What Are The Benefits of Android Application Development?

A selection of Android app developers has surfaced in the industry in the recent past. As a matter of fact, there are some strong reasons attached to this. Android is an open source platform and allows the developer to gain an edge over his competitors. The developer's community is constantly working on different applications and feeds it with some of the latest technical and sophisticated advancements. This ensures that the Android platform is less vulnerable to breakdowns, apart from being devoid of bugs. We have listed a few benefits associated with Android application development.

Large earnings with low budget

It is extremely affordable to invest in an Android based system. Besides, you can get an experienced Android application developer at cost effective rates. Android comes with no licensing charges and you can develop advanced applications with minimum outlay. Loads of innovative applications are now being made with Android, used by millions of gadgets across the world.


There is no constriction as far as developing applications for Android is concerned. The Android app developer can create numerous applications, without incurring license expenses. Besides, a simple SDK construction does not call for more resources. You can offer various revisions to your clients. Modification programs are freely available, which will further cut down the development costs. Businesses have gained a lot of profits from these Android based programs, especially mobile phone suppliers and wifi workers.

Advanced integration

Android application development is ideal for all kinds of inter-application integration. In a situation where you have several programs and wish to combine or cross-promote these, Android is an ideal platform. Android technology is perfect for any snugly knit connection between different software applications. Loads of developers have been using Android to innovate applications.

Better syndication

You can employ a lot of techniques when it comes to developing Android based applications. With Android, it is possible to disperse different kinds of retailers using syndication programs. For an instance, clients can disperse Google to personalize your offer and advertise your products or services. There are so many solutions revolving around Android based applications, helping you develop advanced Android apps.

Based on your budget, you can hire an experienced Android application developer to create innovative applications for your business. Before you hire a developer, you must do your own research in order to formulate the best Android application. Technology is changing at a rapid pace and it is very important to choose a developer who is well aware of these changes, so as to ensure better compliance of your Android based applications.

Posted in general | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Tips To Make PSD To HTML Conversion Simpler

When thinking about an online business, you must think about a website that is appealing and usable. PSD to HTML conversion aims to deliver professional looking websites with a consistent design. With such a website you can count on improved conversion rates. PSD files need lots of technical expertise and time to convert and the corrective measures need to be taken to change the files to HTML. You can look for experts offering the conversion services or use a few helpful tips to make the conversion process simpler for you.

Tip 1 – Start by creating a website that is cross browser compatible

Conversion of PSD files to HTML helps in the designing of sites that are validated and compatible with popular browsers. This ensures that your site can be accessed from browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Internet Explorer. With hand coded markups, your website will achieve faster loading times, therefore giving users a good browsing experience.

Tip 2 – Keep the PSD files professionally organized

Tools like Photoshop have plenty of files including fonts, backgrounds, photos and PSD files. To be more organized you should consider arranging the files and placing them in folders. When your PSD files are carefully organized then you will reduce the effort and time needed to complete the conversion process. It is much easier to find relevant files when you have some arrangement order.

Tip 3 – Carefully design the website layout

Even before you begin with the conversion process, you should think about website layout. You can choose between responsive, fixed, mobile or fluid web layouts. Responsive layout shifts your pages to fit different screen, especially when targeting mobile devices. Mobile layout is a design specifically for smartphones and tablets and a fixed layout has static width and height useful for desktop designs. Fluid design on the other hand benefits desktops and mobile devices with elements, shifting when the browser is minimized.

Tip 4 – Consider semantic coding

Semantic tags that are SEO friendly will maximize visibility in search engines when used during the PSD to HTML conversion. The engines have a tendency of crawling web pages rich in content and look for legible texts from the HTML codes used. If you want to be highly ranked on the search engines, then consider semantic coding when converting your files.

Tip 5 – Try hand coding instead of auto generated code

Today there are lots of applications and programs that convert images into HTML file, but it is wiser to hand code your site when converting PSD into HTML. The fact is that the auto generated codes have errors, but when you hand code you can eliminate unnecessary codes and keep your code base light for faster page loads.

