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History of Entrepreneurship in Nigeria.

The term entrepreneur was derived from the French word "entreprendre". Literally, it means "one takes between" (Nwafor, 2007) or individuals who "undertook" the risk of new enterprises. They were "contractors" who bore the risk of profit or loss, any many early entrepreneurs were soldiers of Fortune, adventurers, builders, merchants and incidentally, funeral directors (Adelabu 2008).

Early references to the entrepreneurs in the 14th century spoke about tax contractors, individuals who paid a fixed sum of money to a government for license to collect taxes in their region.

The Early Age

The age referred to here is the period predating the era of trans-Atlantic slave trade. Agweda and Usman(2008) posit that this is based on the belief that, no man or community is completely self-sufficient; one may have certain commodity or skills which others do not have. This situation is evident in certain natural deposits. Some communities may be known for having large deposits of clay while others may not have, but may have rivers where there are fishes in large quantity.

This situation will automatically induce that members of the riverine community will necessarily be fishermen. When people produced more goods than they needed, as such they had to exchange the surplus. The surplus had to be exchanged with what they had not but needed, ( there must necessarily be a double coincidence of wants here anyway). By this way, they produced more and the exchanged with what they needed. Through this exchange of products, Entrepreneurship started.

Agweda and Usman (2008), assert also that there was need to fix certain days for such trading (exchange) and gradually, some persons who lack the skills of production made it a point of duty to specialize in buying from the producer who may be too busy to convey their goods from one place to another and book those in need of such items.

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