BY PROFESSOR ABIODUN AMUDA-KANNIKE SAN DEAN, FACULTY OF LAW, KWARA STATE UNIVERSITY, MALETE, VIA ILORIN, KWARA STATE, NIGERIA.
BEING THE TEXT OF THE 2022 CONVOCATION LECTURE (IN ENGLISH AND FRENCH) OF THE WEST AFRICAN UNIVERSITY COTONOU, REPUBLIC OF BENIN SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17TH, 2022 WRITTEN IN BOTH ENGLISH AND FRENCH LANGUAGES ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION; A KEYBOARD TO A SUCCESSFUL LIFE
The download is the French version
Entrepreneurship education is that type of education which aim is to provide students and scholars including the members of the public with the knowledge, skills vis-a-vis motivation in order to encourage entrepreneurial success in a variety of circumstance. This education could involve the entrepreneurship from parents to children, masters to servants, skilled workers to artisans, teachers to students which could be from kindergarten, primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.
Furthermore, entrepreneurship education core mandate is geared towards equipping the youths with functional knowledge and skills which will build up their character, attitude and vision in different areas of their productive life. This will eventually push forward the development of the ecosystem for the benefit of mankind with the attendant effect of innovation and the creation of value for the production and services. This is different from the system of knowledge that was earlier the order of the day without the provision of much needed skills and innovation but just normal and formal system of education used for searching in most instances, white-collar jobs.
On the other hand, what then is entrepreneurship? Though entrepreneurship can be said to be a relative concept but that does not mean that Scholars, Authors and Educationists did not define the terms. They did, but no consensus of opinion on the definition. Entrepreneurship has been defined as the introduction of new economic activities which will give rise to a change in the market place or marketing environment. Therefore, it means, to bring into being new innovations.
Entrepreneurship is not just about innovation alone but also involves the ability to create products or services in a business environment with attendant financial risks most often connected to success or failure of an enterprise.
BENIN REPUBLIC ENCOURAGEMENT OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Most universities and higher institutions in Benin Republic today are now encouraging entrepreneurship education. This was pursuant to the stimulation of entrepreneurship in Benin Republic by simplifying the legal regime as adopted by the members of the organization for the Harmonization of Business law in Africa (OHADA). The rules developed by member nations in this regard were aimed to encourage micro and small entrepreneurs to join the formal sector. It can therefore be said that Benin Republic was the first out of the seventeen member states who implemented the new status/rules as adopted by member nations as at December of year 2010, about twelve (12) years now.
What the Benenoise government did first was to simplify business registration process, it was also made free for registration, the micro and small enterprises benefited and jobs were created, it contributed to economic development and this was confirmed as far back as year 2015 when the then Minister of Public Policy, Anthonin Dossou, at the official launching of the Benin entrepreneurship status of the members of the organization for the Harmonization.
As at 2014 when the government initiated the pilot scheme, a tailor named, Sebastion Gnonhoussou, whose tailoring shop is at Cotonou was given the opportunity to be a Cordinator/Trainer/Teacher by allowing the registration of his shop which was small as an “Entreprenant”. This man was trained in “accounting” “management” and finance.
The World Bank in the bid to encourage the government of Benin Republic, supported her vigorously in order to implement the reforms for trade promotion and equally competition in the private sector of the economy since the year 2012. This member states enjoying this benefits are the seventeen states who are mostly Francophone countries in the sub-Sahara part of Africa as popularly referred to.
It was therefore, in this regard that most of the higher institutions in Benin Republic including the one you are graduating from today opted for entrepreneurship education in order to support the high initiative of the government of Benin Republic and which the Ministry of education of Benin Republic advised most institutions to key into in order to enjoy complete educational training.
It will interest you to know that a lot of the higher institutions in Benin Republic today now run Degree courses on entrepreneurship apart from the fact that entrepreneurship as a course is now majorly compulsory for all students of higher institutions.
