Entrepreneurship, the world over and over the years, has proved to be both a lucrative and a rewarding venture. It’s a human endeavor that has afforded many the opportunity to be self reliant and even to become employers of labour. It continues to yield huge advantages to subscribers even as the world battles economic unease.

Entrepreneurial Studies, despite the fact that it has been around for ages, seems to be getting new attention and making new senses to many. The interdisciplinary programme that provides opportunities for students to learn entrepreneurship and vocational skills is not a new deal, yet it’s a big deal. It’s a big deal because as an innovation, it is a solution to the unemployment bug that has bitten the universe and a dependable ally in wealth creation.

Like other forms of capacity building which seek to strengthen competencies, sharpen skills and fortify capacities to enable individual cope and compete comparably with the challenges often posed by the slippery nature of the job market, entrepreneurship aids individual as well as organisational development. Its various shades of training evidently serve as reliable complements to a student’s major area of study by providing a platform for demonstrating theoretical learning and giving great alternatives as to livelihood, thereby helping to reduce poverty, insecurity and even crime.

Essentially, entrepreneurial Studies programme strives to provide the knowledge and skills needed to create value through recognizing and developing opportunities. In addition to feasibility analysis and business planning, the programme deals with the topics of innovation, opportunity recognition, technology transfer, industry analysis, and competitive strategy. Although the programme introduces some fundamental concepts from accounting, finance, marketing, and management in its diverse scope, it does not attempt to substitute for any business course in these areas. A student seeking a reliable alternative to the white collar job will find entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial studies most rewarding.

True to type, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria, a University that is wont to do just anything noble at anytime to swell the prospects of her own and give them a sense of security, has since established the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Development (CED). AAUA’s entrepreneurship programme is not a business as usual venture. It’s one with modern and relevant facilities to inject effective entrepreneurship and vocational skills into participants.

Ajasin Varsity’s Entrepreneurship Centre, besides having the relevant facilities and manpower required for effective teaching and training of participating students and willing youths, organises relevant workshops for professionals and apprentices in the various vocations with a plan to equip them and enhance their skills and expertise in these spheres of human endeavors and make them self-sustaining, even employable in the dynamic work environments.

The Centre’s Director, Professor Sunday Amuseghan, explained, “The mandate of the Center for Entrepreneurship programmes is to stimulate the interests of our students and the teeming youths across the state to become entrepreneurs , to activate the potential in them and to equip them with the basic business and financial skills, and to provide mentoring for them.” I agree with him. The prevalent youth unemployment is not all about economic worry. It’s partly rooted in the unemployability and unmarketability of graduates. And here is how the efforts of the University to arm its own students with relevant vocational and entrepreneurship skills are commendable. Since the challenges usually associated with getting employment are daunting and compelling one to be fore armed, the entrepreneurial skills acquired by students while studying in the university offer a student window of privilege while preparing them for the demands of the labour market.

It’s good that AAUA is quick to realise that there is more to the problem of youth unemployment. It’s better that the varsity realises that the problem has part of its roots in the unemployability of the quality of graduates that are being churned out on a regular basis to the job market. It’s great that the varsity is leaving no stone unturned in making sure that students who pass through it are fortified with alternative skills and that youths (in general) are coated with appropriate alternative skills that will help them to cope with the challenges and dynamics of the labour.

It’s time our teeming youths took their destinies in their own hands by doing the right things, some of which are skills in business and craftsmanship. Where governments are not forthcoming with such lofty offers, institutions are fortunately standing in. This is what Ajasin Varsity is Varsity doing by training students and youths in the various skill-based programmes. The Centre also offers training in Fashion Designing, Leather Works (making of shoes, bags, belts), Catering Services, Barbing and Hair-Dressing, Ornaments and Beads Making, among other aspects.

Capacity building is a must for any person who wishes to keep himself afloat, especially in these perilous economic seasons. This is one trusted approach to social or personal development that focuses on understanding the obstacles inhibiting persons from realizing their full development potential and goals, while enhancing the abilities that will allow them to achieve measurable and sustainable results. As the University is building capacity, youths should be bold enough to key into the initiative for personal and societal growth and development.

Ikuesewo-Akinbami is a staff of the Information, Protocol and Public Relations Unit of AAUA. 

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