Reinvigorating Entrepreneurship Education for Nation Building: Issues and Challenges

Cite this article as: Mohammed, M.N. & Itopa, I.J. (2023). Reinvigorating Entrepreneurship Education for Nation Building: Issues and Challenges. Zamfara International Journal of Humanities, (2)2, 104-110. www.doi.org/10.36349/zamijoh.2023.v02i02.012.

Reinvigorating Entrepreneurship Education for Nation Building: Issues and Challenges


Munirat Nma Mohammed, PhD
Department of Business Administration and Management
Federal Polytechnic Nasarawa
Email: mohammedmunirat@gmail.com (08065774123)


Ibrahim Jafaru Itopa
Department of Marketing
Federal Polytechnic Nasarawa
Itopajeff40@gmail.com / 08036551153


Nation Building implies a wholesome progression towards the model in all aspects of a nation’s socio- political, economic, and educational infrastructure, more so in its spiritual and moral structure. Entrepreneurial education is that aspect of education which is geared towards the collections of formalized teaching that informs trains and educates anyone interested in participating in socio-economic development through a project to promote entrepreneurship awareness, business creation or small business development. It is against this backdrop that this research article dwelled on reinvigorating entrepreneurship education for nation building: issues and challenges. Entrepreneurship is fundamental to socio-economic growth and national development. It encompasses the ability of people to find and create new businesses or revitalize existing ones. Part of the objectives of this research article is to challenge students to develop entrepreneurial spirit that could lead to economic rationality for nation building. We use secondary sources of gathering data for this research article. On the whole, the article discovered so many challenges and issues militating against entrepreneurial education in Nigeria. The research work concludes among other things that, for functional entrepreneurial education to be achieved there should be some forms of genuine school-work based learning incorporated in studies as part of national economy development strategies.

Keywords: Entrepreneurial Education, Nation Building, and Reinvigorating


Entrepreneurship is said to be the zeal and capacity to investigate investment opportunities and to establish and run them effectively and efficiently. We can also view entrepreneurship as the rational process of identifying business opportunities and taking appropriate steps to establish them. From tha above definitions, one can assume that entrepreneurship is the capacity and disposition an individual or group of individuals to establish a business or venture bearing in mind that the business or venture may either succeed or fail. Entrepreneurship education on the other hand, refers to training opportunities which are specifically designed to develop in an individual or group of individuals the skills which they can use to establish and run businesses or ventures effectively. Indeed, the formal education introduced by the Missionaries was tailored to the needs of the missionaries and the colonial masters for interpreters and trade clerks, hence it was not functional for the idigines (Durosaro, 2008).

Several efforts have however, been made after independence to restructure the curriculum through the introduction of 6-3-34 structure which include pre-vocational subjects at the junior secondary schools. Thus, for education to be functional, it must not only provide cognitive and affective development but must also make the citizens to acquire some basic skills. This is to say, that a functional education equips the individuals with the requisite skills and knowledge to function maximally in the society in which they belong. It is a pre-requisite for social change and meaningful national development. Functional education must also provide people a vocation and instead of creating a pool of job seekers. It must also be able to develop a pool of job creators who could even be self-employing. In the words of Odayemi, (2008), functional education is that aspect of education which comes from the child’s needs and that uses the child’s interest as a mechanism for activating him towards his desirable activities. Therefore , the primary and junior secondary curricula are being reviewed to refocus the system to functionalism by the introduction of local craft, primary science, business studies, introductory technology, ICT education and woodwork, hence the new concept of entrepreneurial education.

Thus, the main focus of this research article is to reinvigorate entrepreneurial education for nation building. Entrepreneurial education is that aspect of education which is geared towards the collections of formalized teaching that informs trains and educates anyone interested in participating in socio-economic development through a project to promote entrepreneurship awareness, business creation or small business development, Bechard and Tolouse, (1998). The duo further buttress that entrepreneurial education focuses on combining and carrying out a new combination of business elements while education for business ownership for business focuses on the skills needed to produce or acquire an existing business. This means that entrepreneurship education seeks to provide students with knowledge, skills and motivation to encourage entrepreneurial success in variety of settings. It also seeks to prepare people, particularly the youth to be responsible enterprising individuals who become entrepreneurial thinkers by exposing them to real life learning experiences where they can take risk s, manage the results and learn from the outcome. Therefore, the present article is geared towards reinvigorating entrepreneurship education for the purpose of nation building with focus on Nigeria state

Statement of the Study

No doubt, entrepreneurship education equips people with the knowledge and skills with which they can establish and run their businesses or ventures effectively and efficiently thereby creating employment and reducing poverty. However, entrepreneurship education in Nigeria is faced with some challenges. Therefore, the current study aims at bringing to the fore the need to reinvigorate entrepreneurial education as well as identify the challenges facing the success smooth and successful operation of entrepreneurial education in Nigeria for nation building.

