ENTREPRENEURS MANAGEMENT COMPETENCE REQUIRED OF BUSINESS EDUCATION GRADUATES FOR SMALL SCALE BUSINESS OPERATIONS
Background To The Study
Entrepreneurship is a process of bringing together creative and innovative ideas, combining them with management and organization skills in order to combine people, money and resources to meet an identified need and thereby create wealth.It is the willingness and ability of an individual to seek out investment opportunities, establish and run an enterprise successfully. Entrepreneurship is thus, the process of learning the skills needed to assume the risk of establishing a business.
Akpotowoh and Amahi (2006) opinioned that the skills acquired in any of the area of business related progamme promotes training in entrepreneurship as well as equip graduates with requisite skills to establish and run small businesses of their own. According to Ademiluyi (2007) entrepreneurship skills are simply business skills which individuals acquire to enable them effectively function in the turbulent business environment as an entrepreneur or self-employed. Akinola (2001) pointed out that it takes special skills to succeed as an entrepreneur. Erhurum (2007) also noted that most entrepreneurial skills come by learning and practicing. Nevertheless, the various skills embedded in business related programmes need to be explored and learn by it prospective graduates for them to succeed as later entrepreneurs. However, graduates of business related programme without the relevant entrepreneurial skills will find the labour market most unrewarding and unfavourable in terms of creating job for them instead of seeking jobs where non exist.
Recent developments on Research on Entrepreneurship have seen increased attention given to small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s). This is due to the realization that SME’s play a significant role in the country’s Economy. The collective impact of both SME’s on the economy of both Developed and developing countries is considerable.
Increasing the chances of success among SME’s would have huge implications for the growth and socio-economic wellbeing of a country (Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation, 2004). Thus, understanding predictors of success in SME’s is critical. The creation of more successful SME’s could potentially create new jobs, increase trade, consequently, the GDP of the country. Although it has been difficult to ascertain why in similar situations some entrepreneurs fail while others succeed, this study focuses on “entrepreneurial competencies” to offer a practical means of addressing the phenomenon.
Entrepreneurship is now seen as an important component within contemporary economic development of a nation. Its critical role to the economy of nations is now widely acknowledged within the literature. Experts in the field were of the opinion that entrepreneurship is regarded as a catalyst for economic growth, employment and wealth creation, Henry, et al (2003). Furthermore, the European Commission (2003) shared the same view and in addition suggests that entrepreneurship is a major driver of innovation, competitiveness and economic strength of a modern nation. They further emphasize the important role which business education has in the development of entrepreneurial mindsets and talents especially in enhancing entrepreneur competency.
Business education is a widely given high scores on the agenda of many governments. Such governments depend on the development of entrepreneurship through business education as the major source for their economic prosperity, growth and development. It is a kind of new concept which signifies not only quality education but also pay attention to the development of an individual practical ability and competency of students. It is also described as a new method of teaching that promotes students innovative spirit, skills and attitudes which consequently make them after graduation to suitable career and become professional business creator, European Commission, (2003) concluded.
This growth in business education in enhancing entrepreneur competency is reflected internationally. For example the European Commission (2008a) observes that almost half of Europe’s students at tertiary institutions have full access to business education to enhance their innovative competencies in establishing small venture after graduation. In a related development, Khan and Almoharby, (2007) highlight the rapid development of the course in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. The European Commission (2004a), for example, posits that entrepreneurship is one of the key components to be included in current educational systems in order to prepare people for successful participation in society. In fact, the contribution of business education in promoting entrepreneurship to the world economy is well recognized.
Certainly business education is considered as a complex subject to study in the context of teaching and learning because it depends on the individuals self regulated actions and characteristics that may not be easy to influence. It is against this background that, there is still ongoing debate whether we can teach students to become competent entrepreneur (Fiet, 2004). However, there is now a consensus, in the literature at least, that business education can be taught and the debate has now shifted to what should be taught and how it should be taught (Ismail, 2011).
