an estimated 29.6 million small businesses in the United States:

  • Employ over half of the country’s private sector workforce
  • Hire 40 percent of high tech workers, such as scientists, engineers and computer workers
  • Include 52 percent home-based businesses and two percent franchises
  • Represent 97.3 percent of all the exporters of goods
  • Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms
  • Generate a majority of the innovations that come from United States companies

The case is not different in Nigeria with businesses established by entrepreneurs accounting for a large percentage of employment aside government (Tunde, 2009).

Furthermore, the U.S Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy (2009) posit that there were 627,200 new businesses and 595,600 business (94%) closures with 43,546 (6.9 %) bankruptcies in the United States of America in the year 2008. Also revealed that seven out of ten new employer firms survive at least two years and only about half survive five years later. These findings are basically the same across all industry sectors.

There are certain schools of thought that believe all an entrepreneur needs to succeed is a good start-up business idea and their innate personal characteristics such as innovation, risk taking, self confidence, determination, and need for achievement (Meredith et al, 1982; Rob, 1991; Robert et al, 2005).

But, on the contrary many businesses fail when the founders are unable to make transition from entrepreneur to manager because of lack of the skills required and are unwilling to bring in professionally trained management team.

A lot of entrepreneurs in their eagerness to start up their business either because of their intense entrepreneurial drive or due to certain circumstances in their lives overlook the importance of formal business training either as a degree programme or certified workshops. Consequently, in the absence of formal business training the business can only grow to a certain extent after which it is bound to gradually become less profitable, eventually leading to failure.

Thus, leads us to the questions, are the failures of a large percentage of entrepreneurship businesses due to lack of the innate characteristics of an entrepreneur (innovation, risk taking, self confidence, determination, and need for achievement) or are other factors, explicitly lack of formal business training responsible for these failures? Are brilliant start-up business ideas and inbreed characteristics of entrepreneurs enough to make a start up venture successful or does formal business training in management, financial management and marketing play a significant role?

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There is the acceptance that organizations need to be improving in sophistications, owing to speedy changes in technology and result in increased global and domestic competition, which in turn has effects in business operations, products, processes, job design, work flow and skills requirements. Hence, formal business training for entrepreneurs has become essential for the survival of their businesses.

In view of that, this research study will further create awareness on the importance of effective formal business training for entrepreneurs, especially in the area of management, financial management and marketing to improve its performance, reduce waste and achieve employee job satisfaction. Findings from this study will have significant implications for entrepreneurship business success.

As stated above entrepreneurship is very important to the society at large and to the individual who starts up the business, as in both cases their respective economical situation is markedly improved. In this vain the significance of this study cannot be overemphasised as it would provide the following for the professional field:

1. Provide the much needed information about what entrepreneurs can do to ensure an increased success rate.

2.Provide government and financial institutions as consultants, a guideline to assess would be entrepreneurs before providing them with business loans to avoid losses and for the government to provide a form of business training before giving out small business loans or in addition to the small business loans already given.

On the other hand, while there is an ever-growing generic literature, emphasising the importance of training and development in organisations for high end effectiveness, efficiency and productivity; and suggesting ways to manage, approach, and implement it, very little or no empirical evidence has been provided with regards to the role of formal business training on the success of entrepreneurship businesses. Since there is little or no research carried out linking formal business training and entrepreneurship business success, academically:

  1. This research sets to establish that link and ascertain the likely impact of formal business training, especially in management, financial management and marketing in entrepreneurship business success.
  1. By the same token, this study is also in a bid to encourage further research into the subject matter with the aim of constructing new and practical framework for managing and overseeing entrepreneurship businesses.

RESEARCH APPROACH AND METHODLOGY

This research is proposed to take a mixed method of qualitative and quantitative methodologies.

Qualitative (Gathering Insights):

This is typically a one-on-one process, in which a researcher poses questions directly to an individual (Saunders et al, 2009 and Bryman and Bell 2007). The questions often ask not only for information and opinions, but also allow the interviewer to probe the richness of emotions and motivations related to the topic.

This method is proposed in order to help clarify the hypothesis, beliefs, attitudes and motivations of the research. This involves face-to-face interviews, case studies, observations and surveys etcetera. Using qualitative methodology will also enable the researcher to fine-tune the language that will be used in quantitative tools (Armstrong, 2009).

Quantitative research (Establishing Statistical Reliability):

According to Saunders et al, (2009) this method usually involve considerable amount of statistical analysis, which may be collected using questionnaires, surveys observations and experiments. It also utilizes detailed questionnaires, often distributed to a large number of people.

This method is proposed because it will help to collect a huge amount of data, which can be generalized to a larger population and allow for direct comparisons between two or more groups.

This will also enable the researcher to achieve the aims and objectives of the study, which is set to establish the link between formal business training and entrepreneurship business success. It is also proposed because it will provide the researcher with a great deal of flexibility in analyzing the results.

In concluding the methodology proposed, both methods are being proposed because it will enhance validation and explication of data using different approaches. This will also produce a comprehensive and consistent findings and conclusions.

DATA COLLECTION METHODS

The two primary ways of collecting data in a research are through primary and secondary means.

This research will make use of both methods of data collection to enhance the validity and reliability of the results.

Secondary Data:

The secondary data will be collected from review of related works from different researchers and scholars which is made available from journals, conference papers, textbooks, newspapers, articles, webinars and government reports. These will be accessed through library and e-library, the internet and bookshops.

