Small and Medium Scale Enterprises are sub-sectors of the industrial sector which play crucial roles in industrial development (Ahmed, S. 2006). Following the adoption of Economic reform programme in Nigeria in 1981, there have been several decisions to switch from capital intensive and large scale industrial projects which was based on the philosophy of import development to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises which have better prospects for developing domestic economy, thereby generating the required goods and services that will propel the economy of Nigeria towards development. It is base on this premise that Ojo O. (2009), argued that one of the responses to the challenges of development in developing countries particularly, in Nigeria, is the encouragement of entrepreneurial development scheme. Despite the abundant natural resources, the country still finds it very difficult to discover her developmental bearing since independence. Quality and adequate infrastructural provision has remained a nightmare, the real sector among others have witnessed downward performance while unemployment rate is on the increase.
Most of the poor and unemployed Nigerians in order to better their lots have resorted to the establishment of their own businesses. Consequently, Entrepreneurship is fast becoming a household name in Nigeria. This is as a result of the fact that the so called white collar jobs that people clamor for are no longer there. Even, the touted sectors (Banks and companies) known to be the largest employer of labour are on the down-turn following the consolidation crisis and fraudulent practice of the high and mighty in the banking sector. The companies of course are folding up as a result of erratic power supply, insecurity and persistent increase in interest rate which has lead to high cost of production and undermines profit making potentials of companies operating in Nigeria. As a result of banking sector practices and continuous folding up of companies, a lot of Nigerians are thrown into unemployment which inevitably detriment the economic situation of the country.
The study examines the impact of SMEs development on youth empowerment in Kaduna metropolis. The research questions that guided the study were: What are the effect of SMEs on employment generation in Kaduna? What kind of support does the government render to SMEs in Kaduna metropolis? How effective is government capacity building programmes and support in promoting SMEs among youth in Kaduna metropolis.
A survey method was used for this study. The population consist of 300 beneficiaries of the youth empowerment programme in Kaduna metropolis. Their list is obtained from National directorate of employment Kaduna. Out of 300 persons, 180 persons were selected as the sample size. A questionnaire developed in five Likert scale was used to obtain data. Mean scores was used to analyze the data obtained from the field. The result of the analysis indicates that The analysis of data reveals the following results: Employment generation through the development of SMEs facilitate capacity building, self-reliance as well as attracting government support to finance SMEs.
Government support SMEs through entrepreneurship development and skill acquisition as well as funding, collaboration with financial institution, entrepreneurship education in schools, and formulation of policies that supports SMEs. The finding equally shows that government support to SMEs among youths in Kaduna is not too effective because it is constraint with problems of poor access to loan due to high interest rate and the requirement of big collateral security and poor infrastructural facilities especially electricity all constitute a big hindrance and impediment to entrepreneur and affect their performance negatively.
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