Tertiary education in Nigeria admits about 500,000 undergraduates in a year, on the average teaching with the aim of producing graduates will be useful to their society while Entrepreneurship in these institutions teaches student to develop on their skills, apply creativity and produce solutions.
What is Education without skills?
Absolutely nothing, education is important but skill makes it easy for us to apply problem-solving methods when faced with challenges in real life.
‘Sometimes, I feel this school thing isn’t for me. I just want to pack up and go home but when I look around… I realize it’s not that bad. But, I need a way to break through’.
Meet Ferdinand, a 200 level Chemistry Student in the University of Lagos, a friendly and jovial young man in his early 20s who struggles with his grades because he sometimes lacks the money to get the hand outs and textbooks.
‘As an only child, I feel I’m a burden to my ageing grandmother. I can’t call her for money or foodstuff or even my hostel fee so I end up doing odd jobs t get by. These are the times I miss my parents… they died in a car crash just after my matriculation ceremony’.
Here is Tolani, a 300 level architectural student in another University in Nigeria.
There are so many students in schools, institutes and academies that suffer the same or similar fates as Ferdinand or Tolani. They are in a position where education is offered to them but cannot explore its full potential because they lack the resources to. Out of a 100% in every school, 47% struggle to maintain good grades, 35% push hard to graduate and 20% drop out, why?.. Because of finance.
When asked how he gets by, Ferdinand say “ I usually visit the sites around the school and request for a chance to work and earn.. I do this every weekend because I wouldn’t want my course mates or even any of the students to see me doing something like that. It can be embarrassing’.
There is a good reason to look into entrepreneurship as students, especially students with skills.
What skills can a student have to become an Entrepreneur?
There are naturally-instinctive skills that students have which can be developed into self-employment skills, here are a few:
- Leadership skills
- Creative skills
- Time management skills
- Problem solving skills
- Organization skills
- Initiative skills
- Social skills
- Goal setting
- Critical Thinking skills
- Emotional Intelligence
- Interpersonal Communication
It is the norm for students to go to school, endure years of classes, tests, examinations before they graduate and eventually serve, finally working before earning. This process sounds long and indeed is but with the innovation of entrepreneurship, many students have become financially independent, socially capable and economically useful to themselves and their course mates in school. This venture called entrepreneurship has birthed an era of youthful leadership, creative thinking and intellectual awakening.
Students have now embraced this new era, exposing them to new opportunities, boosting their confidence and leadership roles.
Importance of Entrepreneurship
Tolani, now an online clothes vendor shares how she discovered her entrepreneurial skills..’ I’ve always loved dressing up and doing funky things. I would look at some students dressed in slacks and shirt and wonder how they confidently leave their houses or hostels with such attires.. I mean, who does that?!. My sense of style was always a hot topic for me and I loved to show off how much I could influence my environment and an opportunity came in form of the Pandemic. I went to my neighbor who was a fashion designer and told her to forward some of the pictures I saw on her status so I could repost and that how the online business started for me’.
The need to be busy and earn while doing so pulled out some hidden traits in her.
Here are some importances of Entrepreneurship to an individual:
- Self discovery
- Personal Growth
- Improved lifestyle
- Better morale
- Broader thinking
- Problem solving
Entrepreneurs are and will keep rising because of their economic value which balances out the uneven, providing job opportunities, setting standards, reducing poverty rate, reducing the rate of crime and so many other national benefits.
Kinds of Entrepreneurs
Been an entrepreneur is t just about seeing an opportunity and taking advantage of it to create income and job opportunities, it’s also about creating sustainable value for oneself.
There are different kinds of entrepreneurs in relation to ones’ ability. To be one of standard, what category do you belong?
- Intrapreneur; An entrepreneur who sees an opportunity that a firm/ organization/ institute can make use of by convincing them thereby creating value for themselves and the organization.
- Life style Entrepreneur: These kinds of entrepreneurs enjoy and see entrepreneurship as a way of life. They get involved in several small businesses, having fun as they go. This category of people sees solution in every corner. Where one fails, they simply provide another. Tolani is an example.
- Social Entrepreneur: They provide social problem with social solutions. This requires excellent social and communication skills.
- Serial Entrepreneur; They start businesses that leads into another..for example; a business idea that leads to several others (Antiseptic soap, detergent, liquid..etc)
The Future of Entrepreneurship
The ship of entrepreneurship is still sailing because of the new and improved methods of innovation. Business and enterprise are taking over the digital space, making it easy for entrepreneurs to navigate and control their work from anywhere in the world. Agility, speed and resilience are the new way with businesses. Gone are the day’s business owners are constantly stressed with calls and texts from unsatisfied clients, physical tracking and monitoring of goods and services, difficult supply or delivery of goods and unrecorded activities. Now, digital devices have taken over, making skilled labor more attractive.
The increase in self- employment is encouraging as students have taken to setting up their work space, specializing in their area of skill or interest.
Benefits of Entrepreneurship
Being a business person, comes the little ups and downs but there are some beautiful benefits that cannot be replaced;
- Entrepreneurs get to choose whom you work with.
- More experiences and unique exposure as they wake up to exciting times and challenging moments.
- Meet like minds like themselves and share knowledge, learning new methods of business approach.
- Growth and development in the areas of their business and skills. Entrepreneurs are seldom selfish with innovative ideas. They pride themselves in sharing what they have learnt so far.
- Career alignment; Entrepreneurs create businesses that accommodates their personal time and space. Most choose businesses that align with their work, business or passion.
- They are their own boss as they are not as physically and emotionally drained as employees working under an organization. Also they have control over their work and can be more focused in their environment.
- They have flexible schedule and can multi-task, having the opportunity to get involved in other projects, do other stuff, exercise, live healthy.
- Learn new skills as they have more times in their hands, especially the skills of sale. Every entrepreneur needs to learn the art of selling their products, managing their services and taking account of stock.
- They have a better work-life balance and personal improvement.
- Improve their leadership skills as they become role models for the next generation on business people.
Steps to been an entrepreneur as a student
To become a successful entrepreneur in your environment, there are some things to look out for.
- Conduct a market research; Look around you and create an opportunity that will not only provide solution but give financial freedom.
- Write your business plan; This is the foundation of your business. This can be used to sort for partnership, investments or grants.
- Fund your business ; with a business plan, you can determine how much your business needs at the starting stage.
- Business your business location: Having a good place to set up your business is important as this is a key factor to sales and growth. If your business is stationed at the right spot, you get the right kind of clients or customers. Some businesses don’t necessarily need a physical site, selling online is enough.
- Choose your business structure: Organizational structures help your clients or customers to identify with you and your business.
- Pick out a business name: Picking out a name isn’t as easy as it sounds. It’s a complex art that takes time, proper thinking and structure so as not be lost in the mix of lost businesses before It even kicks off.
- Register your business: This is the legal part of the business that requires patience and commitment. Registering your business is an important part of entrepreneurship.
- Finally, have a business account: No professional business can function without a professional business account. So get one as soon as possible. It speaks STANDARD.
As a student, entrepreneurship not only build your confidence level and set you up for the digital world ahead but gives you an edge as you become financially independent.