ANALYSIS OF THE IMPACT OF COURSE OF STUDY ON STUDENTS ATTITUDES TOWARDS ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA
The rate of unemployment among school graduates is quite alarming in Nigeria. As part of measures to ameliorate the growing ugly situation, government at all levels (federal, state and local) are putting in place measures to encourage self-reliance, creativity and innovation drive through entrepreneurship development in Nigeria.
To understand entrepreneurship and development is to discover why Nigeria is described as a developing economy. Developing economy explains the extent by which men and women should contribute to develop workable ways or strategies in order to achieve economic growth and development. It revitalizes the dominant potentialities of every youth in providing job employment for others rather than seeking out for employment. It also assists to underscore the responsibilities of the government in fostering an environment of growth for entrepreneurial initiatives. It further opens avenues for the government to develop the right strategies especially in addressing poverty in the country (Erlinda D, 2011).
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
It is envisaged that government at all levels will have to put in place all necessary infrastructures to promote the growth and development of small and medium scale enterprises (SME) in the country to enable Nigeria attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target set by the United Nations by the year 2012 and Nigeria vision 20-20-20. A vibrant SMSE sector is critical in the realization of MDGs objective.
Experts have observed that Nigeria may not likely meet the MDGs target by reducing poverty by 50% by the year 2015 considering the present status of SMSE operations in Nigeria.
It is universally accepted that Micro (Small) and Medium Scale Enterprises are the engine of development of any nation. A nation’s rate of development is determined by the number of SMEs in the country.
Statistical studies have shown that 40 – 50% SMEs in most advanced countries of the world are owned by graduates or those who passed through Colleges. Given this facts in Nigeria, the opposite seems to be the case (Business Day Newspaper 9th Jan., 2007, pg. 13).
Scholars have divergent views on who is an entrepreneur and who is not. While the first school of through is of the opinion the entrepreneurs can be made (taught through formal classes) the other group however are of the opinion that entrepreneurs are born (an inheritance). They argued further that entrepreneurs possess special qualities and must have the right attitude and disposition towards entrepreneurship.
This development is likely to inculcate in students the right aptitude and attitudes to starting their won business and by implicating making them a better entrepreneur. Considering the fact that the key factors that give rise to enterprise are personal, sociological and environmental factors. For quite some time now by statistical analysis, over 3 millions Nigerians in a given year become qualified to form the labour market largely from both Universities and Polytechnics but, regrettably, not more than 10% of this population are likely to gain employment to join the formal sector. The International Labour Organization collaborated this very poor level graduates, employment yearly (Bugaje, Hamalai & Indabawa, 2002).
Indeed, it is obvious that with the level of development and attendant threats in Nigeria, the possibility of government having the capability of leveraging poverty and meeting the United Nation target on MDGs 2012 is remote.
Inspite of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s effort towards setting up institutions such as National Poverty Alleviation Programme (NAPEP), Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), National Directorate of Employment (NDE), National Economic Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND) and other relevant programmes with other world bodies and NGOs, the piece of entrepreneurship development is still low when compared with other developing countries with developed nation taking the lead.
Thus, this research work is an attempt to investigate the individual characteristics of graduating students with a view to understand whether some students are more likely to take to entrepreneurship than others irrespective of their course of study. Attempt will be therefore be made to understand the possible influence of a students course of study in their desire to start a business of their own.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Substantially, governments of Nigeria (federal, state and local) are making effort to promote the development of small and medium scale enterprises and other related programmes in support but then, much is still desired interms of commitment of funds, mobilization, minimization of corruption and performance evaluation mechanisms and above all leveraging on the macro environmental operations variables (Mawoli, M.A. and Aliyu, A.N, 2010).
Nigeria still falls far short of the economic and social progress required to impact the well being of average Nigerian given that over half of the population lives on less than one dollar a day (Otah, Erlinda, 2011). Nigeria is also one of the top three countries in the world that has the largest population of poor people. Nigeria remains off-track on achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) including the goal of having the number of people who live in extreme poverty. The enormity of the challenge is corroborated by Nigeria’s low score on the Human Development Index (HDI), an index that means the average achievement of a country in terms of the welfare and quality of life of its people. It was reported that Nigeria is one that has the highest infant mortality rate in Africa and indeed worse than those of Ghana, Burkina Faso and Benin.