Aim and Objectives

Educational goals are set for the purpose of development; and education as a phenomenon plays a very vital role on the ladder of development of a nation. It advances the wellbeing of the individual in the society as a whole. The type of education a society imparts on its citizenry must not only be realistic, but must also be relevant to what is needed for the development of the society at a particular point in time.

Therefore, this current study is aimed at achieving the following objectives:

i.        To challenge students to develop entrepreneurial spirit that could lead to economic rationality for nation building.

ii.      To identify the issues and challenges faced by the introduction of entrepreneurial education in Nigeria

iii.    To create awareness in students that lack knowledge of entrepreneurial spirit that will lead to nation building

Research Questions

i.        What are the challenges that hinder the development of entrepreneurial spirit that could lead to economic rationality for nation building?

ii.      What are the issues and challenges faced by the introduction of entrepreneurial education in Nigeria?

iii.    How do we create awareness in students that lack knowledge of entrepreneurial spirit that will lead to nation building?

Literature Review and Conceptual Clarifications

a.      National Building: Conceptualization

Nation building as described by Sani (1994) is that which gives rise to accelerated growth and all round development of members of the polity. It is an all-encompassing process involving both national development and national integration. Beside qualitative improvement in economic and social life, concertizing and gallivanting Nigerians to seek to be good citizens and inculcating in our youth a national consciousness and faith in one Nigeria and her true greatness enthrone nation building. Part of the ingredients that are needed in nation building, according to Yusuf (1994), is understanding and cooperation occasioned by language. Obviously, there is power in language (speech). If someone speaks to you in language you understand, you will certainly do the right thing. This explains very vividly the position of linguistics in nation building. The essence of understanding a scientific study of language is to achieve finer and improved human communication. Individual communicative ability, according to Oloruntoba-Oju, (1994) “reverberates on aspects of national development and nation building…” He explains further:

The gigantic advancement that human community has made in the area of science, technology and sociology are direct result of communication at this deep level of intellectual engagement…. Above all, communication is the building block of nation (109-110),

It is crystal clear that the role of entrepreneurial education in nation building has been well and undeniably established in literature Saidu and Muhammad, (2010). Nations are endowed differently and unless these natural resources are fully tapped, they are useless. Abubakar (1998) argued that ‘unless resources is adequately and properly oriented to ensure effective participation of all members of a given society towards proper exploitation of and utilization of the domestic material resources which could be harness through proper and effective entrepreneurial education.

b.     What is Entrepreneurship Education?

It has been widely acknowledged that education is a dependable instrument for achieving socio-economic growth and national development. This is largely due to the fact that it is through well planned and implemented educational systems that the developed countries of the world have achieved their remarkable level of social, economic, scientific and technological advancement. It is in recognition of this fact that conceptualized education as the key of solid development of the individual for the acquisition of competencies necessary for maximum self-development national development. Indeed, Gottleid and Ross (1997) see entrepreneurial education in term of creativity and innovation applied to social, governmental and business area. Entrepreneurial education therefore could also be viewed in terms of the skills that can be taught and characteristics that could be engendered in the students that can help them develop new innovative plan.

Entrepreneurship is the term used broadly in connection with the innovative and creative modern industrial and business leaders. It is often being defined by reference to the functions of an entrepreneur as the man who perceives business opportunities and taken advantage of the scarce resources to use them profitably. It is he alone who bears the non-insurable risks in his enterprise, and it is he who directs the human and material resources in his business objective (Akinbode, 2009). The recent global financial crises, in addition to the prevalent economic woes of Nigeria, compelled the Federal Government to formally adopt Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, as the engine of the country’s economic recovery and re-engineering for national transformation. Entrepreneurship is therefore fundamental to socio-economic growth and national development. It encompasses the ability of people to find and create new businesses or revitalize existing ones. In recent times, there has been an appreciable attention to the provision of entrepreneurship education in Nigeria’s tertiary education institutions. This is in response to the realization of the strategic role of entrepreneurship in socio-economic and national development as evidenced in its capacity for job creation, self-reliance and poverty alleviation.