Tip 6 – Make sure your slicing is high quality

High quality slicing will break your site into smaller components like footers, banner and logos. This highly improves the functionality of the site and leaves the website pleasant to the viewer’s eyes. It makes your website appealing and functional.

Posted in general | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Create Stunning Banner Ads And Grow Your Business With an Online Banner Design Tool

Every business has to market and promote itself across channels in the digital space to build its base. This building of base means looking to add more customers to the fold. This also implies that you need to make attempt to create brand awareness and get benefits out of it. It’s this very inherent desire to grow and expand which lets businesses turn to marketing campaigns. They want to stand out from the crowd and boost their brand value in the process.

In a sense, businesses want to get the best and most out of advertising. As the entire focus in on the internet, banner advertising becomes a key ingredient in the desire of growing the business and winning the trust of customers. As banner advertising is found to be extremely helpful ways of enhancing the brand recall, businesses have no reason but to make their banner ads as charming, appealing and attractive as possible. They want to make an impact and win attention!

In order to have the best banner ads, they find tools that can help in this endeavour. As they have already invested a large sum of money in hiring creative designers, artists and graphic designers, they want more to reach the desired level of results. And they know tools exist to design or create banners of choice. If the tool in question has quality, it can then meet even the most of sophisticated advertising needs and if not, results can be damaging.

That’s why, they look for a feature-rich and qualitative online banner design tool. Such a tool helps a great deal and if used properly, it can make a lot of difference. It brings opportunities of creating banners of choice. More so, it brings a chance to create multiple designs and then select what suits your purposes the best. The tool helps save time and money and brings a competitive edge to the business.

When a business decides to use the tool, it neither needs the designer to make many ads nor needs to invest in hiring more resources on this front. An awesome design is imparted to banner ads so that they go in channels and catch the attention of the target audience.The tool is PHP-coded and it brings great level of responsiveness. It means, using the tool for creating banner ads is as easy as needed.

One of the best features of the tool is its support to every major browser around. It means, it can be accessed using browser of choice to benefit from its capabilities. More so, the tool brings compatibility benefits across devices. So, be it desktops, mobiles or tablets, it can be accessed from any device type. More so, it has become extremely easy to add text and arches effect.

Using the tool, a business gets freedom to upload images, rotate texts, add clip arts, shapes, change background etc. More so, a whole variety of themes and templates are there to add value to the banner ads. In true sense, this tool is going to be quite handy for the advertising purposes.

Posted in general | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Role Of Computer Skills Courses In Career Development

The importance of information technology in the workplace is empirical. Keeping computer related jobs aside, even roles in non-computer related departments such as sales, distribution, teaching, hospitality etc, all need to make use of computer technology. This makes it a necessity for every employee to acquire related computer skills if they do not have them already.

Even if you are comfortable handling the computer keyboard and fidgeting with basic computer software, it is needed to equip yourself with better skills. It will only do you good to acquire the necessary computer skills. Computer skills courses is often offered to the employees by their own companies in order to increase the productivity levels. But if not, try to convince your manager to get you some good computer training. Even if it comes down to your paying part or the entire computer training course, it is all worth it because it helps you to excel in your career.

There are many basic computer skills you must master. The three levels of skills are referred to as basic, intermediate and standard. Most of these courses are available online or in the form of inexpensive software offered for sale. Some of them are discussed here:

1. Computer Typing

Typing is perhaps the most basics of skills required in almost all workplaces and careers. If you have not already mastered the skill of touch typing on a computer keyboard, it's the time you do that. Slow typing can not only slow down the speed of work but also the growth of your career. Taking computer skills courses are certainly worth avoiding unmet deadlines.

2. Processing Word Documents

Word processing computer skills courses offer the basics of putting a document together, such as a report and editing it on need basis. This is often done in Microsoft Word. This is a very basic skill needed ever since typewriters have become redundant. There are recruitment firms and employers who go the length to check candidates' proficiency in word processing. This comes really handy in managing day to day tasks of letter typing, preparing proposals and reports in the workplace.

3. Using Spreadsheets

Many businesses require basic expertise in managing spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel. Spreadsheets are very useful when it comes to record keeping and managing information. It is imperative that office workers and small business owners undergo computer skills courses so as to enable them to use this basic skill properly, as spreadsheets with their formula applications and advanced functions can be tricky.