In education, the quality of schooling is adversely affected by large class sizes, lack of teaching materials and equipment, and lack of qualified teachers, etc. Doing business in Nigeria is hampered by poor access to infrastructure and insecurity of lives and property, political instability in some quarters. The supply of electricity is often unreliable thereby distorting business climate. According to World Bank / IFC business ranking 2008, Nigeria ranked an aggregate 125 out of the 183 economies assessed (Erlinda D. 2011).
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The research work is designed to achieve the following specific objectives:
i) To reveal the impact of course of study on students attitudes towards entrepreneurship development.
ii) To identify the reasons for the slow pace of entrepreneurship growth and development in Nigeria.
iii) To identify the environmental factors influencing individual entrepreneurial spirit.
iv) To reveal the extent to which government is contributing to entrepreneurship development.
v) To identify the roles of entrepreneurship towards the development of Nigerian economy.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research work serves as a partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Award of Higher National Diploma in Marketing by Kaduna Polytechnic.
Secondly, the research study would serve as a reference library to so many students of marketing in their quest for further investigation on the subject matter.
Thirdly, the study reveals the inherent prepositions or benefits of being self employed as against being an employee throughout one’s life.
This is so because the concept ideally promotes creativity and drivers of innovation thereby bringing to bear informed decisions and generation of great investment potentials.
Fourthly, the general public stands to benefit from the study as an emerging field but critical to socio-economic development of any nation and host of others.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions would be used to achieving the stated objectives:
i) What are the factors responsible for the slow pace of entrepreneurship development in Nigeria?
ii) What are the likely impact of course of study on students attitude towards their individual entrepreneurial disposition?
iii) What are the environmental factors influencing individual entrepreneurial spirit?
iv) To what extent is the government contributing towards entrepreneurship development?
v) What is the role of entrepreneurship toward the development of Nigerian economy?
1.6 STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESIS
The following research hypothesis was used in achieving the stated objectives:
H1: An individual student’s course of study has significant positive impact on a students’ tendency to be an entrepreneur.
H0: An individual course of study has no significant impact on a student’s choice f being an entrepreneur?
1.7 DELIMITATION / SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study focuses on the analysis of the impact of course of study on student’s attitudes towards entrepreneurship development with special reference to all graduating students (HND II) of all the five (5) academic colleges (CBMS, CASSS, CBS, COE and CST) of Kaduna Polytechnic for 2012. The study covers the indepth analysis of the target student’s psycho-variables, personality and background of individual to determine their disposition for self employment irrespective of their course of study.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
This is all about defining some of the concepts within the confines of the subject matter:
i. Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship is the process of ideation, conceptualization, enterprise creation, commercialization and business growth.
ii. Development: It is the process of unfolding and realization of man’s creative potential that enables him to improve his material conditions and living through the use of resources available to him.
iii. Economic Growth: It shows or it’s the ability of the country to satisfy the needs and wants of their people.
iv. Value Creation: This is the process of making products and providing services that customers find consistently useful and profitable to providers
v. An Entrepreneur: The individual who possess the drive, ambition, foresight and imagination to break through traditional barriers, overcome social inertia, and transform theory into practice
vi. Entrepreneurship Development: A process of advancing or improving the entrepreneurial ability of an individual by means of the re-orientation and reorganization of the entire economic and social systems
vii. Creativity: The ability to process information in such a way that the result is new, original and meaningful.
viii. Innovation Originality: The ability of an entrepreneur to develop new products, new technology, new distribution outlets and supply modification for enhanced services.
ix. Marketing: As a social and management process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating, offering and exchanging products of value with others.
x. Marketing Mix: This refers to all elements of an organization strategies, tactics, programmes and techniques which are designed in relation to available resources to meet marketing objectives and ultimately the needs and wants of the customers.
xi. Advertising: It is a non-personal form of communication, involving persuasion and promotion of ideas, goods or services through paid media under identified sponsorship.
xii. Public Relations: It is a non-personal stimulation of demand for a product, service or business unit by planting commercially significant news about it in the media, without paid sponsorship.