c.       Reinvigorating Entrepreneurial Education

In the words of Akpomi (2009), entrepreneur has been described as the one who starts an enterprise; the one who puts new forms of industry on their feet; the one who shoulders the risks and uncertainty of using economic resources in a new way; and the one with the right motivation, energy, and ability to build something by his or her own efforts. He went further to point out that quality of instructions at all levels have to be oriented towards inculcating the values of acquisition of competencies necessary for self-reliance and reducing poverty. The identity of a true entrepreneur is characterized by three attributes: the recognition of market opportunity and the generation of a business idea (service or product) to address the opportunity; the marshaling and commitment of resources in the face of risk to pursue the motivated business idea, Salhman and Srevenson, (1992). Thus, recognition of opportunity is the cornerstone of the entrepreneurship process, having distilled an opportunity without any assurance of outcome or rewards which is in the presence of risk. The entrepreneur must also be committed enough to the prospect and the passion of the opportunity to be willing to invest some of his/ her personal reputation and resources and must be able to secure from others key investment including time, knowledge, energy, reputation, and capital- all in the absence of any guarantees of success.

The fundamental goal of entrepreneurship education is to equip the participants with the knowledge, skills, are competencies for embarking on entrepreneurial endeavors in a variety of economic settings. In support of this viewpoint, the observed that entrepreneurship education is designed to teach on the skill and knowledge he or she needs for establishing and running new business venture. This is why it becomes imperative for creating enabling environment for functional entrepreneurial education in Nigeria. However, it is not worthy that entrepreneurship education has in recent times received appreciable attention from the Federal Government of Nigeria. This statement is from the realization that education is a potent tool for the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills in Nigeria. It has been established by successive administrations in Nigeria, that institutions of high learning, especially the universities and polytechnics and other vocational institutions should commence entrepreneurship education as a vehicle for equipping Nigeria undergraduates and youth with entrepreneurial knowledge and skills required for job creation and self -reliance upon graduation.


By methodology we refer to what goes on in the workshop or entrepreneurship centres, to what the students have to do. This has implications for what the instructor has to do. In any case, this is very important to the overall success of the entrepreneurship education program. It is of course apparent, that entrepreneurship is not itself a methodology, neither is it allied to or associated with any particular teaching techniques. However, the marching of the teaching to the learners’ needs also extends freedom to innovation in methodological term is the core value of entrepreneurial education. Taking solace from Piotrowski (1982) as cited in Saidu and Audu, (2011), in describing the use of the case method with business people, states that the addition to leading class discussions on the cases (which he or she will have previously selected and prepared), the instructor will also act as a consultant. This involves diagnosing each participant’s language and communication needs, discussing these with each participant and planning individual programmes for improvement in entrepreneurial education classrooms.

The Role of Entrepreneurship in Nation Building

Nation Building implies a wholesome progression towards the ideal in all aspects of a nation’s socio- political, economic, and educational infrastructure, more so in its spiritual and moral structure. The fundamental role of entrepreneurship to a nation building like Nigeria is to achieve economic development. Economic development is the process of structural transformation of an economy towards a modern technologically advanced economy based on the availability of social and infrastructural amenities. Other roles of entrepreneurial in nation building include:

1.      It enables individual, small or large scale firms and even public firms to use their potentials and energies to create wealth, independence and status for themselves in the society. This means, successful business people in Nigeria uplift the dignity of labour.

2.      It creates jobs through the formation of new enterprises, whether small, medium or large scale enterprises.

3.      Entrepreneurs harness resources that might otherwise remain idle and put them into proper or productive use for overall economic development of the economy of a nation. They promote the development of indigenous manpower as well as increase local participation in the manufacturing sector of the economy.

4.      It has potential ability to raise productivity through various innovative ideas, and technological know-how contributed to the economic development of a society.

Results and Discussions

On the first objective of the study which is aimed at challenge the students to develop entrepreneurial spirit that could lead to economic rationality for nation building. Indeed, It is an obvious fact that there is a gradual and unfortunate collapse of educational standard in virtually all our institution of learning, ranging from the primary schools to the universities. The problems experienced in the educational system in Nigeria are multiple. They include deficient curriculum or poor planning, inadequate funding, inadequate training of teachers, proliferation of schools, lack of motivation on the part of the students and examination malpractices. All these problems have led to the regrettable decay and rot we are witnessing in the educational sector today. Therefore, the only way the nation can be freed from this bondage of underdevelopment is through the creation of entrepreneurial education. We also need to create the spirit of entrepreneurial skills in our teeming students across all levels of educational institution.