It is now generally agreed that most of researches conducted on business education have focused on course contents, pedagogical and audience characteristics. In this respect, the effectiveness of business education can also be measured in terms of teachers‟ entrepreneurial competencies. The development of business education however, is not as institutionalized as the development of education for the traditional management courses. Educators who hold master’s and doctorate degrees in entrepreneurship are very rare all over the world. In addition, the uniqueness of the students‟ needs and the course requirements entails specific and special teaching skills to match the two. One of the perceived tools to address and match these basic education needs is to first conduct an analysis of entrepreneurial competencies, Gatchalian, (2010).
A research conducted in Malaysia indicates that teaching approaches appear to be inappropriate and educators do not appear to have relevant skills, knowledge or training.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Entrepreneurship deals with the process of recognizing a business opportunity, operating and maintaining that business. Though people engages into it without acquiring much skills and competences that will enable them to effectively operate the business (Akpotowoh, 2005). As a result of this attitude, failure followed instead of success.
Their failure is not because they do not have the necessary capital and machines to stay afloat, but because they lack the prerequisite skills needed to grow from a small position to a bigger one, and as well to remain in the business. The situation now is that most business related graduates make little or no attempt to establish small scale business of their own despite the abundant business opportunities in the country. Instead, they continue to besiege ministries and government offices in search of jobs that are either extremely few in supply or even non-existent. The question now is what entrepreneurial skills are needed by business related graduates for successful operation of a business enterprise?
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major objective of this research work is to determine entrepreneurs management competence required of business education graduates for small scale business operations
The following are the objectives of this study:
- To examine the entrepreneur competencies required by business education students in establishing small scale ventures.
- To assess the roles Business Education graduates play in the management of a small-scale enterprise.
- To find out whether skills acquired by graduates in school are useful in the management of a small scale enterprise.
- To find out the positive factors influencing good management of a small scale Enterprise, and
In search of answers to this study, the following research questions were raised:
- What are the entrepreneurial competencies required by business education students in establishing small scale ventures?
- What are the roles Business Education graduates play in the management of a small-scale enterprise?
- What are the skills acquired by graduates in school for proper management of a small scale enterprise?
- What are the positive factors influencing the management of a small scale enterprise?
Significance Of The Study
The following are the significance of this study:
- Findings from this study will educate the general public on the ability of business education in equipping students with entrepreneurial competencies with a view of drawing the interest of many youths towards studying business education to be future entrepreneurs.
- This research will be a contribution to the body of literature in the area of the effect of personality trait on student’s academic performance, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future research in the subject area.
Scope of the study
This study will cover the curriculum of business education with a view of ascertaining if it is capable of developing entrepreneurial competency in students. The study will cover all the business education students in Ekiti State University
Limitation Of Study
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
Definition of Key Terms
Business: A particular trade or profession.
Education: The knowledge or abilities gained through being informed.
Abilities: A natural tendency to do something successfully or well.
Skill: The specific ability required to do something well, usuallygained through training or experience.
Vocation: A job or profession demanding special commitment in which an individual’s social and economic conditions are determined.
Society: An organized group of people who share an interest, aim or profession.
- Employee: Any person hired by an organization to work for it in return for wage/salary.
- Workforce: Number of employees engage in or available to an organization.
- Enterprise: Organized business activities aimed specifically at growth and profit.
- Organization: A group of people identified by a shared interest or purpose.
- Classroom: A room, especially in a school or college, where Students are taught.
- Business Education: This is the intellectual and vocational preparation of people to earn a living in a contemporary industrial and business environment and this also entails the acquisition of knowledge and the development of skills, competencies, attitudes that are necessary for efficiency of an economy.
- Small-Scale Enterprise: It comprises of all profit-oriented economic or commercial activities carried out by individual or group of persons as a means of livelihood.
- Keyboarding: An array of keys in a row or rows used for operating something such as a computer or musical instrument.
- Shorthand: A fast method of writing, using symbols to represent letters, words, or phrase