by Chisom Okoye
You will recall that in the previous post, I gave an introduction to education, noting that it might have multiple meanings in different circles but in the end, education can only be impactful if it turns an individual into a productive member of society.
After all, what is the point of being education if I live off somebody else all the days of my life?
This thought introduces another concept: entrepreneurship
What is entrepreneurship?
In usage, the word “entrepreneur” can be traced to way before the 13th century but historical evidence however, traces its origin to the thirteenth-century French verb, ‘entreprendre’, meaning “to do something” or “to undertake.”
By the sixteenth century, the noun form, ‘entrepreneur’, was being used to refer to someone who undertakes a business venture. By 1730, Richard Cantillon an economist first used the word in a context that relates to the willingness to bear the personal financial risk of a business venture.
Thus, some interesting definitions of entrepreneurship are given below:
“Entrepreneurship is the act of creating a business or businesses while building and scaling it to generate a profit.”
On the other hand, it can also be defined as, “Entrepreneurship is the process of discovering new ways of combining resources.”
So, who is an entrepreneur?
You must have heard of the young, savvy billionaire called Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, Inc. (TSLA), who dropped out of Stanford University, to launch his company Zip2. Well this may sound very unbelievable considering at that time he was about beginning his Ph.D. studies. The truth is he was driven by the motive to take a chance on the opportunities of the internet explosion.
One thing to take away from Musk’s story is that he saw an opportunity, took a chance on it and bore the risk. That’s an entrepreneur in action.
Relating Education to Entrepreneurship
Recognizing the importance of education in national development, the policy makers (European Union, 2006; UNESCO, 2013; QAA, 2012) have placed an unprecedented focus on a recently identified concept in the field of education across all levels named as ‘entrepreneurial skill development through education’.
From the forgoing it is evident that entrepreneurship and education are going to become more and more intertwined as times move forward.
Bringing this home, the Nigerian education sector is faced by a number of challenges. As put by the sector operators, these challenges include: academic staff shortages in all areas of the education sector in Nigeria, particularly in the critical areas of science and technology.
It is imperative to also note that entrepreneurship education is rarely taken seriously, even as recently as 2015, emphasis on entrepreneurship (in both secondary and tertiary institutions) are rarely co-ordinated and as a result produce disappointing results.
In addition to these human capacity gaps, there are also the challenges associated with education quality and insufficient investments to keep pace with Nigeria’s growing school-age population.
So, now what?
With this glaring reality, it is only timely that the government brings to the barest minimum the bottlenecks in the educational sector. This will allow non-governmental organisations make more input in ways that will lead to measurable, sustainable impact, especially in the area of entrepreneurial-education- a gain for the country’s educational sector and the economy.
A final recommendation would be that the education being given to Nigerians should equip them with strategies on how to look out for opportunities and seize them. In the long run, this will produce individuals who are able to use their education to yield entrepreneurial gains, in whatever sectors they may find themselves.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chisom is constantly learning how everything in the world can work better with education. As an academic writer, he writes to shine the light on gaps in the education sector, as well as recommend methods for advancement.