Project Materials

Effect of Skills Acquisition on Entrepreneurship Development

ABSTRACT The main purpose of this study was to examine the effect of skills acquisition on entrepreneurship development in Makurdi local government, using Intercontinental College of Technology, Makurdi as a case study.  The study adopted a descriptive survey research design.

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The population of this study consists of all the students in Intercontinental College of Technology, Makurdi. However, it reports finding from quantitative data retrieved from questionnaire administered to 353 graduates of the Faculty of Social and Management Sciences that were selected through stratified and simple random sampling.

Analytical techniques used include frequency count, percentages, and inferential statistics in the form of chi-square and degree of significance to know the impact of entrepreneurship skill acquisition on students’ self-employability status. The study found that exposure to entrepreneurship education influences students’ intentions of becoming self-employed and improve their employability status.

It was however discovered that most students were not very confident about their intentions due to fear of capital, failure, and lack of experience in business management. The study concludes that despite knowledge of entrepreneurship education as a contributing factor in the reduction of unemployment, youths in Makurdi and Nigerian youths in general requires additional supports to overcome the foreseen challenges. Conclusions and recommendations were put forward by the researcher.



1.1       Background to the Study

Skill is noteworthy in everybody’s life. Many technicians earn more than some school graduates because they acquire more practical skills than the theories unlike graduates who were sustained with theoretical encounters while in the universities.

Skill acquisition is the ability to be prepared on a particular task or work and become expert in it. It is amazingly miserable that there is a huge rate of unemployment in various parts of the world especially in Nigeria. Skill acquisition can be defined as the form of training by individuals or group of individuals that can lead to acquisition of knowledge for self sustenance.

It involves the training of people in different fields of trade under a legal agreement between the trainers and the trainees for certain duration and under certain conditions. Brouwer (2011) opined that the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills means possessing the ability to find and evaluate business opportunities, gather the necessary resources, initiate appropriate action to ensure success; and implement actions to take advantage of the opportunities for rewarding outcome.

It is one reason for growth in wrongdoing in various places of the world. As of now, numerous graduates in the nation are as yet jobless due to long system of education that is more theoretical than practical learning. It is substantial that Africa has the highest rate of jobless young people.

The reason for high rate of unemployment amongst the vibrant youths in our society today is due to lack of skill to add up to what they learnt from their various institutions. In 2015, Nigeria have targeted to achieve one of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) which is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger by encouraging people who earn less than a dollar per day to engage in skill acquisition.

Skill acquisition is a major tool for extreme poverty eradication and hunger with the aim of creating an avenue for jobs and wealth creation which will bring self-reliance and sufficiency and contributing to the growth and development of the economy in the country (Isaac, 2011).

Entrepreneurship is a multifaceted phenomenon. Gangaiah and Viswanath (2014) explained the genesis of term ‘entrepreneurship’ from the French word ‘entreprendre’ which originally means an organizer of musical or other entertainments. The word has been in use since the 16 century. In Middle Ages the term ‘entrepreneur’ was referred to a person who was managing large projects.

He was not taking risk but was managing the projects using the resource provided (Lakeus, 2014). Further, he added that in the 17 century the word was extended to cover architects and contractors engaged in activity, such as construction, fortification and public work.

Since entrepreneurship education is about developing the ability to act in an entrepreneurial manner, attitude and behaviors are perhaps more important than knowledge about how to run a business. European Commission (2011) stated in his final report that entrepreneurship education means developing a culture which is through, for and about entrepreneurship.

Such competencies are best acquired through people-led enquiry and discovery that enable students to turn ideas into action. They are difficult to teach through traditional teaching and learning practices in which the learner tends to be a more or less passive recipient. They require active, learner-centered pedagogies and learning activities that use practical learning opportunities from the real world.

Entrepreneurship Education requires the use of active learning method that places the learner at the center of educational process and enables them to take responsibility for their own learning to experiment and learn about themselves.

Thus teachers need the professional competencies to be able to guide student through the learning process rather than, as in traditional method, communicating knowledge and information mainly through ‘chalk and talk’ (European Commission, 2013). Researches carried out by the European Commission (2011) shows that the core skills and values linked to entrepreneurship education are seldom a priority in initial teacher education programs.

In essence, educational entrepreneurship provides a platform for youths to transform opportunities to business ventures and to manage those ventures to become a medium for job creation for themselves and others. The ultimate goal of educational entrepreneurship is all about increasing the student’s ability to anticipate and respond to societal changes. In other words, through educational entrepreneurship, students are equipped to deploy their creativity ability for their good and benefits of the larger society.

They are also empowered to take initiatives, responsibilities and risks. Nigeria, arguably the largest and most populous African nation is not exempted from the global challenge of unemployment especially among the youths. It has been battling with increasing rate of unemployment with resultant effects of poverty, terrorism, kidnappings, prostitution and other vices (Nwagwu, 2014).

The education of students is interesting especially from a comparative perspective. Undoubtedly, every education system can, in some way, be improved so as to better develop the potential of human capital and the quality of future leaders, community members and employees.

Ololube et al.(2013) observed that the central objective of education is to raise the level of skills, especially technical and management skills, needed to support economic growth and to provide an adequate supply of the whole range of professional expertise needed to run and develop a modern nation.

According to Johansen (2014), entrepreneurship education is “the promotion of different entrepreneurial capabilities, students personal qualities, their attitude towards different items in the world like ready to take actions, like innovativeness, like creativity, enthusiasm to absorb risk, self-competence and social skills”.

The entrepreneurship education always support to creative certain entrepreneurial abilities like that how to start your own business and the process of innovation in the existing business.