4. Learning To Manage Databases

As opposed to how jargon-like, the term databases range from extremely difficult to fairly simple. A variety of CRM or Customer Relationship Management tools exists out there. It is best to stick to what you already know and keep upgrading your database skills as needed. Databases are especially useful for businesses having lots of customer interaction and offices needing records that are referred to time and again.

Learning computer skills benefits the employee in achieving not only better productivity levels but also greater job security, higher pay and better job opportunities.

Posted in general | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Importance of Vocational Training for Career Development

Vocational education or training is effective way to enrich the practical skills of an individual to face career challenges easily. It helps to carry on in-depth study by providing valuable knowledge in a particular sphere. There is no age boundary in acquiring this type of knowledge and it is the best way to prepare to get the desired job for a successful career. It has now become an essential tool to educate the employees for better performance to get profitable outcomes.

This type of courses is much different from the traditional way of learning as it does not follow the plain teaching format. Vocation training is designed in way to prepare and groom learners to get their desired job for career development. Choosing the right course curriculum is important to get the right career guide.

Previously it was of form of training the working class to educate them with proper techniques but now it has become important for employees in every sector. As job market are becoming more and more challenging day by day it important to acquire this type of training with proper practical exposure for job security. In certain cases the completion of this sort of course provides learner with a license to allow them to start working immediately. It is the most it Effective way to gain the right career resources in exchange of minimum amount Which cost much less than the forms of learning.

Availability of Vocation Training or Education

Previously there were limited courses offered on particular subjects but now there are better options and opportunities to gain vocational training. They have more flexible form of learning which are often known as trade schools. This types of courses are mostly certified or diploma courses. They are often provided by various community colleges with proper learning infrastructure. Some organizations also use online education system to help students learn at their own convenience.

Financial aids for this sort of courses are also readily available from various public and private sectors. Government funding is also offered to students of vocational training in certain countries. The most demanding job sorts for vocational training are automobiles, hotel management, mechanics, information technology, fashion etc. This is a sure way to add a new dimension to the career for a successful future.

Posted in general | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How to Choose a Web Design Company for Your Small Business?

Choosing the right web design company is crucial for your small business. You need to do enough research before you choose a web design company, because a well structured website that has a good design and layout attracts, engages and retains visitors; whereas a poorly designed website can drive away your prospective customers. Therefore, you need to be sensible while choosing a web designing company for your business.

In this article, we discuss some of the things you need to consider before you hire a web design company for your small business website.

Technical and marketing skills:

A good company will have skilled professionals in web design and development, SEO and content. These are very important apply while designing your website. While these are the minimum set of criteria, creativity is an important thing to consider when choosing a company. Check for the company’s portfolio (list of websites designed already).

Designing SEO friendly websites:

Creating an attractive website and being online is not enough. It needs to be such that search engines find your website and rank it. For this, the website should have solid content and good images, limited use of Java, easy and simple navigation buttons, etc. These features are essential to create optimal user experience. Unless the company has some knowledge on SEO and how it works, it cannot design SEO friendly websites.

Designing according to your specifications:

Every small business has its own needs and specifications. Unless the company is professional enough to consider your specifications, you cannot get what you expect. The web design company should be able to tailor the service for you. Also, note their way of communication – how promptly, effectively and appropriately they are communicating.

Budget constraints:

Budget is always a constraint for small businesses to expand their marketing. So, while choosing a web designing company, make sure that they are offering services within your budgets. Some companies offer special packages to small businesses, you may get better services at lower prices from them.

Repute and experience:

There are thousands of service providers. Identifying a good one is often a tricky task. Research online thoroughly. It is important to consider repute and experience of the company.

Trust between the designer and business is important. Mutual trust is important as one party collaborates with the other.

Delivering results on time:

Getting your website completed on time is very important. For this, the service provider needs to provide service optimally. On-time delivery of results is indicative of professionalism on the part of the service provider.

