ENTREPRENEURIAL MARKETING CAPABILITIES AND VENTURE WELLBEING OF PALM OIL PRODUCING SMEs IN IMO STATE
Keywords:Innovation-focused, Customer-intensity, Resource-leverage, Opportunity-driven, Value creation.
This study examined the entrepreneurial marketing capabilities and venture wellbeing of palm oil producing SMEs in Imo State. The objective is to find out how the entrepreneurial marketing practices of these small and medium enterprises have impacted on their wellbeing and the environmental care of their venture engagements; and highlight the findings for future and improved participation. The methodology is qualitative paradigm; and Content and Thematic Analysis were used for data analysis. The design is a descriptive one within the survey spectrum. The use of qualitative approach was to extract the actual feelings of these entrepreneurs on what they do and feel; and how to improve their practice. In-depth interviews, focused group discussions (FGD); and observation, were used to ensure face to face interactions and flexibility in word-of-mouth questioning to elicit appropriate responses. It was also appropriate here, considering the literacy levels of these SMEs operators; qualitative approach fits properly; because in using a documentary questionnaire, the constructs may need interpretation and explanation for them to understand. The findings showed (section 4), that though these entrepreneurs have no formal marketing education and training, but have great understanding by intuition and long years of apprenticeship; apply the brand of marketing blended with the personal traits of the entrepreneurs which can rightly be classified as entrepreneurial marketing. The application of entrepreneurial marketing dimensions have made a lot of contributions to their wellbeing, but funds leverage for expansion and volume are in short supply; and more good road network for ease of products transportation are needed. Government assistance is highly recommended to encourage sustainability. Thus this study is embarked upon to cover this gap in literature on venture wellbeing of SMEs in Rivers State; hence originality in its contents and process. The implication of this investigation is that entrepreneurial marketing is the best fit of marketing type for SMEs, especially in the rural setting of Rivers State.