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This study aimed at ascertaining the effect of socio-economic empowerment on entrepreneurial capacity: a study of agro-firms in Aba metropolis, Abia state, Nigeria. The specific objectives includes: to determine the socio-economic characteristics of agro-based entrepreneurs; analyse the factors affecting the entrepreneurial capacity of agro-based entrepreneurs; analyse the factors affecting the socio-economic empowerment of agro-based entrepreneurs; analyse the relationship between socio-economic empowerment and entrepreneurial capacity of agro-based entrepreneurs; analyse the relationship between the entrepreneurial capacity, financial equity and debt of agrobased entrepreneurs. To achieve this, a sample size of 140 (one hundred and forty) agro-based entrepreneurs in Aba metropolis was chosen. Data presentation and analyses were done using simple descriptive statistics, probit regression and correlation analysis. Findings from the analysis showed that educational level, years of experience, income, labour force, raw materials, access to loan and customer base, initial capital, age and financial equity are all significant factors affecting the entrepreneurial capacity of agro-firms. There was also a strong positive relationship between socio-economic empowerment and entrepreneurial capacity. The study recommends that government empowerment programmes should be restructured, re-designed, and should centre on ― participatory approach‖. This approach emphasizes the importance of involving the beneficiaries in all stages of the programme. This approach emphasizes the importance of involving the beneficiaries in all stages of the programme. There should be greater investment in human capital investment of youths. This implies that improvement in education, health and nutrition, employment opportunities, and social services, directly address the most important problem of poverty and reduces crime among youths. Government should also organize empowerment programmes so as to train and fund aspiring agro-based entrepreneurs. This would lead to self-sufficiency which is the object of today‘s government.
Keywords: Socio-Economic Empowerment, Entrepreneurial Capacity and Agro-Firms