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Virtue or vice? Public policies and Nigerian entrepreneurial venture performance

Damilola Temitope Olorunshola (Department of Political Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria) (Programmes Team, Better Life Program for the African Rural Woman, FCT Abuja, Nigeria)
Temitayo Isaac Odeyemi (Department of Political Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria) (School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Article publication date: 16 June 2022

Issue publication date: 27 February 2023




The purpose of this paper is to explore how inter-agency engagement across levels of government and the agencies' policies impact the development of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria, with focus on taxation, business registration and access to finance.


The empirical study involved data sourced through questionnaire administered to 192 MSMEs owners, semi-structured interviews with key officials, and Focus Group Discussion (FGD) with leading members of the Osun State Chamber of Commerce, Mines, Industry and Agriculture (OSUCCIMA).


Amidst increasing levels of engagement amongst public agencies, most MSMEs had not benefited from MSMEs' support programmes. Also, although agencies increasingly utilised the mediating roles of OSUCCIMA in policies for MSMEs, gaps remain because of not factoring in OSUCCIMA's inputs into final policy/programme drafts. Again, policies and programmes were tangential to the desired development outcomes amongst MSMEs, irrespective of size.

Research limitations/implications

Considering differences in socio-economic and psycho-social orientations of residents/business owners across the various states, further studies focussing on other parts of Nigeria will help to strengthen the argument on how Nigeria aligns with the developing countries literature on the subject.


Existing literature demonstrates government's recognition of the significance of MSMEs and policy actions taken in setting the right atmosphere for them to thrive, focussing on the national or local governments. This study draws on these but also explores actions at the subnational level and the role of mediating institutions, thereby showing how a multi-level governance approach could influence outcomes.



Drafts of this paper were presented at the annual conferences of the Nigerian Tax Research Network (2019), the UK Development Studies Association and the UK Political Studies Association – Early Career Network (2020). The authors acknowledge the helpful contributions of participants at the conferences. The authors are equally grateful to the anonymous reviewers whose comments further strengthened the paper. The authors also appreciate the generous support of participants during the process of data collection.


Olorunshola, D.T. and Odeyemi, T.I. (2023), "Virtue or vice? Public policies and Nigerian entrepreneurial venture performance", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 30 No. 1, pp. 100-119.



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