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ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION IN NIGERIA

ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION IN NIGERIA

INTRODUCTION

The teaching of entrepreneur education in education in Nigeria is a new program introduced by the National University Commission (NUC) into Nigeria universities. It is aimed at equipping graduates with entrepreneurship values, attitudes and mental capacity for creative thinking and innovates behaviors that can provoke their venture spirit to generate new idea and ways of doing things.

Time has come for graduates to find ways of creating job and generating wealth not only for themselves but also for others. This can be facilitated through entrepreneurial education. Students have to avail themselves and use the opportunity to break new grounds, develop new products or add value to existing ones in addition to their degree. Entrepreneurship is a novel discipline that requires serious attention in order to benefit from it. Entrepreneurial skills and attitudes provides benefits to society, even beyond their application to business activity.

Obviously speaking, personal qualities that are relevant to Entrepreneurship, such as creativity and a spirit of initiative, can be useful to everyone, in their working responsibilities and in their daily existence. Also the relevant technical and business skills need to be provided to those who choose to be self-employed and/or to start own venture or might do so in future. Entrepreneurship should be taught to students in all disciplines in the institution. It is out of place to say that many business ideas emerge from non-business discipline but are often waved aside or ignored because students are not sufficiently educated in the knowledge and skills required.

ENTREPRENEUR

Entrepreneurs rule the economies of their nations and those nations with the highest number of innovators at any point in history are the ones that rule the world. Without innovators and inventors new products, services, and processes for market will dry up and the economy will collapse. In the early 1930’s Schumpeter (1934) had linked innovation and inventions to the entrepreneur. Schumpeter had theorized that when the economy is in distress (as it is now the world over) profit motivated entrepreneurs will innovate and create new things, products and services to stimulate productivity and job creation, thereby increasing wealth and profit.

There is no accepted definition of the concept entrepreneurship the reasons are stated below;

  1. To the economist, an entrepreneur is one who brings resources, labor, material, and other assets into combination that makes their value greater than before. The economist is concerned with input and output.
  2. To the psychologist, an entrepreneur is a person driven by a strong motivation, need, value and belief or attitude- to achieve (need for achievement). The need to obtain something new, to experiment, to accomplish, to be free and escape the authorities of others
  3. To the ordinary business man or organizational manager, the entrepreneur is a threat to his product and service and so he is seen as an aggressive competitor.
  4. To the capitalist philosophers, the entrepreneur is a person who creates wealth and generates employment for others; he reduces waste and makes the society to be happy (Vesper 1980).
  5. Entrepreneur is a person who sees opportunities where others can not; he is a visionary, a problem solver, a creative genius, an innovator, wealth generator (not money maker), an inventor, one who produce job for others.

An entrepreneur can come from or be found in all professions, as long as they are peculiar human beings. They could be doctors, Artists, Farmers, Lawyers, Craftsmen, fishermen, goldsmiths, Natural scientists, Social workers, religious people, illiterates just to mention a few.

CHARACTERISTICS OF AN ENTREPRENEUR

  • Penchant for demonstrating initiative.
  • Creative thinking and maximization.
  • Ability to organize social and economic mechanism.
  • Seeing opportunities where others do not.
  • Ability to turn resources ant situation to practical uses and account.
  • Accepting risk and failure.

 

FACTORS THAT MOTIVATES ENTREPRENEURAL BEHAVIOR

Perception, Desirability, and Possibility are the key factors in creating new enterprise and in motivating entrepreneurial behaviors

PERCEPTION: This factor plays a key role in human behavior. If one perceives that the only choice left for him to make a living is to start a new company, so be it. Besides. The perception that opportunities abound out there for some one to plunge into and make it, is a strong factor in enterprise formation

DESIRABILITY: If one imagines that desirable results will occurs (success, wealth, achievement etc) when a new business is started, then that desire will increase the possibility of starting a new business. Furthermore, it is hypothesized that the factors of perception and desirability to start up new businesses will be influenced by an person’s culture, subculture, level of education, family background, teachers and peer groups. A culture that encourages individual to go into business, to be independent, like the USA or Nigeria, will see a high number of new businesses created ever year.                                                                  In a country of over 150 million people only about 2 million are employed in the civil and public services, from the Federal through 36 states to 774 local Government levels. The rest of the population belongs to the “ike keta orie”. That generally is the Nigerian culture where few succeed and make it big, but many fail and fall by the way side.

The choice is personal. The American culture is like that because it places high premium on “individual being their own bosses, having individual opportunity, being a success and making money” Hisrich (1986). In the USA, the Wall Street, the Stock exchange and even the Federal Reserve banks (US Central Bank) are owned by individuals. That is why individual American can call the bluff of any American president and have their way. Entrepreneur is all about the individuals independent and freedom, trial and error, failing to fail, failing to succeed and not giving up and fear of failure as a culture of society. In some countries like Ireland, Norway, and Japan it is a shame to fail and making money is not highly valued in their cultures. In such cases one might expect low level of Entrepreneurship. Perhaps among some Nigerian tribes or ethnic groups success or wealth may be frowned at the society and so one expect low level of Entrepreneurial behaviors. But, in general, among the Igbos, the culture of success, solid personal achievement, resolves, determination, hard work, honesty, independence, freedom is highly cherished.