According to Saunders et al, (2009) and Bryman and Bell (2007), this method provides a comparative and contextual data, which can help in placing primary data within a more general context, and also help in validating or triangulating the primary data. To ensure that the strengths of this method are maximised and the weaknesses minimised, care will be taken in the choice of materials used.

Primary Data:

McNeil and Chapman (2005) identified interviews, observations, case studies, focus groups and questionnaire as the ways in which primary data are usually obtained.

This research proposes to use interviews and questionnaires, using open and closed ended questions, which will help in ensuring that the research aims and objectives are met and as well provide useful and factual information. This will also ease data compilation and analysis.

The sample will be drawn from entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Nigeria was chosen, because it is one country where a high level of entrepreneurship business failure is recorded in the African continent, and the researcher is originally from the chosen location.

Therefore, as to immensely contribute to the development of the country, the researcher has chosen to use some selected private firms in the country as a 'Case'. The researcher would have loved to carry out a comparative study, between United Kingdom and Nigeria, but difficulties in getting access to firms in the United Kingdom posed a challenge, hence left with the option of getting data from Nigeria.

Objective 2: This will be achieved using structured interview, which will be administered on entrepreneurs and their staff, on a face-to-face basis. This is to ensure that the responses of the participants are properly aggregated, to enhance the analysis of findings and conclusion.

Objective 1 and 3: These objectives will be achieved through reports, webinars, and conferences, extant literature etc, to know current business models and policies adopted by Entrepreneurs’ in managing their businesses, as well establish and ascertain the link between formal business training on entrepreneurship business success.

Objective 4: This will be achieved through semi-structured interviews and questionnaires, to evaluate the expected impact of formal business training on business success. The questions in the questionnaire will be closed and directed.

EXPLICIT RESEARCH OUTCOME

There is the acceptance that organisations need to be improving in sophistications, owing to speedy changes in technology, resulting in increased global and domestic competition, which in turn has effects in business operations, products, processes, job design, work flow and skills requirements. Hence, formal business training has become essential for business survival.

Thus, this research study is intended to create awareness on the importance of formal business training for entrepreneurship business success and provide the type of training required by entrepreneurs to improve performance, reduce waste and achieve high profitability.

Summarized below are the intended outcomes and personal developments of this proposed research project:

The findings of this research study will create the knowledge and understanding of the importance of formal business training on business success, especially in the area of management, finance and marketing to improve organizational performance, reduce waste and achieve profitability. Furthermore, the findings from this study will have significant implication on how to enhance productivity, efficiency, effectiveness and will also have possible effect upon overall performance of the organization (Pfeffer 1994; Youndt et al. 1996).

It is expected that the conclusion of this research will provide a much needed insight into what can be done to reduce business failures by either encouraging entrepreneurs to invest more in formal business training either prior to the onset of their business or during the course of doing business.

The study therefore, will raise interesting issues for both academics and practitioners, which will add to extant literature in the research area.

The researcher’s basic intended personal developments from this research are: Specialist interest in the area of research, an academic/consultant within the research area and related field, and other developments that may follow, as time elapse

PROGRAMME GANTT CHART

PHASE 1: REGISTRATION

YEAR 1

TASK

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

Research Methods Module

Adjustment of proposal

Literature Review

Agreement/submission

of adopted

methods/approach

Preparation for field

Work

Preparation/Undertake

Progress Review Panel

PHASE 2: RESEARCH

YEAR 1

TASK

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

Undertaking Field Work

Collection of data

Analyzing of results

Writing of results

Preparation/Undertake

Progress Review Panel

PHASE 3: COMPLETION

YEAR 1

TASK

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

Writing of Introduction/Abstract

Writing of Conclusion/Theories & Recommendation

Re-writing Chapters

Proof reading and correction

Submission/Preparation for Viva

Viva

REFERENCES

  1. Armstrong, M. (2009) Armstrong handbook of Human Resource management practise. 11th ed; London: Kogan Page
  1. Bob Reiss (2002) Low risk High reward: starting and growing your small business, Free press
  1. Bryman A and Bell, E. (2007) Second Edition edn. Business Research Methods. Oxford New York: Oxford University Press
  1. Lyve A.P (2009) Must have skills for entrepreneurs, Available at http://www.powerhomebiz.com/vol69/entreskills.htm (Accessed 28th January, 2014)
  1. McNeil, P and Chapman, S. (2005) ‘Research Methods’. Third Edition; New York: Routledge
  1. Meredith G.G, Nelson R.E. and Neck P.A (1982) The Practice of Entrepreneurship, International Labour Office: Geneva
  1. Pfeffer, J. (1994), Competitive Advantage through People. Unleashing the Power of the Work Force, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA
  1. Rob D. (1991) Management Theory and Practice: Made simple books
  1. Robert D. H., Micheal P.P, Dean A. S. 2005. Entrepreneurship (6th ed), Publisher McGraw Hill
  1. Saunders, M., Lewis, P., and Thornhill, A. (2009) Research Methods for Business Students. Fifth Edition; England: Pearson Education Limited
  1. Tunde A. (2009). Why small businesses face high failure rate in Africa, available at http://www.helium.com (Accessed 28th January, 2014)
  1. U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, September 2009
  1. Youndt, M.A., Snell, S.A., Dean, J.W. Jr, and Lepak, D.P. (1996), Human resource management, manufacturing strategy, and firm performance, The Academy of Management Journal, 39 (4); 836-866

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