THE GROWTH OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION IN NIGERIA
From the historical antecedents of the history of policies relating to education, industry, employment and labour in Nigeria, it can traced down to colonial period. It was said that our educational institution as they were, continued to produced white-collar employment seekers who do not have the requisite professional nor entrepreneurial skills expected in the education system which can be called “total education”. There exist no doubt that before now, entrepreneurship education was completely lacking in our educational system, just as it were in most African countries including Benin Republic.
Among other things, entrepreneurship education in Nigeria seeks to provide the students especially tertiary institutions with skills, knowledge, motivation with a view to support entrepreneurial growth in every sectors or business activities/services. As at today in Nigeria just as it is ongoing in Benin Republic, entrepreneurship education are offered at all the stages of educational institutions commencing from primary to secondary schools including up to the tertiary institutions. It has been referred to as life learning process which is essential to assist the competitive nature of the Knowledge economy.
THE REASONS WHY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS SHOULD TEACH ENTREPRENEURSHIP
As the society is changing towards innovations and modernization, the educational institutions cannot afford to remain behind because the students who are graduating must fit into the society. The educational institutions must graduate, the doers, the makers and the cutting-edge thinkers, Florina and Sabrina Truong referred to entrepreneruship as being required all over the world.
The fact remains that entrepreneurship education serves as benefits as it teaches the students to think outside the box and get interested in unconventional talents and skills. This ultimately gives room for social justice, stimulation of the economy, confidence and so many opportunities.
There was a story of a young man who was involved in drug and was sentenced to 15years imprisonment. He was told inside prison that he is an entrepreneur. He was trained and became interested. some years later, he became the founder and Executive Director of “The Start Centre for Entrepreneurship”.
Furthermore, the importance of offering entrepreneurship course especially at tertiary institutions is the fact that it prepares the students to be self reliant after graduation. The trend all over the world today is that jobs are no longer guaranteed. There are hyper rise in the rate of unemployment and under employment. Also technology itself has come to threaten the future of the “employment/job space”. Therefore, the use of information technology in all professional callings is no longer news but reality. Even the legal profession is not left out and so, you cannot say because you are a lawyer or a law students, you don’t need entrepreneurship.
As a result of entrepreneurship education, a student becomes versatile because the acquisition of entrepreneurship education automatically broadened his knowledge and skills culminating into versatility. The intention is to make sure that students are not limited to acquisition of skills and innovations in only the area of study. A student should be able to work in different areas of productive activities and be useful to both the society and himself.
There also exist the opportunity of acquiring the managerial skills as it is always the cases that the major reasons for the failure of most businesses is the lack of managerial competence by the owners of businesses and workers. The fact that the students might work in a private or public sectors of the economy even shows the necessity for having and imbibing the knowledge of managerial skills and entrepreneurial competence.
Valentine Grecu and Calin Denes, stated and we agreed with them that;
“Entrepreneurship education should be seen from a university-wide perspective and the increasing interest for this topic in a broader set of fields. Combined with the enthusiasm of alumni from all fields to introduce a real world dimension to their home, schools encourages the implementation of the entrepreneurial mindset throughout the whole campus. The gap between real-life situations and the classroom theories and concepts can be bridged with the help of entrepreneurship education for students with different specialization fields. Bringing students from non-business fields closer to the business school is the approach of some institutions that aim to educate students in an entrepreneurship classroom characterized by diversity. A different approach of university-wide entrepreneurship education consists of presenting lessons of entrepreneurship from within a specific field, thus giving a message relevant to the field itself”
The above quotation shows the importance of entrepreneurship education as a world to the students in general and which shows that each institution have the advantage of making sure that students do not learn their course of study without the advantage of being an entrepreneur in diverse areas different from their professional course of study/studies.