In Igboland certain sub cultures such as those found in Aba, Nnewi, Awka, Ontsha, Afikpo or Abiriba encourage the growth and development of young Entrepreneurs. The sub culture believes in operant conditioning value systems (B. F. Skinner and J.B. Watson) that teach that an individual must learn very fast how to understand, operate or manipulate the system and the environment if he must be rewarded

Also, certain university culture places premium on independence of character and behaviors for its graduates. The University of Nigeria, Nsukka and recently covenant University, Ota are typical examples. In USA the famous route 128 has been created because of high entrepreneurial component of lectures and training module of both MIT (Massachusetts Institute Of Techonology) and Harvard Universty, all in Boston, Massachusetts. There is also the famous Silicon Valley, which has fostered or midwifed so many entrepreneurs out of Stanford University and the North Carolina Triangle which has nurtured Entrepreneurs out of Universities of North Carolina, North Carolina state University and Duke University. Ofcourse, the University of Texas facilitates the activities in Dallas areas of the state.

University lecturers have a lot of role to play in monitoring Entrepreneurs. And also, are parents, relations, and family traits. Parents who are supportive and encourage freedom and independent mindedness in their children will certainly support their children’s desire for self employment, job creation, and Entrepreneurship. It is therefore hypothesized that school with strong and exciting courses in innovation, invention, creativity and Entrepreneurship will create in the Entrepreneurial awareness in young minds who will create an Entrepreneurship environment in an economic area or society.

Peer groups and friendship ties are also important in the decision to be an entrepreneur, innovator or a business mogul in future. Where there are industrial parks, ideas incubators, Entrepreneurial pools, Business Chain (BCH) and meeting places where business ideas, problem and solution can be discussed will certainly increase the chances of job creation and the generation of new venture spirit. Lagos and Jos for example have created the NOLLYWOOD entrepreneurial spirit in young Nigerian graduates, since the days on “Cock Crow at Dawn”.

POSSIBILITY: Positive mental attitude, the perception and desirability within the culture, the family, the sub- culture, University, Peer group and age mates are sine qua non for any decision to take entrepreneurial action can occur. However, there are other factors that must be considered in deciding to venture into a new enterprise. These include the following:

  1. The government policies at all level
  2. Social infrastructure
  3. Marketing possibilities for products
  4. The knowledge background
  5. Financial backing and funds availability
  6. Role models and monitoring

All these are some of the factors or variables of possibility that contribute towards creation of new enterprise

IMPORTANCE OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION TO NIGERIAN SOCIETY

Importance of Entrepreneurship Education

  • Entrepreneurship is a key driver of our economy: Wealth and a high majority of jobs are created by small businesses started by Entrepreneurship minded individuals, many of whom go on to create big businesses. People expose to Entrepreneurship frequently expose that there are more opportunities to exercise creative freedoms, high self esteem, and an overall greater sense of control over their own lives. As a result many experienced business people, political leaders, economists, and educators believes that fostering a roust Entrepreneurship culture will maximize individual and collective economic and social success on a local, national, and global scale. It is with this in mind that the National Standard for Entrepreneurship education was developed: to prepare youth and adults to succeed an entrepreneurship economy.
  • Entrepreneurship Education Is A Life-Long Learning process,: Starting as early as elementary school and progressing through all levels of education, including adult education. The standards and their supporting Performance Indicators are a framework for teachers to use in building appropriate objectives, learning activities, and assessments for their target audience. Using this framework, students will have:
  1. Progressively more challenging educational activities
  2. Experience that will enable them develop the insight needed to discover and create entrepreneurial opportunities
  3. The expertise to successfully start and manage their own businesses to take advantages of theses opportunities.

The importance of Entrepreneurship to any economy is like that of entrepreneurship in any community. Entrepreneurship activity and the financial gain are always of benefit to a country. If you have Entrepreneurship skill then you will recognize genuine opportunity when you come across one. WSI has franchise opportunities available globally for the all-inclusive fee of $49,700. The company, who has been awarded the accolade of being rated No.1 internet consultancy business for six consecutive years, has franchise operating in 87 countries worldwide.

Entrepreneurship education focuses on developing understanding and capacity for pursuit, of Entrepreneurial behaviors, skills and attributes in widely different context. It can be portrayed as open to all and not exclusively the domain of the high-flying growth- seeking business persons. The propensity to behave entrepreneurially is not exclusive to certain individuals. Different individuals will have a different mix of capabilities for demonstrating and acquiring Entrepreneurial behaviors, skills, and attributes. These behaviors can be practiced, developed, and learned; hence it is important to expose all students to Entrepreneurship education.

REFERENCE

Egwu U Egwu et al. (2011). Entrepreneurship & Intrapreneurshp principles and Practice (A book of reading)

Akeredolu-Ale, E.O. (1975). The underdevelopment of indigenous entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

Akpmi, M.E. (2008). Developing entrepreneurship education programme (EEP) for Higher education Institutions (HEIs) in Nigeria. Post-doctoral research project carried out at the University of Reading, Reading UK.

Curran, J & Stanworth, J. (1989). Education and training for enterprise—Some problems of classification, education and policy research. International small business journal.,, Vol.1

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