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March 23, 2017

Entrepreneurship development: A better alternative to white-collar job

The word “entrepreneur” took its root from French language and means “one who undertakes tasks” Akanwa and Agu (late) (2005; 2011). Therefore, an entrepreneur undertakes a task that is an entrepreneur.
Secondly, the word entrepreneurship came from a French word entreprendre which means ‘the act of doing something in a military expedition as a strategy to win a war. Mc Clelland (1961) described an entrepreneur as someone that met the needs of others for personal achievement. Peter Drucker in 1964 introduced an entrepreneur as a maximer of opportunity/wealth and as someone who was highly creative. Albert Shapero (1975) saw an entrepreneur as one who took initiatives, organized the social and economic mechanisms, and accepted risk and failure. It was Jean Baptist say, a French economist who first perceived the role of the entrepreneur.
Going by the dictionary, an entrepreneur is a person who organizes and manages a business understanding assuming the risk for the sake of the profit. He is a person who takes the risk of starting and managing a business.
From the forgoing definitions, there is a consolation or an opportunity cost venturing into the business of organizing and managing a business. If he or she makes profit, he or she would have paid for the risk taken. Therefore, an entrepreneur is a pathfinder. He or she charts a course for others to follow.
In concluding this section, entrepreneurship is the service that the entrepreneur renders. It is in accepting the risk of starting and running a business.
Intrapreneur is the creative person who works as entrepreneur within corporations. He or she makes use of the company’s existing resources- human, financial and physical to launch of new products and generation of new profits.
Micropreneur are those entrepreneurs only interested in simply enjoying a balanced lifestyle while doing the kind of work they want to do. While entrepreneurs are committed to the quest for growth, micropreneurs can be happy even if their companies never appear on the list of top ranked businesses.

1. The Fate of the Youth in our contemporary world
This is the theme for the youth Magazine “The Thurible” which sub- theme “Entrepreneurship development, a better alternative to white collar job I am a guest writer.

2. The Youth
Let us start to recognize the scope of this write up – the youth. Every man is a product of the union of two opposite sex cells – the sperm from the father, and the ovum from the mother. The mother then carries this product or foetus for 40 weeks and is delivered of a helpless, fragile, blind, deaf, dumb and lame baby who acquires all ability to overcome these debilities in the process of growth from neonacy to infancy, infancy to childhood, childhood to adolescence, adolescence to adult-hood, to middle age and then to old age when he or she gradually ironically, begins to lose the attributes again till death when he or she becomes more helpless than the 3kg baby from whom he or she emerged.
Civilization and education influence maturity into adulthood a lot. Neonancy is from 1st day of birth to 1 month. Infancy is from 3 months to 1 year. Childhood is from 1 year to 10 or 12 years, Adolescence or youth is from 10 or 12 years to 24 years, all these stratification, according to the World Health Organization, (WHO) even though within this group, we have three fundamental age groups: 10-14,15-19 and 20-24 each showing its identity of inexperience and progressive maturation.
Youth is the time between childhood and adulthood. Youth may not be only age-linked – may be behavioural or attitudinal – appearance, freshness, vigour, beauty impatience, adventure and similar characteristics of one who is young.
In medicine, a 21-year-old male person is regarded as the classical man – he has a time of full life when all body organs have ideal function – pulse, rate, 72/min, blood pressure, 120/80mmHg, respiratory rate, 18-27c/min temperature, 37 C. these are ideal vital signs. In the first world, youths can be taken the way WHO defined it: 10-24 years, but in our world, the African world, the people who call themselves youths, who you see as youth leaders in political rallies, village meetings, youths organizations, universities, mobs etc, are always adults aged between 25 years and 40 years.
For the purpose of this write up, we shall take 30 years, the age when Christ began His public ministry as the beginning of adult years. At 30, a man has all the health indices of the classical 21-year old man, but has wisdom and experience.