From these two business oriented concepts, the educational concept of entrepreneurship is “the introduction of entrepreneurship education is to improve the academic performance, to develop the skills in the students to learn new subject and learn some basic skills like practical market skills. From perspective the GPA is the prime indicator that shows the quality of entrepreneurship education in the respective institution (Ministry of Education and Research et al, 2009).

From the definition of Johansen (2014), “the introduction of entrepreneurship education is to improve the academic performance, to develop the skills in the students to learn new subject and learn some basic skills like practical market skills”.

The current study will use the following definition of entrepreneurship education and academic performance that “the entrepreneurship education is the subject that improves the skills of the students like taking initiatives, willingness to accept innovative subjects in the academic, by getting involve in the practical market oriented subject and will lead to students knowledge on skills acquisition”.

In addition, the subjects of entrepreneurship or entrepreneurship education, and entrepreneurial development became the subject of discussion in every quarter and have attracted attention by the nation’s academic community and professional associations.

Literature indicate that these themes and sub-themes have centred on poverty reduction from skills acquired through education and training, and entrepreneurship for sustainable national development through self- employment, employment generation and diversification of the national economy, among others (Onojetah  2013).

However, inspite of fifteen years of the activities of NEEDS and the MDGs in Nigeria, unemployment is on the increase and it is a reality facing many families and communities.

This situation is getting deeper and wider in terms of its spread. Unfortunately, most graduates of tertiary institutions always prefer government employments which are very rare to come by. Depicting this issue of unemployment, Obadan & Odusola (2010) lamented that in this 21st century, unemployment in Nigeria cut across all facets of age groups, educational strata and geographical entities.

In specific term, Ogunmade (2013) opined that the unemployment level in Nigeria was above 40%. This problem especially among graduates of tertiary institutions can be attributed to many factors such as disconnection between the curriculum content and the needs of the industries in Nigeria context. This study therefore aims to investigate the effect of skills acquisition on entrepreneurship development in Makurdi local government, using Intercontinental College of Technology.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

There is a disturbing rate of youth joblessness in Nigeria. These young people made up of greater percentage level of Nigeria’s economically active populace. Many graduates are seen to be deficient in essential skills which incorporate; business enterprise abilities, interpersonal skills, teamwork skills, personal/executives skills, computer/technical education skills, and administration/ management abilities among others.

Nigeria is said to have one of the highest rates of youth unemployment age (15-34) in the unindustrialized world. Despite strong economic growth, youth’s full-time unemployment rate in Nigeria was put at 50% while countries like Japan, China, India, Korea, have joined community of industrialized nations by strengthening their small scale industries. Nigeria is yet to understand the relevance of this sub-sector.

The Nigeria National Bureau of Statistics (2016) announced that the country’s labour statistics report put the total Nigeria unemployment rate at 10.4 percent. This report state that about 22.4m Nigerians are technically unemployed. (Inclusive of unemployed and under employed) Nigeria unemployment according to the report thus represents about 14 per cent of global unemployment.

1.3       Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study was to find out the effect of skills acquisition on entrepreneurship development in Makurdi local government, using Intercontinental College of Technology.

The specific objectives of this study are to:

  1. evaluate the effect of skills acquisition on entrepreneurship development of self- employability
  2. examine the significance of skills acquisition as panacea entrepreneurship development
  3. determine the effects of entrepreneurial skills acquisition on Makurdi graduates
  4. suggest measures through which financial institutions, government, industry as well as professional bodies can aid the employability of graduates through the provision of necessary facilities for proper entrepreneurial training/skills acquisition.

 1.4       Research Questions

The following research questions guided the study:

  1. How does skills acquisition affects entrepreneurship development of the self- employability?
  2. What effect does skills acquisition play in the employability status of Makurdi graduates?
  3. Is the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills an important tool for combating the menace of unemployment in Makurdi?
  4. Is the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills a panacea for sustainable development?

1.5       Research Hypotheses

H0:      Skills acquisition has a significant effect on entrepreneurship development of graduate self-employability

H1:      Skills acquisition has no significant effect on entrepreneurship development of graduate self-employability

1.6       Significance of the Study

The research work will be of great significance to students, prospective and practicing entrepreneurs, co-operations, chief executives and other practicing managers of business and non–business organizations.

This research work will serve as a background and catalyst to any future researchers and scholars who may wish to venture into the areas of promoting entrepreneurship education in Makurdi and Benue State as a whole.

Again the outcome of this research could be significance to the people with different occupations and professions.

The conclusion which this research may expose, could lead to improvement and efficiency in education in Makurdi and Benue State as a whole as regard to entrepreneurship.

The confidence level of social studies students embarking on entrepreneurship development in Makurdi, Benue State and Nigeria as a whole will improve, and more people or the general public will agree to venture in that business.

1.7       Limitation of the Study

Certain constraints were encountered in the course of this research work which included limited time to carry out the research, fund, and reluctance of some respondents and dearth of literature on the effect of skills acquisition on entrepreneurship development.

1.8       Delimitation/Scope of the Study

The geographical scope of the study will be limited to intercontinental college of technology, Makurdi. The aim will be to examine the effect of skills acquisition on entrepreneurship development in Makurdi.

1.9       Definition of Terms

Skills Acquisition: Skill acquisition can be defined as the art of learning to do something in order to earn a living and or to survive. Thus, skills can be acquired from several sources depending on the skills and the environment.

Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship is the creation or extraction of economic value. However, entrepreneurship is viewed as change, generally entailing risk beyond what is normally encountered in starting a business, which may include other values than simply economic ones.

Entrepreneurship development: Entrepreneurship development is the process of enhancing the entrepreneurial knowledge and skills via structured training programmes. Basically, it is the process of improving the skill set as well as the knowledge of the entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurship Education:- it is the art of obtaining skills in the effective and efficient production of services.

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