Hope these things help you choose a good web designer company. You can also recruit an in-house designer, provided you have some knowledge on web designing to guide him in a right way.

Posted in general | Tagged , | Leave a comment

5 Factors To Consider When Choosing A Mobile Application Development Platform

We live in an age of mobile devices and apps. As much as smartphones and tablets have put the world at our fingertips, applications or as "apps" as they are fondly called, have simplified our lives like never before. There is an app for everything; one to book your flights, one to watch your weight, one to help you shop and one for banking. Thus, it has become imperative for business owners to consider developing an app for their business.

Given the growing demands, there are dozens of mobile application development companies out in the market. These are professionals who help write the coding for computer applications for smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. If you are looking for a mobile application development company, here are 5 factors you should give a thought to.

1. Freelance vs. Company:

This is the first choice you have to make. There are companies and freelancers offering to develop mobile applications. Freelancers operate independently. Since the working costs are less, you can get your project completed for a lesser charge. They are talented; there is no doubt about it. However, if your project is a very comprehensive one requiring a number of skills to be put to use, it is a better to go for a company as they have all the required professionals (trained in different fields) under their belt.

2. Experience:

Experience counts too. You should choose a professional who has a good amount of experience as it will help him tell what works and what does not. He is in a better position to determine an error-free mobile application and also remedy faults if any. He will also be able to give you an app that confirms to your requirements and preferences. The portfolio from past work is also a good way to judge an app developer's professionalism.

3. Knowledge of Varied Mobile Platforms:

There are many operating systems namely Android, Apple, Windows and Blackberry. Not all your customers use one of them. Hence, it is necessary to design an app that is compatible across all these platforms. Thus, the mobile application development company you choose should offer support across all these mobile platforms.

4. Developer Tools and Resources:

The intention in developing an app for your business is that you have a unique app that enables your customers to transact with you on the move. If the developer swears by template-based apps, he is not the best choice for you. The developer should have the necessary tools and resources to come up with apps that are tailored to your business.

5. Support:

Developing a mobile application is not limited to designing and deploying it on the store. It needs to be managed so as to reduce downtime to the minimum. Not only this, it has to be updated from time to time. They should offer cloud scalability so that you can accommodate growth in future.

Finally, consider the costs. Weigh costs against the features to decide if it will be worth the money paid.

So, if you pay attention to all these factors, you will make the right investment of time, effort and money when it comes to developing a mobile app.

Posted in general | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Electronic Keyboards – Their History and Development

The term "electronic keyboard" refers to any instrument that produces sound by the pressing or striking of keys, and uses electricity, in some way, to facilitate the creation of that sound. The use of an electronic keyboard to produce music follows an inevitable evolutionary line from the very first musical keyboard instruments, the pipe organ, clavichord, and harpsichord. The pipe organ is the oldest of these, initially developed by the Romans in the 3rd century BC, and called the hydraulis. The hydraulis produced sound by forcing air through reed pipes, and was powered by means of a manual water pump or a natural water source such as a waterfall.

From it's first manifestation in ancient Rome until the 14th century, the organ remained the only keyboard instrument. It often did not feature a keyboard at all, instead utilizing large levers or buttons that were operated by using the whole hand.

The subsequent appearance of the clavichord and harpsichord in the 1300's was accelerated by the standardization of the 12-tone keyboard of white natural keys and black sharp / flat keys found in all keyboard instruments of today. The popularity of the clavichord and harpsichord was eventually eclipsed by the development and widespread adoption of the piano in the 18th century. The piano was a revolutionary advancement in acoustic musical keyboards because a pianist could vary the volume (or dynamics) of the sound the instrument produced by varying the force with which each key was struck.

The emergence of electronic sound technology in the 18th century was the next essential step in the development of the modern electronic keyboard. The first electrified musical instrument was thought to be the Denis d'or (built by Vaclav Prokop Dovis), dating from about 1753. This was shortly followed by the "clavecin electrique" invented by Jean Baptiste Thillaie de Laborde around 1760. The former instrument consisted of over 700 strings temporarily electrified to enhance their sonic qualities. The later was a keyboard instrument featuring plectra, or picks, that were activated electrically.