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 3. Entrepreneurial Functions
The functions carried out by entrepreneurs toward the economic and social development of a nation are varied. In the present dispensation, white-collar job is no more in vogue. The rate of unemployment is an all high and very unimaginable even those on white-collar job lack the usual job satisfaction as a result of harsh employment environment, late payment of salaries or even non-payment of salaries as when due and most disturbingly, job insecurity as a result of economic recession ravaging length and breadth of our contemporary world. This is why we join to think that entrepreneur developmental spirit should be alternative or even collaborative paradign shift from the irksome situation.

4. Youth Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurs drive the world economy and account for the world’s new job creation and innovation. Akanwa (2011) while the U.S. small Business Administration reports that America’s 25.8 million small businesses employ more than 50 percent of the private workforce, generate more than half of the nation’s gross domestic products, and are the principal source of new jobs in the U.S. economy, the same survey if carried out in Nigeria, the result would be different. Our experience over the years shows that a small percentage of Nigeria workforces is engaged in the private sector. The private sector accounts for a small percentage of the nation’s gross domestic product and source of new job’s in Nigerian economy. It is on account of this that while most of the world’s economies are described as privately driven economies; the Nigerian economy is best described as publicly driven. Discovering this need, the Nigerian Government through the National University Commission (NUC) and Education Trust.
This segment of the Nigerian economy can best be described as a hidden growth reserve, capable of accelerating growth if properly harnessed. Indeed, youth Entrepreneurship development offers a solution to the present Nigerian economic problem and acts as panacea to the geometric unemployment growth among the youth and is no doubt a better alternative to the elusive employment or the so called white collar job. As packaged by NUC, ETF and Small Scale Enterprises (SSE), it seeks to prepare youths to be responsible. Individuals who will become entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial thinkers by immersing them in early real life learning experiences where they can take risks, manage the results and learn from the outcome.

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Entrepreneurship is an employment strategy that can lead to economic self-sufficiency. This youth self employment strategy can provide the nation with the much needed potential to create and manage businesses in which school leavers will function as employers, rather than merely seek for white-collar jobs that are now mere mirage and not easily found. The importance and impact of youth entrepreneurship in any nation’s economy can never be overemphasized. It is on the basis of this that research was commissioned to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of youth education by National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE).

5. Challenges Faced by Youth Entrepreneurs
There are some unique challenges faced by youths engaged in entrepreneurship. Such challenges are numerous, but few will be outlined here. Emmanuel (2010) outlined the following amongst others in her book Entrepreneurship: a conceptual Approach:
•    Immaturity
•    Lack of experience
•    Lack of confidence
•    Impatience

In addition to these challenges, others are:
•    The get rich quick attitude of youths
•    Willingness to obtain the crown without going through the crucibles of the cross
•    Lack of mentoring from elder entrepreneurs.

Impact of Entrepreneurship Education on Youths
There are some unique challenges faced by youths engaged in entrepreneurship. Such challenges are numerous, but few will be outlined here. Emmanuel (2010) outlined the following amongst others in her book Entrepreneurship: a conceptual Approach:
•    Immaturity
•    Lack of experience
•    Lack of confidence
•    Impatience

In addition to these challenges, others are:
•    The get rich quick attitude of youths
•    Willingness to obtain the crown without going through the crucibles of the cross.
•    Lack of mentoring from elder entrepreneurs

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Impact of Entrepreneurship Education on Youths
•    Opportunity for Work Based Experiences

•    Opportunity to Exercise Leadership and Develop Interpersonal Skills
•    Opportunity to develop Planning, Financial Literacy and Money Management Skills.
•    Opportunity to develop the confidence of starting new business
•    Opportunity to get trained and to learn entrepreneurship – friendly policies, and to assist entrepreneurs and others in commercializing new technologies.
•    Opportunity to learn and to use hands-on experience to help young people understand the economics of life.
Youths are an indispensable sub-sect in the industrialization of any nation’s economy. However, this category of our society has been greatly neglected in our Nigerian nation for too long. The Federal Ministry of Education in conjunction with NUC and ETF have realized this and resorted to the policy to-catch them young.

Lecture delivered to the Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria, CYON, Maria Assumpta Parish Owerri as part of activities to mark their 2016 youth week.

By Prof Dan Dan Ekezie, KSM


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