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COOPERATIVE SOCIETY AS AN ENTREPRENEURSHIP VEHICLE FOR ACTUALISING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS: A CASE STUDY OF OSUN STATE
Studies have affirmed that restructuring for sustainable development is a process involving three essential elements; feasible industrial growth to fulfil basic socio-economic needs; ensuring maximum development of human resources and achieving greater socio justice through a more equitable income distribution. Unfortunately, none of these is satisfactorily manifesting in African nations. In Nigeria, unemployment rate is increasing among the youth and young graduates. Globally, cooperatives societies have become well appreciated as a strong vehicle for promoting economic empowerment particularly among the youth and other vulnerable and marginalised groups. This will be a vehicle to eradicate poverty among the youth thereby fulfilling the first Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). This study examined the contributions of cooperatives societies to poverty eradication among members and national development; investigated how cooperative societies can be better positioned to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria; and determined the factors affecting the performance of cooperatives in Nigeria. Two thousand Nine Hundred and seventy-two respondents from all 1,486 cooperative societies in Osun State were sampled. Result showed that cooperative societies have ability for economic significance, employment creation, income generation, poverty reduction, environmental sustainability and institutional capacity building. The paper concluded that cooperative societies, if well harnessed, could be used to make local entrepreneurs have access to finance and thereby eradicating poverty and so fulfil goal one of the sustainable development goals.
Keywords: Sustainable Development Goals, Cooperative Societies, Poverty Eradication and Entrepreneurship.