While being electrified, neither the Denis d'or or the clavecin used electricity as a sound source. In 1876, Elisha Gray invented such an instrument called the "musical telegraph.," Which was, essentially, the very first analog electronic synthesizer. Gray discovered that he could control sound from a self-vibrating electromagnetic circuit, and so invented a basic single note oscillator. His musical telegraph created sounds from the electromagnetic oscillation of steel reeds and transmitted them over a telephone line. Grey went on to incorporate a simple loudspeaker into his later models which consisted of a diaphragm vibrating in a magnetic field, making the tone oscillator audible.

Lee De Forrest, the self-styled "Father Of Radio," was the next major contributor to the development of the electronic keyboard. In 1906 he invented the triode electronic valve or "audion valve." The audion valve was the first thermionic valve or "vacuum tube," and De Forrest built the first vacuum tube instrument, the "Audion Piano," in 1915. The vacuum tube became an essential component of electronic instruments for the next 50 years until the emergence and widespread adoption of transistor technology.

The decade of the 1920's brought a wealth of new electronic instruments onto the scene including the Theremin, the Ondes Martenot, and the Trautonium.

The next major breakthrough in the history of electronic keyboards came in 1935 with the introduction of the Hammond Organ. The Hammond was the first electronic instrument capable of producing polyphonic sounds, and remained so until the invention of the Chamberlin Music Maker, and the Mellotron in the late 1940's and early 1950's. The Chamberlin and the Mellotron were the first ever sample-playback keyboards intended for making music.

The electronic piano made it's first appearance in the 1940's with the "Pre-Piano" by Rhodes (later Fender Rhodes). This was a three and a half octave instrument made from 1946 until 1948 that came equipped with self-amplification. In 1955 the Wurlitzer Company debuted their first electric piano, "The 100."

The rise of music synthesizers in the 1960's gave a powerful push to the evolution of the electronic musical keyboards we have today. The first synthesizers were extremely large, unwieldy machines used only in recording studios. The technological advancements and proliferation of miniaturized solid state components soon allowed the production of synthesizers that were self-contained, portable instruments capable of being used in live performances.

This began in 1964 when Bob Moog produced his "Moog Synthesizer." Lacking a keyboard, the Moog Synthesizer was not truly an electronic keyboard. Then, in 1970, Moog debuted his "Minimoog," a non-modular synthesizer with a built-in keyboard, and this instrument further standardized the design of electronic musical keyboards.

Most early analog synthesizers, such as the Minimoog and the Roland SH-100, were monophonic, capable of producing only one tone at a time. A few, such as the EML 101, ARP Odyssey, and the Moog Sonic Six, could produce two different tones at once when two keys were pressed. True polyphony (the production of multiple simultaneous tones which allow for the playing of chords) was only obtainable, at first, using electronic organ designs. There were a number of electronic keyboards produced which combined organ circuits with synthesizer processing. These included Moog's Polymoog, Opus 3, and the ARP Omni.

By 1976, additional design advancements had allowed the appearance of polyphonic synthesizers such as the Oberheim Four-Voice, and the Yamaha series CS-50, CS-60, and CS-80. The first truly practical polyphonic synth, introduced in 1977, was the Sequential Circuits Prophet-5. This instrument was the first to use a microprocessor as a controller, and also allowed all knob settings to be saved in computer memory and recalled by simply pushing a button. The Prophet-5's design soon became the new standard in the electronic keyboards industry.

The adoption of Musical Instrumental Digital Interface (MIDI) as the standard for digital code transmission (allowing electronic keyboards to be connected into computers and other devices for input and programming), and the ongoing digital technological revolution have produced tremendous advancements in all aspects of electronic keyboard design, construction, function, sound quality, and cost. Today's manufactures, such as Casio, Yamaha, Korg, Rolland, and Kurzweil, are now producing an abundance of well-built, lightweight, versatile, great sounding, and affordable electronic keyboard musical instruments and will continue to do so well into the foreseeable future .