On the second objective of the study which is to identify the issues and challenges faced by the introduction of entrepreneurial education in Nigeria. The idea is if a system experiences rot and decay, we do not have to expect any meaningful development from it. The inevitable consequence of this sad situation is that the youth are no longer adequately motivated to pursue a sound educational carrier. They are left to drift and focus their attention on evils’ alternative that includes the continuous assessment of pornographic materials on the internet and making of endless phone calls or engagement of themselves in crimes. Regrettably, instructional materials used in teaching entrepreneurship education in Nigeria are not adequate to address modern trends of skill acquisition in the society. There are lacks of quality entrepreneurial test books in Nigerians schools even the teaching methods in use does not suit the practical aspect of entrepreneurial education. Incompetence of teachers’ Entrepreneurial education is expected to prepare learners to be creative and productive citizens and nation builders, therefore; teachers implementing the curriculum in the classroom are supposed to be competent in different skills and delivery methods. A learner can only be creative and productive when guided by experts who possess practical skills. Tertiary education institutions in Nigeria do not have enough qualified lecturers to successfully implement the entrepreneurship education curriculum. The lecturers that impart entrepreneurship knowledge and skills to students were drawn from pre-existing departments and faculty and they were not specially groomed for entrepreneurship education.

This inimical situation posse serious challenges to the successful implementation of the new entrepreneurship education curriculum as observed that the success of any innovative programme in the curriculum of any educational institution hinges on the ability of the teachers to implement the innovation. Inadequacy of Infrastructural Facilities and Equipment is another challenge. The infrastructural facilities and equipment in Nigeria’s educational instructions are grossly inadequate while the available ones are in poor and deplorable state thereby making the delivery of entrepreneurship education difficult. These infrastructural facilities and equipment include, among others, the fixed and mobile structures and materials in the school such as the classroom building, offices, laboratories and laboratory equipment, the school furniture, the chalkboards, tools and machines, the chalk, audio and visual aids which are used to enhance teaching and learning processes. The adequacy of infrastructural facilities and equipment ensure effective and efficient delivery of the entrepreneurship education curriculum and are positively related to the achievement of its goals. Indeed, learning takes place better and faster in a school environment with adequate provision of buildings, classrooms, accommodations, furniture etc.

On the third objective which is to create awareness in students that lack knowledge of entrepreneurial spirit that will lead to nation building. Despite government efforts in enhancing entrepreneurial education, it is still perceived as the form of education for under privileged children. Though high level of unemployment cum insecurity should have changed this attitude, but Nigerians still prefer general education. Therefore, we all need to be involved I creating awareness among our youth that entrepreneurial education is key to socioeconomic emancipation of our people. When someone is self-reliance, he gets whatever he want and live a happy live.

Conclusion and Recommendations

For functional entrepreneurial education to be achieved there should be some form of genuine school-work based learning incorporated in some studies as part of national economy development strategies. Adequate Funding Availability of fund in every educational programme is a critical factor in achieving functionality of such programme. The unavailability of fund to our schools makes the cry for entrepreneurial education to be on paper than practices. Well founded entrepreneurial education program will no doubt equip the schools with adequate facilities needed for efficiency of the subject and achieving the stipulated objectives of entrepreneurial education thereby eradicating insurgence of insecurity.

The study therefore puts the following recommendations:

1.      Government should provide enough funds by increasing allocation to schools to enable them mount functional and effective entrepreneurial centres in every institution.

2.      Proprietors of private institutions should also seek for alternative means of funds through sponsorship and partnership with industries, NGOs and philanthropists to enable them compete favourably with government owned institution.

3.      Government alone cannot fund functional entrepreneurial education as it demand for incorporation of different experts from varying skills. Therefore, both public and private funds should be pulled to finance the high cost of inviting artisans into formal teaching process

4.      Development of internship programmes Skill learning is more of practical than theory; students from time to time should be marched with local successful entrepreneurs with sound educational background who will mentor them. To enhance economic efficiency, self-empowerment and acquisition of useful skills, learners should be made to pass through an expert who will mentor him/her under the supervision of the school.


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