MODEL OF THE ENTREPRENEURIAL UNIVERSITY
The model presents also the steps that need to be followed in order to implement the entrepreneurial mind-set across the campus for achieving the radiant model of an entrepreneurial university. It all starts with the commitment of the leadership (university administrators). The following steps are creating structures that will coordinate and monitor the implementation of the measures needed to transform the university into an entrepreneurial one. Raising awareness of the importance of entrepreneurship, both for the economy and for the future of the university is an ongoing process and it should target students, alumni, faculty, administrative staff and the whole community and business environment. Engaging the employees in this process is a difficult task, but it is essential that everyone understands the short and long-term necessity of commitment towards entrepreneurship education. The mechanism of execution refers to offering all the stakeholders the necessary means to implement the plan to move forward towards a university-wide approach of entrepreneurship.
Regardless of the approach, it is widely recognized that it is increasingly necessary for students to have transversal skills which will increase their employability. Entrepreneurial education equips students with abilities that increase their employment potential and include: the abilities to solve problems, to develop social interaction, abilities to find information and to handle it for decision making, planning, communication and presentation skills, etc. Entrepreneurial education and training provides individuals with the ability to recognize commercial opportunities, self- esteem, knowledge and skills to act on them.
THE VALUE OF ENTERPRISE AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION
Enterprise and entrepreneurship education has never been more important. Growing youth populations, coupled with rising youth unemployment in many countries, is putting greater emphasis on job creations and enterprising behaviour within employment. Technological developments are reshaping our workplaces and changing how businesses are operated, while the global nature of business means more young people will have jobs crossing different continents and sectors. It is therefore important we equip future generations with the skills and mindsets they need to navigate a world of work we can’t yet envisage.
PREPARING LEARNERS FOR THE FUTURE
The future employability of young people will depend heavily on how teaching and learning react to these changing needs. Learners will need to be innovative, adaptive, resilient and flexible to navigate an ever evolving labour market.
In recent years there has been significant growth in enterprise education in the UK and other countries as a result of shifts in national education policies. Embedding entrepreneurship education in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) can be an important vehicle for ensuring learners are prepared for life beyond their educational institutions.
Enterprising mindsets coupled with the skills gained through TVET could be the perfect recipe to support the future employability of learners. Entrepreneurship education will make young people more employable and more “intrapreneurial” in their work within existing organizations, across the social, public and private sectors.
THE BENEFITS OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION
As securing and creating employment becomes a key priority for learners and governments for the foreseeable future, the growth of economies around the world will be supported by entrepreneurial thinking and enterprise from the next generation.
According to evidence from the European Commission, entrepreneurship education can positively impact on local labour markets and economies.
Investing in entrepreneurship education is one of the highest return investments in Europe, with the same research showing that students who receive enterprise education are three to six times more likely to start a business in the future.
Learners are at the core of teaching, and entrepreneurship education can equip them with an entrepreneurial mindset, which can lead to greater involvement and engagement across core studies. Learning can be more enjoyable when embedded in real-life examples and when individuals are given the opportunity to take ownership of their own success.
Through entrepreneurship activities, learners can gain key entrepreneurial skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, risk-taking and teamwork. Entrepreneurship can offer alternative pathways for young people, improving their skills, employability and life chances, while supporting wider economic and social development.
EMBEDDING ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION
Effective entrepreneurship education relies on both teachers and the culture of teaching institutions. Teachers need a broad range of competencies to successfully embed entrepreneurial education within the curriculum, and this can be supported by a school environment where risk is encouraged and where employment as an outcome of learning is a priority. Entrepreneurship teaching doesn’t provide answers, but supports learners to identify the right questions. It should look to push boundaries, encourage learners to think creatively and be confident enough in their own ability to take the risks necessary to succeed. Creative environments must also support failure. Mistakes can often prove to be the greatest lessons.
The future is dependent on the next generations, and high-quality teaching that incorporates entrepreneurship will be an essential part of their success. The active minds of tomorrow are reliant on the guidance and support of the teachers today, who will open the world of possibilities up to them.
ENTREPRENEURIAL EDUCATION HAS FOUR MAIN BENEFITS FOR A STUDENT.