Posted in general | Tagged , | 11 Comments

The Influential Media: Negative and Positive Factors for Human Development


Violence in the media made a presence since the broadcasting of television in the 1940s. For over 50 years research has been conducted in order to learn and prove that media violence has a negative effect on children. Many studies have proven this to be true. Self-regulation in parenting or children may prevent children and adolescents from becoming aggressive after watching violence on television. This paper will discuss media influence and how pro-social television can affect people in a positive way.

Violence in the Media

According to Murray (2008) media violence has a negative effect on children and has been researched for fifty years. Violence does not exist only on television anymore, today; violence is seen on the games that people play. Violence is also in print, on the radio and on the streets. If media violence has an effect on people, than it must stand true that positive media also has an effect on people.

Pro-social Media

Programs on television that benefit the development of children in a positive way are Sesame Street because children learn with the use of amusing characters. Mr. Roger's Neighborhood was also a great learning show for children and in fact so was the Electric Company which was also a child's learning program. The past few years have brought us Little Einstein which comes on DVD which provides a multitude of lessons, including children how to say numbers and some words in different languages. Compare this with toddlers watching violence on television.

Some people argue that media violence does not have a negative effect on children, however; studies have shown the opposite. According to Murray (2008) children who watched Batman and Superman cartoons are more aggressive and that they are more active on the playground and in the classroom. Further, these children were rougher than others when playing with toys. This indicates that violence has a negative effect on children whereas Murray maintains that children who had watched Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, who come from low-income families had positive experiences as their the effect was an increase in their prosocial helping behavior.

According to Murray (2008) Bandura's "social-cognitive" approach and Berkowitz's outline of a "cognitive-association" analysis posit a role for emotional arousal as an affective tag that may facilitate lasting influences. Murray further maintains that "People are easily aroused by the emotional expressions of others. Vicarious arousal operates mainly through an intervening self-arousal process … That is, seeing others react emotionally to instigating conditions activates emotion-arousing thoughts."

A Self-Regulating Program

Triple P is a self-regulating program designed to help parents raise their children in a family friendly environment. The program incorporates intervention on five levels and they are as follows: mass media, child care and school, health care services, political system; religious organizations and work sites. The program focuses on self-regulation, self-sufficiency, self-efficacy, personal agency, problem solving, The program is media based (Sanders, 2008). The program helps parent to gain the above parenting skills and helps change and maintain their children's behaviors.


The possibility that actions and emotions on television programs do not affect people who watch is nonsensical. If pro-social programs and entertainment are positive for a child than media violence must be negative for a child? Media either affects people or it does not; it can not contradict itself. Look at the signature and lifetime channels; grown women watch dramatic programs and weep. Media gives people entertainment, ideas, emotions and some are helpful and unfortunately, some are not.


For over 50 years research has been conducted in order to learn and prove that media violence has a negative effect on children. Media violence has a negative effect on children and programs such as Sesame Street and Mr. Roger's Neighborhood give children positive experiences and the effect was an increase in their pro-social helping behavior. Media gives people entertainment, ideas, emotions and some are helpful and unfortunately, some are not.


Murray, JP (2008). Media Violence: The Effects Are Both Real And Strong, American
Behavioural Scientist 2008 51: 1212 doi: 10.1177 / 0002764207312018

Sanders, MR (2008). Triple P-Positive Parenting Program as a Public Health
Approach to Strengthening Parenting. Journal of Family Psychology 2008. Vol. 22,
No. 3, 506-517 doi: 10.1037 / 0893-3200.22.3.506

Posted in general | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Entrepreneurial Development in Nigeria

While these statistics bide well for the country's economic prospects, they also serve to reaffirm the vital importance of entrepreneurial development in achieving that potential.

Past Entrepreneurship Developments

People of the Ibo community in Nigeria are considered one of the oldest entrepreneurs in history, their expertise stretching back to times before modern currency and trade models had developed elsewhere on the planet. In the more recent past, Nigerians adapted their natural talents to evolve traditional businesses and crafts that have sustained most of the country's rural and urban poor for the better part of the last half century. While the oil boom of the '70s brought in billions of petrodollars, most of the country's population remained untouched by the new-found prosperity, thanks to widespread political corruption and catastrophic economic mismanagement. Because of these and other factors, the World Bank estimates that 80% of oil revenues benefited just 1% of the population.

