SPECIAL ISSUE: Entrepreneurship Education
This Special Issue explores the concept of entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurship ecosystem through the lenses of our esteemed contributors.
As you are aware, entrepreneurship education and its antecedents have remained core discussions for governments and practitioners worldwide. Researchers in the Global South have argued that to escape the stranglehold of poverty, inequality, and unemployment, they need to invest their economies in entrepreneurial projects.
This Special Issue couldn't have come at a better time as UWC is hosting the 7th Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) Lekgotla. It is worth noting that the 2023 theme of EDHE is Social Innovation for Societal Impact. This theme expresses the utility of universities in realising social innovation that "enables the addressing of societal challenges" and the fostering of "interdisciplinary collaboration that engages students and faculties, strengthens community partnerships, generates knowledge and research, and cultivates an entrepreneurial mindset, ultimately leading to positive societal impact and a more equitable and sustainable future". Essentially, the necessity for the youth to embrace entrepreneurial projects remains a key priority in EDHE's discussions. It is within this goal of embracing entrepreneurial projects that the papers in this Special Issue become valuable.
For instance, Evelyn’s and Henry's conceptual paper, Redefining Entrepreneurial Education in Africa through Africanisation: A Review of the Igbo Apprenticeship System, assesses how Africans can develop an Africanised philosophical framework on which their identity and worldview can be incorporated into an entrepreneurial curriculum that has been appropriated from Western nations. Achieving this according to Evelyn requires two crucial steps, namely: the use of indigenous languages and examples in conveying important entrepreneurial messages, as well as improving the competency of academic staff on Africanisation philosophy.
Along with the argument of local language use in entrepreneurial instructions is Kelechi Mezieobi’s paper titled: The Use of Mother Tongue and Gender as Determinants of Students’ Attitudes towards Entrepreneurship Education. Kelechi and his colleagues found that students with knowledge of the use of the mother tongue related better to entrepreneurship education.
Daniel and Adeniyi’s paper, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development in Nigerian Universities: Moving Beyond Vocational Skills Teaching explored entrepreneurial and enterprise teaching in Nigerian universities to understand whether it is slanted toward the acquisition of vocational skills. Adopting the theory of Planned Behaviour and Kolb’s experiential learning theory, they found that the current practice of teaching vocational skills is not effective as shown by the perennial increase in graduate unemployment. The study recommends the teaching of entrepreneurship and enterprise development anchored in value addition, opportunity, and wealth creation with a view to repositioning university graduates for the 21st century’s challenges and opportunities. Furthering the attempt to understand entrepreneurship education in Nigeria, Kelechi and his colleagues in their paper, Teaching Entrepreneurship Education in Higher Education Institutions in Nigeria, offer a definition of entrepreneurship education that is focused on Nigeria to enhance how it can be improved. Some insightful suggestions and recommendations are flagged in their paper.
Egena Ode, Sidikat Shitu and Ochanya Blessing Adegbe investigated the influence of entrepreneurship education on undergraduate students’ entrepreneurial intention, with a focus on the cognitive, behavioural, and affective components of entrepreneurship education. In their paper titled, Examining the Influence of Entrepreneurship Education on Entrepreneurial Intention: A Gender-Focused Analysis of Intentions Among Undergraduate Students, they reveal a positive relationship between entrepreneurship education and intention. While offering valuable insights into the teaching and delivery of entrepreneurship education in higher education institutions, they also emphasise the importance of instructional methods, materials, facilities, and equipment in shaping entrepreneurial intentions in developing countries.
Dr Sibindi and I have been teaching, rethinking, and researching this concept for many years. Our wish is to understand how to improve the entrepreneurial intention of the youth, as well as find fitting definitions of entrepreneurship education that are unique to Africa, come up with better ways to teach entrepreneurship and explore other opportunities to make entrepreneurship education an attractive field of study.
We hope that this special issue provokes you to join the movement that pursues a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem for socioeconomic sustainability in Africa.
Prof. Chux Gervase Iwu
Dr. Ntandoyenkosi Sibindi