ENTREPRENEURS EDUCATION AS A WAY TO IMPROVE ECONOMIC GROWTH OF A COUNTRY
Entrepreneurs and the small businesses they create are of no doubt economic stimulators. Through proper training techniques, societies create entrepreneurs that develop small businesses and as well maximize the economic potentials of the state, especially that of the rural areas of the state.
Entrepreneurship is the purposeful activity (including an integrated sequence of decisions) of an individual or group of associated individuals, under-taken to initiate, maintain, or aggrandize a profit-oriented business unit for the production or distribution of economic goods and services (Nwachukwu, 1990). Entrepreneurship at least in all non-authoritarian societies constitute a bridge between society as a whole, especially the non-economic aspect of that society, and the profit oriented institutions established to take off its economic development and to satisfy, as best they can, its economic desires.
Schumpeter (1994) defines entrepreneurship as the ability to perceive and undertake business opportunities, taking advantage of scarce resource utilisation. In simplest form, entrepreneurship is the willingness and the ability to seek out investment opportunities and to run an enterprise for profit. In this later sense, entrepreneurship takes premium over capital. It is equally more fundamental than capital because capital formation is the result of entrepreneurial activity. Entrepreneurs are therefore regarded as central figures in economic development. Their contributions run through labour actions, movement of capital goods and conversion of raw materials into finished products, and ultimately, effectual distribution of the products to final consumers. Entrepreneurs are therefore those who search and discover economic opportunities, marshal the financial and other resources necessary for the development of the opportunities, evaluate alternatives available in the environment and allocate resources to the most profitable ones and as well take the ultimate responsibility for the management and/or successful execution of opportunities. An Entrepreneur is somewhat comfortable with taking and assuming risks which are impassioned with the dream being pursued. He or she knows where to get help, and when it is needed, and as well as being ever ready to receive changes in the business surrounding environment (Schumpeter, 1994). Consequently, universities should commence training high level manpower whose characteristics are usually obsessive, focused, articulate, and resourceful. In this way graduates will turn out typically charismatic leaders, and tend to be introspective in the skills of job creation, wealth generation and innovative skill utilization.
Empowering the Nigerian people towards wealth creation, employment generation, poverty reduction and value re-orientation (NEEDS, 2005), is a foremost cardinal point for strategic macro-economic framework. This also reflects in the recent increase in the demand for educational programmes in entrepreneurship in the country’s tertiary institutions, parastatals and non-governmental paradigms. If fully satisfied, this new vision and values would shine the spotlight on small medium scale business activities in Nigeria. Thus, increased education on entrepreneurial skills would create that perfect opportunity to stimulate economic growth. Institutions are therefore to properly train individuals who will have the right tools necessary to commence and grow successful businesses with reduced risk of failure.
Entrepreneurship education and training becomes very important machinery to meet this national goal. Nevertheless, while it is not absolutely necessary for an individual to obtain entrepreneurship training to be successful, obtaining an entrepreneurial education serves as a tremendous advantage to increasing the chances of success as an entrepreneur. This is because training is still focused and directed at achieving a purpose while education is all encompassing. Thus, great strides are required to be made towards the goal of educating people to become entrepreneurs to enhance economic growth and development. It is against this background that this write-up in its other subsequent aspects tends to examine:
- The theoretical framework for the subject under discussion,
- Underlying issues in entrepreneurial education in Nigeria,
- Efforts toward entrepreneurial development in Nigeria,
- Entrepreneurial education and economic growth development,
- Conclusion and Recommendations.
1.1 Theoretical and Conceptual Issues
Entrepreneurship is frequently a scarce resource because entrepreneurs are gap fillers and inputs completers and these are highly scarce talents. David C. McClelland of Harvard University, U.S.A., highlighted this paramount importance of entrepreneurship in his “Need Theory of Entrepreneurship”. McClelland made a comprehensive contribution to the conceptualization of motivators to entrepreneurship development by identifying three types of basic motivating needs which he classified as need for power (n/PWR), and need for affiliation (n/AAF), and need for achievement (n/ACH).
Considerable research has been done on method of testing people with respect to these three types of needs, and McClelland and his associates have done substantial research, especially on the need for achievement drive. Research on achievement needs has been noteworthy and is often used by psychologists as a prototype of how knowledge should be researched and discovered in the behavioural science as a way of developing entrepreneurship. All three drives; power, affiliation and achievement, are of relevance to management since all must be recognised to make organised enterprise work well, because such enterprise and its departments represents group of individuals working together to achieve goals, hence the paramount importance of the need for achievement in entrepreneurship development.
Need for Power
McClelland and his associates postulated that people with a high need for power have a greater concern for exercising influence and control. Such individuals, and/or societies generally seek positions of leadership, they are forceful, outspoken and they enjoy teaching others as well as form a public mouth-piece. According to NEEDS (2005), Nigeria as a nation with high need for power is a founding member of the New Economic Partnership for African Development and the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS). This also explains why 92 percent trainee teachers in Technology education at the University of Lagos indicated willingness to interact with industries while the studentship lasted (ILO, 1995).
Need for Affiliation
People with a high need for affiliation are noted to always desire pleasure from being loved and as such tend to avoid the pain of being rejected by a social group. As individuals, they are likely to be concerned with maintaining pleasant social relationships to enjoy a sense of intimacy and understanding, to be ready to console and help others in trouble, and to enjoy friendly interaction with others.