The vision of the Nigerian government through the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC), in the establishment of Entrepreneurship study centres in Nigerian Universities is for the centres to serve as a nerve centre for the education, growth and development of sustainable entrepreneurial culture among university students and the youths for the management of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with the mission to provide facilities and expertise that will propel the growth and development of SMEs through sustainable quality, effective and dynamic entrepreneurial coaching and assistance.
The Key among the goals is to promote the culture of entrepreneurship among university students and the youths; address the problem of poverty and unemployment among Nigerian graduates and the youths; help students and youths acquire entrepreneurial skills for job creation; and provide students/youths with ample opportunities that will improve their productive capacities of enterprise development skills. In line with the NUC directive, the Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies (CES) was established in 2008 with Professor Onwukwe Alaezi as the pioneer Director.
The vision of the Centre is to develop into a world-class centre of excellence for teaching, learning and research-based skills acquisition entrepreneurship centre capable of transforming its graduates from their ‘take-a-job’ mentality to create-a-job’ mentality.
The general philosophy of the Centre is to employ the utilization of highly trained, qualified and motivated academics and cutting-edge technology to produce graduates with appropriate value-reorientation and entrepreneurial mindset as a value-addition over and above their field of study for the purpose of self-reliance and wealth creation in the Nigerian economic environment.
The Centre aims to cater for the lifelong education and career awareness of the university undergraduates, including those of the less privileged neighbouring community people, literate and semi-literate citizens in their various workplaces, out-of-school youths, local farmers etc, who by the very nature and design of their environment are denied access to such university-designed entrepreneurial programmes in the interest of self employment and job creation needed to reduce the present alarmingly high level of unemployment in the country and its attendant social ills. In more specific terms, the Centre’s major objectives are to:
♦ Create the required entrepreneurial mindset in our graduates and the general public that is predicated on four major elements namely; value-reorientation, self-dependence, wealth creation and employment generation
♦ Plan, develop and offer academic training and re-training programmes at the undergraduate, diploma, university certificate, short-term proficiency certificate levels as well as degree programmes and collaborate with FUTO’s relevant units, departments and institutions to achieve this objective
♦ Avail FUTO students and participating community people the opportunity of having contacts with practicing local entrepreneurs, successful local craftsmen and women in the relevant areas who will be hired on an ad hoc basis to expose them (the students and community people) to the rudiments of certain entrepreneurial skills as a way of creating career or related job openings in specific areas just in case
♦ Provide training and retraining, long term and short term courses, seminars and workshops to individuals, institutions and corporate organizations, already employed in the country’s various workplaces, conduct research into all areas covered in the Centre’s curricular and extra-curricular activities
♦ Collaborate in and/or contribute meaningfully to the curriculum development and planning of related courses/programmes offered by the other academic units of the university
♦ Support the development of relevant networks connecting communities of professionals, businessmen, entrepreneurs and educators in and outside the university catchment areas
♦ Provide consultancy services in collaboration with the university relevant organs to organizations, institutions, corporate bodies, and so on.