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PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECTIVENESS OF INSTITUTIONAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT CENTERS FOR THE ACQUISITION OF ENTREPRENEURIAL SKILLS IN EBONYI STATE TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS

PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECTIVENESS OF INSTITUTIONAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT CENTERS FOR THE ACQUISITION OF ENTREPRENEURIAL SKILLS IN EBONYI STATE TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

The future of Nigeria as a country depends largely on the knowledge and skills acquired by the youths today to face an increasingly competitive and challenging world of tomorrow. This is why government must accord substantial priority to entrepreneurship and skills training among youths. The various skill acquisition programmes of government, among others,are the initiation and introduction of institutional  entrepreneurship development centers in tertiary institutions, where practical and cognate entrepreneurship  skills are matched with the classroom theoretical learning approach(Oborah,2006).

This is in line with the position of Drucker (2005) that the restructuring of the nation’s education curriculum and mass mobilization of youths is a sine qua non for a change of value system and pro-activeness to entrepreneurial skill acquisition and personal intellectual development. Similarly, Ogonna (2012) maintained that the onerous task before the youths and other stakeholders in national development is to succinctly explore and exploit the youth potentials by creating the opportunities for effective application and utilization of their talents and manifested attributes or traits.

Umenezie (2003) noted that entrepreneurship involves the capacity to find out and evaluate business opportunities, gather the necessary resources and implement actions to take advantage of the opportunities while guided by high achievement motivation. Osuala (2005) also maintained that entrepreneurship is the willingness, innovative and creative abilities of an individual to seek out investment opportunities to establish and run an enterprise successfully.

Similarly, Arogundade (2012) stressed that institutions and students see entrepreneurship as a strategy for improving and creating a new firm and continuing to manage it in consultation with the institutional entrepreneurship development center until it is successful in order to increase not only ones’ standard of living but also to meet their social, environmental and economic objectives. Shepered and Douglas (2009) in their own view maintained that entrepreneurship is the ability to build a founding team to complement ones’ own skills and talents; to find, marshal and control resources and to make sure that one does not run out of money when it is needed most.

Lekoko (2012) added that entrepreneurship involves the capacity to find out and evaluate business opportunities, gather the necessary resources and implement action to take advantage of the opportunities while guided by high achievement motivation.     According to Anderson (2007) technical experiences and knowledge gained in the laboratory through practical use of machines and equipment arm prospective entrepreneurs enough for action.

The author added that what is needed further to blend is a sound knowledge of business that will enable the young entrepreneur to visualize business opportunities in his environment and exploit it for profit. Oduma (2013) stressed that since industrial operations have been greatly challenged by modern mechanization and use of information and communication technology, an intending entrepreneur in the tertiary institution should be versatile in the use of information technology gadgets. This the author noted is very necessary for e-interactions, e-enquiry, e-exposure, and e-learning.

Osuala in Oduma (2012) maintained that an entrepreneur must possess high mental ability, high achievement drive, good technical competence, good human relations, innovative and creative skills. Similarly Adeyemi in Oduma (2012) noted that the entrepreneur possesses such qualities which include the ability to identify business opportunities, harness necessary resources to achieve desired goals and initiate appropriate actions towards achieving business objectives.

Entrepreneurship education is taught as one of the basic subjects that will enable students acquire further skills which are common and fundamental to all personal and occupational activities (Karmelic, 2009). Okoli (2010) opined that entrepreneurship education is an important part of the general education which emphasizes the acquisition of skills and competencies for use in the office and business related occupations. In the same vein, Abdulkadir (2011) opined that one remarkable important characteristic of entrepreneurship education program is that, its products can function independently as self-employed and employers of labour.

The role of education in promoting entrepreneurial attitudes and behaviours are widely recognized today. The transversal competences like innovation, creativity, sense of initiative and entrepreneurship, will help young people to develop pro-activity, feasibility, autonomy, the capacity to manage a project and to achieve results (Shubik and Smits, 2012; Farmer, 2013). Entrepreneurship education seeks to provide students with the knowledge, skills and motivation to encourage entrepreneurial success in a variety of settings (Gouws, 2012).

The major goal of the introduction of entrepreneurship education is  to produce qualitative  entrepreneurs who will be capable  of not only addressing the prevailing issues of graduates unemployment and poverty eradication but also should be a driving force  to rural transformation and a giant  strive to national economic development (Fark,2007. The author added that the achievement of the goals of entrepreneurship education can be strengthened through effective collaboration between classroom delivery system and institutional entrepreneurship development centers.

This is understandably because research and development centers have become the most enduring and effective means of boosting sustainable economic development and re-enforcing competitiveness in face of rapid growth taking place between industries, countries and peoples in the world. This is in consonance with the view of Jin (2009) who pointed out that the main criteria for ranking the world class universities is not so much on the volume of teaching, students population or community services a university could muster; but research output measured by the breakthrough findings published in first class and medal winning journals and books, which could increase the volume and rate of knowledge accumulation.

The objectives of entrepreneurship education according to Oborah (2006) include:

(a) To provide meaningful education for the youths which could make them self reliant and subsequently encourage them to derive profit and be self independent.

(b) To provide small and medium size companies with the opportunity to recruit graduates who will receive training and tutoring in the skills relevant to the management of small businesses.

(c) To provide graduates with the training and support necessary to help them establish a career in small and medium size businesses.

(d) To provide graduates with training in skills that will make them meet the manpower needs of the society.

(e) To provide the graduates with enough training that will make them to be creative.

Similarly, Oduma (2012) identified the objectives of entrepreneurship education to include:

(a) Stimulation of nation’s economy

(b) Creation of employment

(c) Reduction of rural urban migration

(d) Provision of practical training opportunities

(e) Stimulation of rural resources.

(f) Income generation and re-distribution.

(g) Better standard of living.

(h) Fostering large scale production.

The problem of unemployment is particularly pathetic as the number of graduates from various institutions of higher learning looking for employment opportunity is increasing day to day (Akpomi, 2009). The author added that entrepreneurship education is a tool for securing employment and emancipation of people through the provision and acquisition of necessary knowledge and skills to make lives more flourishing.  More so, Abubakar (2010) maintained that entrepreneurship education in tertiary institutions is a tool for alleviating poverty and unemployment by developing in graduates the skills required for entrepreneurial development and operations.

Badi and Badi (2005) noted that there is a gab between male and female entrepreneurs. The variations range from the choice of the types of business, training, and the differences in the values and priorities of the two sex. Sharing similar view with Badi and Badi (2005), Oduma (2012) affirmed that the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills very between male and female depending on the occupation or business they want to venture into. Women in general tend to seek guidance and they use social networks more than their male counterparts (Oduma, 2012).

The achievement of the objectives of entrepreneurship education, the actualization of the intended qualities of entrepreneurs and the acquisition of entrepreneurship skills depended on the linkages and good networking system between:

(i)  Entrepreneurship studies lecturers and students.

(ii) Entrepreneurship development center and actual classroom delivery.

(iii) Graduates of an institution and entrepreneurship development center (Lekoko,2012). Shubik and Smits(2012) also added that entrepreneurship development center not only accelerates economic growth but also provides incentives for research, creativity and innovations for the lecturers and students.

Entrepreneurship development center enhances purposeful intervention of a teacher in the life of a student to impact entrepreneurial qualities and skills to enable the learner to succeed in his chosen occupation and in the world of business. Lecturers must be given ample opportunity and conducive teaching and learning environment for the acquisition of practical entrepreneurial skills and initiatives (Gouws, 2012).

From the forgoing, it is deduced that institutional entrepreneurship development centre should be a research centre providing consultancy services to lecturers, students (potential entrepreneurs) and graduates (young entrepreneurs). There should be ample evidence to show that entrepreneurial skills acquisition generated by tertiary institutions has contributed to the rise and expansion of the institution’s knowledge economy and also imperial knowledge hegemony of a few nations over the rest countries of the world in the on-going process of globalization and its uneven development.

Institutional entrepreneurship development centre ought to be a centre for the transformation of theoretical experience into the practical reality; a warehouse of entrepreneurship skills; an encyclopedia of entrepreneurship consultancy services and a theatre for entrepreneurship studies.

For the purpose of this research, effectiveness of institutional entrepreneurship development centers could be adjudged from the acquisition of:

(a)  Business management skills

(b) Financial literacy skills

(c) Information and communication technology skills

(d) Motivation skills

(e) Innovation skills and,

(f) Creativity skills in tertiary institutions in Ebonyi State.

PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECTIVENESS OF INSTITUTIONAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT CENTERS FOR THE ACQUISITION OF ENTREPRENEURIAL SKILLS IN EBONYI STATE TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS

Background of the Study

Business management, skills are those competencies required to execute the fundamental functions of management in business environment. Entrepreneurs therefore, need to be able to search fro the best combination of available resources in order to improve their business performance to benefit customers and employees and to maximize profit.

Financial literacy skill describes the entrepreneurs ability to use knowledge and experience to manage his/her financial resources effectively (Oduma, 2012)b financial literacy embodies wise decisions in the use of personal funds and finances. Entrepreneurs who can excel in the use of money, and who can distinguish between business and personal expenditure, have a hug head start and better prospect on the road of financial success in their business (Nwabufo, 2013).

Information and communication technology skills are those skills required to input and output data and information from the computer and other technological devices (shy llon, 2006). Entrepreneurs need to know how to source information from the web. How to navigate and source web data/information, using various search engines (Oduma, 2012)b. Motivation, skill defines entrepreneurs effort interest, zeal and commitment in the performance and discharge of their business activities (Nwabufo, 2013). Entrepreneurs need to possess the zeal and energy to persist in their business endeavour.

Innovation Skill: Innovation is a change in the thought and processes for doing something, or the useful application of new discoveries (Oduma, 2012)b. entrepreneurs need to be innovative in order to come up with new ideas of doing things.

Creative Skill: Entrepreneurs creativity defines their ability or disposition to discover original and novel ideas that lead to feasible alternative courses of business actions and or investment options (Oduma,2012)b. Entrepreneurs should possess that the ability to apply knowledge and experiences to discover new and improved ways of doing things as well as new and improved ways of solving problems and satisfying human desires.             

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The problem of this study therefore, is that the researcher has dauts about the effectiveness of tertiary institutional entrepreneurship development centre for the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills in of Ebonyi State. In other words, institutional entrepreneurship development centers in Ebonyi State tertiary institutions should have been centers for a paradigmatic shift in the system and functions of higher institutions by way of reforming and rebuilding their entrepreneurship research sector.

This would have not only reversed and eradicated the current mass poverty, corruption, graduates unemployment,  economic recession and bad governance which the country is notorious  worldwide, but also assist in launching  Ebonyi State in particular and Nigeria  in general to the forefront of the 21st century global development. This is why the researcher is poised to raise this question, how effective are institutional entrepreneurship development centers for the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills in Ebonyi State tertiary institutions?

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The major purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of institutional entrepreneurship development centers for the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills in Ebonyi State tertiary institutions. Specifically, the study seeks to:

(1) Determine the effectiveness of tertiary institutional entrepreneurship development centers for the acquisition of business management skills in Ebonyi State.

(2) Determine the effectiveness of tertiary institutional entrepreneurship development centers for the acquisition of financial literacy skills in Ebonyi State.

(3) Determine the effectiveness of tertiary institutional entrepreneurship development centers for the acquisition of information and communication technology skills in Ebonyi State.

(4) Determine the effectiveness of tertiary institutional entrepreneurship development centers for the acquisition of motivation skills in Ebonyi State.

(5) Determine the effectiveness of tertiary institutional entrepreneurship development centers for the acquisition of innovation skills in Ebonyi State.

(6) Determine the effectiveness of institutional entrepreneurship development centers for the acquisition of creativity skills in  Ebonyi State.

1.4 Significance of the Study

The findings of this study will be beneficial to government, entrepreneurs, students and researchers in the following ways: This study will be relevance to government through government agencies especially on higher education as it will reveal the inadequacies that hinder the achievement of the objectives of entrepreneurship education in the tertiary institutions. The study also will recommend a better direction towards effective institutional entrepreneurship development centers for the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills. The  recommendations if  implemented will boost Gross Domestic  Product (GDP), graduates  employment, poverty reduction, better standard of living and over all national economic growth and development.

This study will reveal to entrepreneurs the set of skills and knowledge that allow them to understand the financial principles the entrepreneurs need to know in order to make informed financial decisions, understand the value of money, control credit sales and involve in investment and wealth creation.

The findings of this study will be beneficial to students in the sense that they should be properly focused on the ways they develop creative thoughts. Students should be able to develop the ability to choose combine skills that will motivate their creativity and innovative abilities in order to be self reliance.

Finally, this study will serve as a source of reference for further studies on entrepreneurship education and business education or other related disciplines. This study also will provide researchers with methodological guide required in carrying out similar studies.

1.5 Research Questions

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:

(1) How effective are tertiary institutional entrepreneurship development centers for the acquisition of business management skills in Ebonyi State?

(2) How effective are tertiary institutional entrepreneurship development centers for the acquisition of financial literacy skills in  Ebonyi State?

(3) How effective are tertiary institutional entrepreneurship development centers for the acquisition of information and communication technology skills in Ebonyi State?

(4) How effective are tertiary institutional entrepreneurship development centers for the acquisition of motivation skills in  Ebonyi State?

(5) How effective are tertiary institutional entrepreneurship development centers for the acquisition of innovation skills in  Ebonyi State?

(6) How effective are tertiary institutional entrepreneurship development centers for the acquisition of creativity skills in  Ebonyi State?

  • Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:

(1) There will be no significant difference between the mean ratings of lecturers and students on the effectiveness of tertiary institutional entrepreneurship development centers for the acquisition of business management skills in Ebonyi State.

(2)There will be no significant difference in the mean ratings of male and female lecturers and students on the effectiveness of tertiary institutional entrepreneurship development centers for the acquisition of financial literary skills in Ebonyi state.

(3)The will be no significant difference in the mean ratings of lectures and students of college of education, polytechnic and university on the effectiveness of tertiary institutional entrepreneurship development centers for the acquisition creativity skills in Ebonyi state.

1.7 Scope of the Study

This study is limited to the determination of effectiveness of tertiary institutional entrepreneurship development centers for the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills in Ebonyi State. This study focused on determining the effectiveness of institutional entrepreneurship development centers for the acquisition of business management skills, financial literacy skills, information and communication technology skills, motivation skills, innovation skills and creativity skills in tertiary institutions of Ebonyi State.

PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECTIVENESS OF INSTITUTIONAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT CENTERS FOR THE ACQUISITION OF ENTREPRENEURIAL SKILLS IN EBONYI STATE TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS

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