MAIN BENEFITS OF OFFERING ENTREPRENEURIAL EDUCATION TO THE UNIVERSITY
MAIN BENEFITS FOR THE COMMUNITY AND ECONOMY
“Governments across the world are looking to technology innovation as a driver for national economic growth, and to universities as the incubators of this national capacity. Universities operating within established technology-driven innovation hubs, such as Silicon Valley and Kendall Square in the US, offer robust models for success within these environments. However, an increasing number of universities located within more challenging environments are establishing strong entrepreneurship and innovation profiles and reputations, some of whom will undoubtedly become future national and international leaders both in Nigeria and Benin Republic.”
THE CHALLENGES OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION
Both in Benin Republic and Nigeria including across the world, while appreciating the benefits which accrues generally as a result of entrepreneurship education, a critical assessment of the bottle-necks drawing back the progress so far recorded should be done here, for the world to see, appreciate and fashion out ways to solve same in order to really reap the benefits of entrepreneurship education. The challenges affecting entrepreneurship education are as follows;
Entrepreneurship education encouragement or discouragement usually lies in the hands of political leadership and their agenda. Once there are political constant changes in political leadership or simply put country leadership, the new government may not be interested in encouraging entrepreneurship education or may not encourage it properly. There could be changes in leadership and there are likely to be changes from time to time but there should be continuity in lofty programmes such as these ones.
Entrepreneurship education requires provision of vocational skills. Where there are not much or poor vocational skills, the tendency is for the essence of entrepreneurship education to be defeated or badly affected. Most institutions makes provisions for vocational skills but some institutions are still found wanting in this regard. This is a serious threat to the development of entrepreneurship education.
iii. ABSENCE OF REGULATORY MECHANISMS
There has been no or less regulatory mechanisms for entrepreneurship education. It is necessary to have lots of regulatory framework to be put in place in order to encourage entrepreneurship education. This is one of the serious bottle-necks to the sustainability of entrepreneurship educational development. There is no way, there can be any development if a particular sector of the economy is not regulated or inadequately regulated. There is the tendency for the players of such sector to behave anyhow they like without considering the effect on such sector of the economy.
Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurship education involves capital injection into its development and as at now there is economic melt-down all over the world. The covid-19 epidemic affected capital outflows and inflows. The issue of access to capital is one of the biggest challenge in the development of entrepreneurship education. Without adequate capital, a lot of activities cannot take place. This is a serious challenge including the fact that some entrepreneurship activities are capital-intensive and only few persons or few companies, corporations, government and multi-nationals can participate in them.
There now exist global insecurity. There are national and domestic insecurity. Whatever type of insecurities, we come across, the important thing is that entrepreneurship education do not thrive under insecurity. It has heavier effect on entrepreneurship education to the extent that it can ruin the economy of a country.
It has often been said that where there exist adequate security, there are likelihood of good governance, democracy, reduction in social vices, reduction in illegality and insecurity.
CONCLUSION AND GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS
The demand for excellent entrepreneurship education and a quality one has continued till date. What we have as benefits of entrepreneurship education are being over-shadowed now by the challenges in such a way that the gains and benefits of this lofty programme are being eaten up by the challenges bedeviling the said entrepreneurship education.
To make the Benin Republic and Nigerian entrepreneurship education to satisfy the aspirations of the 21st Century, the following recommendations becomes necessary;
Now to our graduates, I congratulate you and your parents for the successful completion of your various courses of studies. You are indeed a worthy ambassador of this great university, a worthy ambassador of the Republic of Benin and also a worthy ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
A university as at today must not only prepare its graduate to be employable in various aspects of life but must prepare its graduates as employers of labour through entrepreneurship education.
As at today, because of what entrepreneurship education has impacted on you, while in the university, I am sure that you gained the followings;
iii. Problem solving
vii. Financial responsibility
viii. Team work (Team player)
Once more to our graduating students, most of the important things in this world have been accomplished by people who kept on trying, when there seemed to be no hope at all. Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. You are educated. Your certification is your degree. You may think of it as a ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world. In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first, the cash will come later. He who is not courageous to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
Real courage is holding on to a still voice in your head that says, “I must keep going” it’s that voice that says nothing is a failure if it is not final. That voice that says to you, “Get out of bed. Keep going. I will not quit”.
