Entrepreneurship is what has led to the economic development of many nations we see today. Most well developed countries are more interested in entrepreneurs than people in white-collar jobs. China is a good example of a nation with an impressive economic development, which was as a result of the promotion of entrepreneurship among its citizens. In the economy today, education is being redefined to produce entrepreneurs and not just job seekers. Therefore, the role entrepreneurship plays in the economic development in Nigeria cannot be underestimated especially in times like this.
Going further, let’s analyze a clearer meaning as to what entrepreneurship is really about.
Many often misunderstand entrepreneurship. Most people imagine it to be just starting a business and making money. But there is more to it than that. It is more than just having a business. It is a special way of life and mindset in which people are innovative and try to solve some particular problems and at the same time creating value in the society.
Entrepreneurship can also be described as the driving force of restructuring an economy while moving it towards a market economic process. Both local, state, and national economies rise and fall on the growth of entrepreneurship. New businesses create more job opportunities and introduce new ideas that solve problems in better ways. Entrepreneurship also makes the market place more competitive making individuals think out of the box, this however doesn’t restrain society from growing and developing.
So now that we understand the concept of entrepreneurship, let us move further and look at the importance of entrepreneurial education on entrepreneurial intentions in Nigeria.
Entrepreneurship education otherwise known as entrepreneurial education is a form of training that prepares individuals to be responsible and enterprising. It helps people develop the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to achieve the goals they set out for themselves. Research also shows that people with entrepreneurial education are more employable. It focuses on the development of skills or attributes that enable the realization of opportunity.
Entrepreneurial intention on the other hand is an individual and/or of a group of people’s intentions to create a new business/idea. It is a conscious mental state that precedes the action and directs attention towards the goal of establishing a new business. Factors, which affect entrepreneurial intentions, include self-concept, motivation, and risk taking propensity together with social factor and family environment.
Therefore, Entrepreneurship education prepares students especially youths to be responsible, enterprising individuals who become entrepreneurs and who also contribute to economic growth of their community and nation at large. To sustain national development, entrepreneurship is necessary for sustainable national development in a given society since it encourages creativity, innovation and fostering a business-oriented culture among youths.
However, our faulty educational system has failed to take cognizance of the dynamics of labour market, which has led to producing a large army of graduates who are confronted with unemployment without equipping them with the necessary skills to be self reliant, self confident and employers of labour. All of this is as a result of inadequately trained lecturers/instructors, facilities /materials for teaching entrepreneurship education and the entrepreneurship curricular contents which does not fully equip students with adequate knowledge, resources and skills to establish on their own.
Entrepreneurship education also aids students from all socioeconomic backgrounds to think outside the box and nurture unconventional talents and skills. It creates opportunities, ensures social justice, instills and develops confidence and creativity and stimulates the economy. It imparts qualities such as self-motivation and financial responsibility. In addition this education empowers people to be self disciplined since entrepreneurship involves taking well-calculated risks.
Entrepreneurial education builds the necessary skills, which will empower the entrepreneur to know what entrepreneurship is all about and how to handle it effectively. Real entrepreneurial skills come from working experience, and willingness to continue to learn and grow.
The Importance of Entrepreneurial education includes: Providing the necessary skills that will build creativity, innovation and collaboration; To prepare and train graduates with the necessary skills that will enable them identify a problem and meet the needs of the society; To thoroughly train students in risk management due to uncertain business environment; To Reduce the high rate of unemployment, underemployment and poverty among graduate youths in Nigeria; Promote and encourage industrial and economic growth of rural and less developed areas; To encourage the youths to be self-employed and self reliant; Provide the graduate youths with adequate training that will enable them to be creative and innovative in identifying novel business opportunities; Serve as a key for economic growth and development in Nigeria; To Provide the graduate youths with enough training and support that will enable them to start a career either in small and medium scale businesses; and To reduce the rural-urban migration of graduate
Embracing entrepreneurial education is very important in these times most especially for individuals with entrepreneurial intentions. There should be regular training and retraining of lecturers/instructors for competence in the teaching of entrepreneurship education. There should be provision of requisite facilities and materials by the universities, government and individuals for instructional efficiency and effectiveness. There should be collaboration between the government and individuals to provide necessary resources for the graduates with entrepreneurial intentions in order to put the skills they’ve acquired through the training into practice.