Determinants of Entrepreneurship: The Role of Entrepreneurship Development Initiatives

Adeyemi, Adewale A. (2022). Determinants of Entrepreneurship: The Role of Entrepreneurship Development Initiatives. PhD thesis The Open University.



Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) development challenges remain important to all stakeholders because of the wider impact on the economy and society. In a developing economy such as Nigeria, a significant challenge is the early mortality of MSMEs despite decades of financing and other business support initiatives at national and regional levels. This thesis demonstrates how and to what extent entrepreneurship development initiatives can sustain MSMEs and address this significant challenge.

Based on empirical investigation, the determinants of entrepreneurship were explored through analysis of the role of entrepreneurship development initiatives (EDIs) in entrepreneurial activities at different stages of the enterprise life cycle in Nigeria. EDIs being programmes and organisations that serve as policy vehicles through which public, private and philanthropic institutions implement entrepreneurship development agendas. This conceptualises an EDI as a form of institutional intermediation that influences entrepreneurs’ capacity to address factors that contribute to early mortality or otherwise through enabling or inhibiting tendencies. Specifically, this thesis argues that understanding and tackling the causes of mortality of MSMEs in a developing economy such as Nigeria requires unpacking the structures and operations of EDIs and the interactions with entrepreneurs as owner-managers of MSMEs.

This study contributes to the debate on entrepreneurship development by developing and critically exploring an integrated theoretical framework for uncovering the determinants of entrepreneurship, focusing on the role of EDIs. The framework synthesises the literature on dimensions of entrepreneurship, context, stages of entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial behaviour, and institutional intermediaries into a fresh perspective, which was then applied within the research setting of Nigeria. A qualitative method was adopted, consisting of analysis of interviews, participant observations, and documents from the executors of EDIs.

The key findings from this thesis are that early enterprise mortality results from inhibiting effects of contextual and individual factors, with the individual factor playing a significant role but not given due attention because of the dominant narratives about entrepreneurship determinants which rarely highlight the elements of the individual factor. Also that, entrepreneurs’ significant dependence on EDIs and their proximity to EDI executors make EDIs adequately situated to address the challenge of early enterprise mortality. However, the biases and limited collaboration currently evident among EDI initiators and executors are impediments.

The implication of these findings for policy is the reconsideration of the current entrepreneurship support model by incorporating a more collaborative approach through partnerships between private/philanthropic-led EDIs and the federal agencies tasked with entrepreneurship policy design and implementation to harness all the players' competencies. For practice, first for the EDI initiators/executors is to align their biases and strengths to focus on their support area of expertise while they collaborate on other areas. Also, to consider tailoring all interventions to the stages of development in the enterprise lifecycle to ensure consistent enabling impact. To entrepreneurs, regardless of the stage of development, there is the need to develop capabilities to continually conduct position analysis to enable them to determine appropriate needs and to know the best source of support to meet these needs. Also, to be able to manage their business more effectively.

Viewing alternatives

Download history


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions