INSTITUTE OF CLASSIC ENTREPRENEURSHIP,NIGERIA (ICENT)

---turning your ideas into viable businesses

...Africa's foremost Institute of Entrepreneurship | NIGERIAN CONSORTIUM FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT/CHAIRMAN IN COUNCIL

ICENT’s major aim is to dignify entrepreneurship as a profession and reposition entrepreneurship education for positive impact

Entrepreneurship education was introduced in the United States in the 1940s. Over the years, the concept and content has been expanded, adopted and integrated into the education curricula of other countries. McMullan and Long (1987) reported that entrepreneurship is an integral part of the economic strategy for fostering job creation and reducing unemployment in any nation. Entrepreneurship has become such an important component of formal education that in 1998, UNESCO World Conference recognised its value and advocated cultivating entrepreneurship and skills in higher education as a development strategy for many emerging economies (UNESCO 2008). The UNESCO report highlighted that through entrepreneurship students are able to gain experiences that give them the ability and vision of how to access and transform opportunities of different kinds into viable business. This presupposes that entrepreneurship goes beyond two-semester course and skills/vocational training to incorporate training to increase students’ ability to anticipate and respond to societal changes for business creation. Tulgan (1999) outlined the functional basis of entrepreneurship as education and training which allows students to develop and use their creativity in entrepreneurial development of the country.

Over a decade, the government of Nigeria announced the introduction of entrepreneurship to be integrated in the all tertiary institutions’ curricula of as a compulsory course for students irrespective of area of specialisation. In pursuance of the full implementation, most of tertiary institutions established a coordinating center for entrepreneurship education to support students’ training. At inception, entrepreneurship was harped as the panacea for youth unemployment and a catalyst for sustained private sector-led growth. Entrepreneurship was introduced to provide students in tertiary institutions with the knowledge, skills and motivation to encourage entrepreneurial success in a variety of ventures (Aliu 2008). To make the delivery effective, the NUC prescribed the following ten areas in the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standard (BEMAS) guide for teaching Entrepreneurship in Nigerian Universities: 1)Introduction to entrepreneurship 2)entrepreneurship in theory and practice 3) Types of business, staffing and marketing 4) capital requirement and raising capital 5) financial planning and management 6)feasibility studies and reports 7) Innovations 8) legal issues in business 9)insurance and environmental consideration, and 10) possible business opportunities in Nigeria. However, about ten years down the road, the excitement and momentum generated at the introduction of entrepreneurship have waned as a failed expectation.

The obvious lack/absence of a curricular guide to inform a pedagogical delivery in the methodology of entrepreneurship is identified by many researchers as a major drawback in the system. A good curriculum must be developed and integrated to ensure that there is a systematic upgrading of knowledge over time. The concept of "problem-based learning activities" is not used in developing the curriculum, and this was observed to be common problem of most entrepreneurship curricular (The Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education, 2012), the dependence on a written business plan as preparation for starting a business is a limiting educational approach. It has also been reported that the existing University curriculum structure has a startup challenge for entrepreneurship (Anyaogu 2009). There are no pre-requisites introductory course, at the lower level (entrepreneurship was introduced as a third or fourth year level course) upon which the newly introduced course was predicated. The present situation where entrepreneurship tends to be offered in stand-alone courses rather than being integrated into the content of courses in other departments or disciplines does not create the avenue for harmony and sustained interest by the students. .

For instance, the NUC benchmark for entrepreneurship is 6 credits hour, but due to the bloated existing credit loading most of the Universities cannot accommodate the 6hours and as such entrepreneurship is taught as a onetime 2 credits hour with a very shallow content Fashanu and Okunloye (2010) extended the curricular limitations and submitted that, because the existing University curriculum is already overstretched with accredited courses to maximum credit hours; most universities adopted a zero credit hour loading for the newly introduced entrepreneurship. This development depreciated the essence and status of entrepreneurship as well as the interest of the students on the courses.

It is also worrisome that virtually all Nigerian tertiary institutions who proclaim they teach entrepreneurship, having produced electrical engineers who cannot fix bulb into lamp holder, chemical engineers who cannot produce liquid soap and mechanical engineers who cannot regulate generator, ignorantly or wickedly teach innocent students welding, carpentry, automobile repairs, radionics, soap making, GSM repairs etc, petty trading/small businesses in the name of entrepreneurship, in gigantic multi-million entrepreneurship development centres, under the coordination of someone trained with millions of naira as an entrepreneurship educator and not a mere vocational trainer. It is quite unfortunate that while carpenter and petty-trader parents (for instance) blame their predicaments on lack of formal education, their wards are being taught welding and GSM repair by Nigerian entrepreneurship educators. Little wonder, despite the establishment of several entrepreneurship development/vocational centres in almost all Nigerian tertiary institutions, introductory entrepreneurship courses as compulsory for all undergraduates and Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Department by NYSC, unemployment is still on the increase.

It is also worrisome that virtually all Nigerian tertiary institutions who proclaim they teach entrepreneurship, having produced electrical engineers who cannot fix bulb into lamp holder, chemical engineers who cannot produce liquid soap and mechanical engineers who cannot regulate generator, ignorantly or wickedly teach innocent students welding, carpentry, automobile repairs, radionics, soap making, GSM repairs etc, petty trading/small businesses in the name of entrepreneurship, in gigantic multi-million entrepreneurship development centres, under the coordination of someone trained with millions of naira as an entrepreneurship educator and not a mere vocational trainer. It is quite unfortunate that while carpenter and petty-trader parents (for instance) blame their predicaments on lack of formal education, their wards are being taught welding and GSM repair by Nigerian entrepreneurship educators. Little wonder, despite the establishment of several entrepreneurship development/vocational centres in almost all Nigerian tertiary institutions, introductory entrepreneurship courses as compulsory for all undergraduates and Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Department by NYSC, unemployment is still on the increase.


Most Nigerian entrepreneurship educators had failed to realise that hard skills and small business are just integral parts of entrepreneurship and not the core of entrepreneurship. Taking technical skills and small business as the essence of entrepreneurship is worse than taking criminology as the core of law and technical drawing or engineering mathematics as the only thing required of an engineer.

When asked : “Are entrepreneurship education and vocational education same?” Wei Shen, studied Image Consulting & Business at George Brown College, Toronto, Canada answered thus: “Entrepreneur education is about starting a business and marketing and financing business, customer and employee relationships. Vocational education here in Canada is basically for students who cannot survive in an academic stream. Not even in the Basic courses of study. Students who have failed elementary school 3 times are automatically sent to vocational school. They learn basic skills and such as auto mechanics, plumbing, Electrician, They learn basic reading and communication and safety skills enough to be able to hold down a job”.

Chris Davis PhD, Learning Consultant/Coach answered thus: “No. Totally different. Vocational education is career training in general. Truck driving, welding, and many other paths are vocational. Entrepreneurial education is about being an entrepreneur, which is not the same thing, as operating a small business. Frankly I question the value of most “entrepreneurial education.” To worsen the case, before now, except our books in forty-six (46) different core areas of entrepreneurship, no professional body or tertiary institution in Nigeria, with professors and doctors who receive grants in the name of entrepreneurship, can boast of a textbook in any of the core areas of entrepreneurship, even when they know texts in entrepreneurship are from foreign authors, whose views are not reflective of our national realities.

Job creation, economic prosperity and improvement of social welfare are critical national goals and entrepreneurship development is a catalyst on the path to their accomplishment. Entrepreneurship education is defined as the structured formal conveyance of entrepreneurial competencies, which in turn refer to the concepts, skills and mental awareness used by individuals during the process of starting and developing their growth-oriented ventures. While all entrepreneurs are self-employed, not all self-employed persons are entrepreneurs.

With declining government revenue, increasing youth’s unemployment, decreasing public investments and vanishing private sector businesses, there is no gainsaying the need to dignify entrepreneurship as a profession, formalise entrepreneurship education and reposition it for positive impact as a field of study rather than leaving it for the hidden curricula as it may not be covered there, or it may be more confusing as there is lack of structure. Entrepreneurship should be treated as a field of study like medicine, agriculture, finance, nursing, management, marketing, pharmacy, law, engineering, technology etc.

The era of white-collar job is gone. In fact as a matter of necessity, students from medicine, agriculture, finance, management, marketing, pharmacy, law, engineering, technology should start borrowing courses like healthcare entrepreneurship, medical entrepreneurship, pharmaceutical entrepreneurship, biotechnology entrepreneurship, technology entrepreneurship, engipreneurship, creative entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, policy entrepreneurship, political entrepreneurship, public entrepreneurship, transformational entrepreneurship, aquaculture entrepreneurship, public entrepreneurship, transformational entrepreneurship, education entrepreneurship, corporate entrepreneurship (Intrapreneurship/Organisational

Entrepreneurship), transformational entrepreneurship, media entrepreneurship, public entrepreneurship, transformational entrepreneurship based on the future demand of their careers/talents/interests/abilities. If we are to get it right in Nigeria, all public and political leaders must undergo compulsory trainings in social entrepreneurship, policy entrepreneurship, political entrepreneurship, public entrepreneurship and transformational entrepreneurship.

Institute of Classic Entrepreneurship, Nigeria (ICENT) promotes the incorporation of entrepreneurship education across all levels of education and community – based programmes, including secondary, technical and vocational schools, through infusion within existing courses and by the support of separate courses and programmes developed in entrepreneurship. It serves as a vehicle to develop curriculum, initiate collaborative projects with international partners in the field of entrepreneurship education, and create a platform for the global exchange and integration of best practices in entrepreneurship education. It provides a coordinated vehicle for participating members to collaborate on and communicate about the specific issues and challenges confronting tertiary institution-based entrepreneurship programmes.

-Assoc. Prof. John O. Alabi ,FCEnt
President and Chairman in Council

Ready to take the next step?

In accordance with William Pollard, “learning and innovation go hand in hand, it is arrogance of success for one to think what he did yesterday would be sufficient for tomorrow”. We need a new generation of professional entrepreneurs, who are more customer centric, technology savvy, more highly qualified, flexible and agile with skill sets that are now more comprehensive than previously.

Become a member
  • ABOUT INCENT

    Established by Companies and Allied Matters Act, Cap. C20, LFN, 2004 and Approved by the Federal Ministry of Education as a Professional Institute.
  • HEAD OFFICE

    Suite 104, Fairtrade Business Complex, 22 Kigoma Street, Off Olusegun Obasanjo Way, Opposite NAFDAC Hqtrs, Wuse 7 Abuja, FCT, Nigeria
  • PROPOSED INTERNATIONAL SECRETARIAT

    Olujado Way, Ilobu/Ejigbo Road,Ijado,Surulere Lcda,Oyo State
  • EMAIL US

    registrar@classicentrepreneurs.com,
    info@classicentrepreneurs.com.
    See full list of State Coordinators
  • CALL US

    +2348033322443, +2348035950423, +2348073556701,
    +2348036689803, +2348023520943, +2349055934533.
  • © 2019 INCENT. All rights reserved
    Designed by BURUJTECH

    EXCERPT FROM NEW YEAR BROADCAST BY THE REGISTRAR/STC