Background to the Study
Higher education institutions in Nigeria have been charged with the primary role of teaching both young and professional individuals such as managers, scientists, engineers, and technicians who contribute to the country’s innovation development, adaption, and dissemination. The growth of higher education in a nation is inversely proportional to its economic progress (Schumpeter and Micah, 1994). However, comparing the current quality of products produced by institutions of higher learning in the country to the country’s laudable higher educational goals reveals that the Nigerian nation has not yet discovered her path toward the goals set for higher education in terms of preparing youth for small scale business. This research explores the degree to which higher education in Nigeria has really prepared youngsters for small-scale entrepreneurship and the world of labor (Schumpeter and Micah, 1994).
According to the National Policy on Education (2013), higher education is defined as education provided after secondary education in universities, colleges of education, polytechnics, and monotechnics, as well as institutions providing correspondence courses. The policy’s stated objectives for tertiary education in Nigeria are as follows: to contribute to national development through high-level relevant manpower training; to develop and inculcate proper values necessary for individual and societal survival; to develop individuals’ intellectual capacity to comprehend and appreciate their local and external environments; and to acquire both physical and intellectual skills that will enable individuals to be self-reliant and useful.
On the other hand, Schumpeter and Micah (1994) describe small scale company as the capacity to identify and pursue business opportunities while maximizing the usage of restricted resources. Small scale company, in its simplest form, is the desire and capacity to search out investment possibilities and operate a profitable organization. Small scale business takes precedence over money in this latter meaning. It is also more basic than capital since entrepreneurial activity results in capital creation. As a result, entrepreneurs are seen as essential players in economic progress. Their contributions are made via labor activities, capital goods movement, raw material conversion to completed products, and finally, effective distribution of the products to end customers.
Entrepreneurs are therefore those who seek and discover economic opportunities, marshal the financial and other resources necessary to develop those opportunities, evaluate available alternatives in the environment and allocate resources to the most profitable ones, and ultimately bear responsibility for the management and/or successful execution of those opportunities (NEEDS, 2005). An entrepreneur is relatively at ease with taking and undertaking risks that are motivated by the pursuit of a goal. He or she is aware of where to get assistance and when it is required, as well as being constantly prepared to adapt to changes in the corporate environment (Schumpeter Micah, 1994).
As a result, Nigeria’s institutions of higher learning are anticipated to begin educating high-level workers who are often obsessive, focused, eloquent, and resourceful. As a result, graduates tend to be charismatic leaders with an introspective approach to job development, wealth growth, and creative talent usage. Additionally, enabling Nigerian youths to contribute to wealth growth, job creation, poverty reduction, and value reorientation is a critical component of a strategic macroeconomic framework (NEEDS, 2005). This is reflected in the recent surge in demand for educational programs in small scale business at the country’s postsecondary institutions, parastatals, and non-governmental organizations. If completely realized, this new vision and principles would cast a light on Nigeria’s small and medium-sized businesses. Thus, increasing higher education focused on entrepreneurial abilities would provide the ideal environment for economic development to occur (NEEDS, 2005). Higher education institutions are consequently responsible for properly training individual youngsters who will have the required skills to start and run profitable firms with a low chance of failure. Higher education contributes to human resource development in a variety of ways through these types of activities. Thus, investment in higher education continues to be a critical component of the nation’s economic growth.
Statement of Problem
It’s important emphasizing again here that entrepreneurs and the small firms they develop stimulate the economy. Economic development in our nation is contingent upon our capacity to generate new employment via small scale company, and successful small scale business demands well-trained graduates from our institutions of higher learning who are eager to take the helm of venture creation (Needs, 2005). However, the fundamental question at this point is whether the current level of education supplied by higher institutions in the nation adequately prepares new graduates for small scale company rather than job searching. The preceding concern is predicated on the apparent hues and cry of numerous scholars (Tawari Anaria, 2002; and Okoroma and Ifeaji, 2006) about the low quality and declining standard of tertiary education in Nigeria, which is seriously impeding the system’s ability to produce the type of graduates necessary for job creation and genuine economic growth and development in the country. As such, this research examines admittance to higher education institutions in Nigeria as a predictor of young readiness for small scale entrepreneurship.
Objective of The Study
The general objective of the study is to examine admission into higher institution in Nigeria as a determinant of youth preparation for small scale business. Specifically, the aim of this study includes the following:
- To examine theeffect of university education on students’ intellectual skill for small scale business
- Tofind out if higher institution prepare youths for small scale business
- To determine the extent to which university education influencesyouths interest in entrepreneurship.
- To investigate how to improve youths preparation for small sale business.
In order to successfully achieve the above objectives, the questions below were raised to guide the study.
- What is the effect of university education on students’ intellectual skill for small scale business?
- Does higher institution prepare youths for small scale business?
- To what extent does university education influences youths interest in entrepreneurship?
- How can there be an improvement in youths preparation for small scale business?
Significance of the Study
This study is significant for providing relevant information on the need to improve on higher education towards proper preparation of undergraduates for the world of work.
It will also be a sensitization document to undergraduates and anybody who accesses it on the paramount importance of going for small scale business skills development education programmes to acquire relevant skills that will enable one survive in a depressed economy.
The results of the study are also meant to create a high level of awareness among prospective graduates on the relevance of small scale business education.
The study isis significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.
Scope of the Study
This studywill examine the effect of university education on students’ intellectual skill for small scale business. The study will also find out if higher institution prepare youths for small scale business. The study will further determine the extent to which university education influences youths interest in entrepreneurship. Lastly, the study will investigate how to improve youths preparation for small sale business. Hence the study will be delimited to Abia State University.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Just like any other research, unavailability of needed accurate materials on the topic under study, and inability to get data were among the constraints the researcher encountered in the cause of this study. Financial constraint was equally faced by the researcher, in getting relevant materials and in printing and collation of questionnaires. Furthermore, time factor pose another constraint because the researcher have to shuttle between writing of the research and engaging in other academic work which made it uneasy for the researcher.
Definition of Terms
Small scale business: This is the creative ability or skills of individuals to seek profits by taking risks and combining resources to produce innovative products.
Higher institution: This is the education given after secondary education in universities, including those institutions in the universities offering graduate and post graduate correspondence courses.