Most of Nigeria's current woes trace back to a historic overdependence on oil to the negligence of all other sectors, including customary trades and agriculture. Decades of non-inclusive policies alienated the vast majority of Nigerians, plunging the country into a miasma of extreme poverty and ravaging civil and political strife. The climate of economic stagnation spawned a mammoth informal economy that continues to sustain the bulk of Nigeria's 148 million people. It is a measure of Nigeria's inherent entrepreneurial capacity that this informal, unorganised sector presently accounts for 65% of Gross National Product and accounts for 90% of all new jobs.

All these factors have tremendous relevance for Nigeria's future prospects, even more so considering the extent of official neglect and lack of assistance and infrastructure that the country's indigenous entrepreneurs have had to overcome. Harnessing the informal economy and leveraging its full potential is a prerequisite for Nigeria to emerge from the shackles of its Third World legacy.

The Future of Entrepreneurial Development in Nigeria

It is not as if Nigeria's hopes of economic superiority rest on individual optimism and enterprise alone. Right after the reinstatement of democracy in 1999, the government of former president O Obsanjo unveiled ambitious plans to take the sub-Saharan nation to the top 20 world economies by 2020. Abuja is also a signatory to the UN Millennial Declaration of 2000 for the achievement of universal basic human rights – relating to health, education, shelter and security – in a time bound manner by 2015. Both objectives present mammoth challenges for Nigeria in terms of reversing past trends and evolving innovative strategy for sustainable and inclusive growth.

The primary focus of Obasanjo's policies centred on accelerated development through entrepreneurial education (which he made mandatory for college students of all disciplines) and the creation of conditions favourable to a new business regime built on innovation and adaptability. The federal government has since initiated successive programmes aimed at promoting enterprises through widespread use of technology and socially relevant business models. The extent of success of these and other measures, however, is still a matter of debate.

According to the 2007 Gallup poll, 69% of respondents planning new businesses had no intention of registering their operations, indicating they would still prefer to be part of the informal economy. In light of Nigeria's long-term goals, this is certainly bad news.

Obstacles to Enterprise Development

Disinterest in the formal economy reflects the status of Nigeria's policies and tax regime, which have long been deemed detrimental to the growth of viable enterprises. Even more disturbing is the fact that this continues to be the case despite the energetic reforms process initiated after the return of democracy. It is more than evident that piecemeal measures are unequal to meeting the challenges that Nigeria has set itself up to.

The following are the most important obstacles facing rapid entrepreneurial development:

o Absence of a pro-active regulatory environment that encourages innovative enterprise development at the grassroots level.
o Significant infrastructural deficits (especially with regards to roads and electricity) and systemic irregularities inimical to small businesses.
o The presence of administrative and trade barriers that curtail capacity building and inhibit access to technical support.
o Absence of regulatory mechanisms for effective oversight of enterprise development initiatives, especially those in the MSME space.
o Poor access to vocational and skills-development training for rural and urban youths involved in the informal economy.
o Rampant political and bureaucratic corruption, together with the absence of social consensus on important macroeconomic policy issues.

More than 73% of Nigerians featuring in the Gallup survey conceded access to finance was the single-most important hurdle in the way to setting up successful enterprises. More telling is the fact that about 60% of respondents claimed that current policies, despite the government's focus on enterprise development, do not make it easy to start a business in Nigeria.

Some Additional Factors to Consider

Forbes Magazine recently sat down with Lagos Business School's Peter Bamkole to discuss the current obstacles facing aspiring Nigerian entrepreneurs. The interview outlines three major problems:

* Constrained access to local and international markets that stunt entrepreneurial expansion and proliferation.
* Severe infrastructure deficits (mainly of power and electricity) that hamstring both new and existing businesses.
* Inadequate access to finance and the absence of a credit policy that addresses the specific needs of enterprises.

The road to Nigeria's emergence as an economic superpower is muddy and treacherous. More than just optimism, it calls for clever economic manoeuvring that will help turn the country's fortunes around for good.

Posted in general | Tagged , | Leave a comment