As you move into the World, please remember to make impact not only to your life but to the entire world. Once more congratulations.
 Entrepreneurship Education; see https://www.igi-global.com; Accessed through the internet on 9/9/2022 at 11pm
 Entrepreneurship Education; see https://researchgate.net; Accessed through the internet on 9/9/2022 at 11:10pm
 Definition of Entrepreneur: See U.S census Bureau https://www.census.gov/eped/www/epe/www.small.s.httml.v.hc.inevitable; Accessed through the internet on 9/9/2022 at 11:30pm
 Prof. Abiodun Amuda-Kannike SAN; Hoe relevant is entrepreneurship to Law, good governance, democracy, reduction in social vices, illegality and insecurity. A paper delivered at Covenant University on 3/8/2019 pg2.
 News & Events; International Finance Corporation IFC; Stimulating Entrepreneurship in Benin: See; https://www.ifc.org; Accessed through the internet on 9/9/2022 at 11:40pm
 Ibid Pg 1 paragraph 2 Lines 1 – 4
 This registration was done for him within 24hours without spending money for registration, card as a professional was given to him and bank account was opened for him.
 States in this context and in the context of International Law referred to countries.
 Ibid Pg 1 paragraphs 4, 5, 6, and 7
 Top Ten Entrepreneurship courses to study in Benin Republic: see Beninfo; https://www.beninfo247.com; Accessed through the internet on 10/9/2022 at 3:22am
 Entrepreneurship Education; Marius Pretorius: see https://www.academia.edu; Accessed through the internet on 12/9/2022 at 1am
 Sunday Aide Ojeifo; Entrepreneurship Education in Nigeria: Journal of Education and practice ISSN 2222-1735 see; https://core.ac.uk; Accessed through the internet on 12/9/2022 at 2am
 Entrepreneurship: see https://www.entrepreneurship.com; Accessed through the internet on 12/9/2022 at 2:15am
 Prof. A. Amuda-Kannike San; The Importance of technology in modern day legal practice: A paper presented at Faculty of Law, Edo State University on 7/7/2022.
 Importance of Teaching Entrepreneurship Education: see https://www.unchartedlearning.org; Accessed through the internet on 12/9/2022 at 2:55am
 Benefits of Entrepreneurship education and training for Engineering students: see https://creative.org; Accessed through the internet on 12/9/2022 at 3am
 The Impact of Political Leaders on entrepreneurship: see https://www.researchgate.net; Accessed through internet on 14/9/2022 at 11:13pm
 Effect of vocational training entrepreneurship development: see https://www.ajol.info; Accessed through the internet on13/9/2022 at 2am
 Entrepreneurship Education in Nigeria: see https://core.ac.uk; Accessed through the internet on 13/9/2022 at 2:30am
 Entrepreneurship Education and Human Capital Development: see https://jabss.org; Accessed through the internet on 13/9/2022 at 3am
 Challenges of Entrepreneurial Education in Nigerian Universities: see https://www.researchgate.net; Accessed through the internet on 13/9/2022 at 5am
 Prof. A. Amuda-Kannike SAN; How relevant is Entrepreneurship to Law, good governance, democracy reducation in social vices, illegality and insecurity: A paper presented at Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria on 3/8/2019
 Prof. A. Amuda-Kannike SAN: The effect of Leadership and Entrepreneurship on Law, Security and National Unity: A paper presented at University of Port-Harcourt, Rivers State of Nigeria on the 5/10/2019
 Prof. A. Amuda-Kannike SAN; The Practice of Nano Entrepreneurship, the issues, prospects and the position of the Law; A paper delivered at Covenant University on 31/07/2021.
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BY PROFESSOR ABIODUN AMUDA-KANNIKE SAN DEAN, FACULTY OF LAW, KWARA STATE UNIVERSITY, MALETE, VIA ILORIN, KWARA STATE, NIGERIA.