Entrepreneurship Development through Corporate Social Responsibility – A Study of the Nigerian Telecommunication Industry




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De Montfort University


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Peer reviewed


Beyond the conventional meaning of CSR as a voluntary obligation for enhancing the social, economic and environmental wellness of the society, the developmental-oriented CSR is emerging and requires exploratory and empirical investigations. This research attempts to fill the gap in this direction by examining the Entrepreneurship Development through Corporate Social Responsibility – A Study of the Nigerian Telecommunication Industry. In specific terms, the research seeks deeper understanding of CSR and Entrepreneurship with a view to refocusing both constructs as support mechanisms for small enterprise development in Nigeria. Considering the multidisciplinary nature of this research, an extensive review of literature was carried out which provided deeper insights into the research problem. Arising from the review of literature, the human capital theory and stakeholder theory provided the required theoretical grounding for the study. For easy triangulation, the study adopted a mixed research methods (an amalgam of qualitative and quantitative research methods). The target population for the study was the Nigerian telecommunication industry, which comprised the 24 telecommunication companies and the 65 million proxy telephone users. Lagos state was preferred as the sample location. From the target population, sample sizes of 9 telecommunication companies and 384 telephone users were selected with justifications using purposive sampling and snowballing sampling respectively. The qualitative aspect of research used interview instrument for data collection. The interview data from 9 interviewees were analysed using content and thematic analyses. The quantitative research on the other hand used web-enabled questionnaire instrument for data collection. Out of the 384 telephone users targeted, only 369 responses were analysed, using descriptive and inferential statistics (Chi-Square Test, Friedman Rank Test, Structural Equation Modelling and Multiple Linear Regression Analysis). At end of the investigation, it was found that the stakeholders’ perception of CSR is largely a philanthropic perspective; while the perception of entrepreneurship in the same industry is the act of setting up businesses for self-employment and wealth creation. Furthermore, the dominant CSR activity is sports and entertainments, while entrepreneurship development was poorly supported. With regards to the potentials, the study found that CSR is a potential means for funding entrepreneurship education; funding start-up venture capital for unemployed graduates/trainees; funding business clusters and technology business incubation centres for small businesses; funding purchase of equipment and tools for poor artisans, craftsmen and petty traders in disadvantaged host communities; and also CSR could be an effective instrument for political risk mitigation in hostile communities like Niger-Delta and Northern Nigeria. Finally, it was found that there is a relationship between CSR and entrepreneurship in the Nigerian telecommunication industry, but the predictability of CSR dimensions on entrepreneurship is weak. The study has therefore enriched the literature with an enhanced understanding of CSR incorporating entrepreneurship, as opposed to viewing CSR in terms of social, economic and environmental dimensions. The study concludes with a discussion of the academic and practical implications of the findings as well as recommendations for further research in this multidisciplinary field.



Corporate Social Responsibility, Development, Entrepreneurship, Nigeria, Telecommunication, Industry



Research Institute