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Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday - Education - Nairaland

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Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by grandiose4ever: 12:47pm On May 15
Entrepreneurship education the Covenant University way: Lessons for other Nigerian universities




From the entrance gate to lecture halls, to hostel rooms, to cafeteria, to the new Hebron Startup Lab – even the walk way, everything at Covenant University (CU) – the best university in West Africa – is deliberately designed to inspire, educate and propel students towards entrepreneurship. So, it’s no surprise that such high value startups as PiggyVest, ThriveAgric, KoraPay, PayStack, Wilson Lemonade and more than 100 others have come out of this high-energy campus, over just a few years. And when this university decided to be selfless and share their methodologies, nothing would stop me from grabbing the opportunity, not even the discomfort of spending significant part of my personal savings.

The Covenant University’s entrepreneurship education methodology is actually simple, yet highly effective. It’s designed around the idea that if you can put in place a supportive ecosystem for development of entrepreneurially-minded students, you’d reap a reward like having campus-originated startups like PayStack raising US$8million form foreign institutional investors like Visa, Tencent and Stripe, or PiggyVest which raises a Series A Round Funding of more than $1.1million from local Nigerian Investors.

The CU’s entrepreneurship ecosystem has two major components – talents development and incentives. But beside those, there is this corporate philosophy exemplified by the Chancellor himself, Dr David Oyedepo and all the senior management team that drives entrepreneurship: they dream, speak and do entrepreneurship. They have this philosophy that their students must be so molded that they don’t go back to their parents for anything after graduation. At the heart of CU’s curriculum are development of entrepreneurial mindset and great attitude in students. They don’t necessarily want everyone to be business owners but they do want to make sure that those who would rather work for others are job-ready and that they possess the attitudes that not only attract high-quality jobs, but also ones that keep them in the job when they do get one. This is one of the reasons they introduced CU Developer Circle, one of the most thriving in the country, where students acquire high premium digital skills that help them unlock Silicon Valley-like jobs while in school. This is also the driving philosophy behind their popular TTG (Towards a Total Graduate) program, where students are mandated to spend few extra weeks immediately after graduation learning critical attitudes, resume development, how to ace an interview, work ethics, being a productive worker, making a difference in the community and so on.

Back to the two components of CU’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, they have a practical approach to entrepreneurial talent development. First, most of their entrepreneurship faculties are practicing entrepreneurs. Most are into consulting, monetizing their knowledge and skills by building a business around such. In this way, they understand what it takes to start, manage and scale a business. They understand the mechanics of identifying problems, building solutions, raising funds, discovering a market, managing people and scaling a proven concept. At CU, teaching entrepreneurship is more like saying: ‘you can give what you have’. With this, entrepreneurship is not necessarily taught, it’s inspired by people who are travelling the same road. Second, students ‘Get Out of the Building’ a lot, to try their hands on real-life businesses and projects. Third, CU draws on it robust network of successful alumni for regular Speaker Event to inspire, and as mentors for their students. And lastly, they have high-integrity system for tracking feedbacks and reviewing their curriculum and delivery.

On the incentive side, several supporting infrastructures are on ground for both students and faculties to think and act entrepreneurially: free high-speed wifi, a startup lab, regular reward-driven business model competition, institutional facilitation of access to markets and finance as well as sponsorship to Accelerator programs for startups looking to scale.

By and large, i believe that most things in life are guided by laws. Like the law of gravity in science (whatever is thrown up will come down), there are specific laws, adherence to which leads to better outcomes, for entrepreneurship education. Outcomes at CU have shown that these laws include top leadership’s commitment, practical/experiential approach to talent development and provision of reasonable incentives in form of infrastructural supports for On-Campus enterprise creation.

Do other universities in Nigeria have the right entrepreneurship ecosystem at the moment? The answer is, not yet. Can they ever get there? Certainly, if not beyond. But they must start as soon as today. Someone within the university, not necessarily the VC or the Dean of College of Business, but anybody at all who is passionate about entrepreneurship needs to champion the course. This must be an individual who is ready to unlearn, learn and relearn the right way to teach entrepreneurship. He or she must be an individual who would say that‘my students’ future is too important to wait until our ecosystem is right’ and then make a firm commitment to use whatever is available, starting wherever possible to improve things. At the Dangote Business School where I currently coordinate all Postgraduate Entrepreneurship Programs as well as MSMEs activities, I see myself as this kind of Entrepreneurship Champion. Even before travelling down to learn about CU’s system, I have embarked on some initiatives targeted at making entrepreneurship education practical and experiential.

Our lectures have been scaled down from 2hours to only 1 hour and the other hour is for in-class interaction with practicing entrepreneurs or development of communication skills in our students. Once in a month, our students go out on field visits to enterprising organizations to network and learn firsthand what works and what doesn’t work. On day one, our students are assigned to mentors, a practicing entrepreneur who has achieved a measure of success in his/her venture. And lastly (for now), our students now begin their internship much earlier so that they have ample opportunity to engage and learn from industry people.

To conclude, I strongly believe that with active collaboration of stakeholders – top management of the university, faculties, alumni and private-sector players – public universities in Nigeria can produce students who will build Unicorns (startups with more than $1b valuation). More importantly, I believe that with the right supports and vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystems, Nigerian universities generally can produce students who will change the narratives of the country and make a dent in the universe. Yes, They Can!



Adams Adeiza,

Dr Adeiza is of the Dangote Business School, Bayero University, Kano.



https://businessday.ng/opinion/article/entrepreneurship-education-the-covenant-university-way-lessons-for-other-nigerian-universities/

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Re: Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by rasaquadri: 12:50pm On May 15
next
Re: Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by HigherEd: 1:37pm On May 15
Nice article by Adeiza. However Paystack two founders - Shola Akinlabi and Ezra Olubi are from Babcock, not Covenant. Though we have quite a number of CU folks like Nneka Nnadimkpa, Sidri and a whole lot of others that I'm not very familiar with at the managerial level.

17 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by HigherEd: 1:50pm On May 15
rasaquadri:
next
Rasaq Quadri - I am inclined to believe your religious bigotry against Christianity is diffusing into Covenant university. I quite remember your handle giving me dismissive mentions(on matter pertaining to church schooling system) quite a number of times now.
It would amaze you that a Muslim like your self from Bayero University's dangote business school, Kano wrote this beautiful article...

You need to clean your mind out, religious bigotry kills you know.

37 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by Opinionated: 3:44pm On May 15
HigherEd:
Nice article by Adeiza. However Paystack two founders - Shola Akinlabi and Ezra Olubi are from Babcock, not Covenant.

Just looking.
Re: Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by Okoyeebows: 3:46pm On May 15
HigherEd:
Nice article by Adeiza. However Paystack two founders - Shola Akinlabi and Ezra Olubi are from Babcock, not Covenant.

Ezra, crazy guy.

Met him some years ago when he was freelancing. To see him now, I need visa.

12 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by ChopBellefull(m): 3:46pm On May 15
Abeggi.. Who no go no know..

D practicals that students dnt take serious.... I am nt saying its bad o... But hw many students or graduates can say what they are doing now is as regards to what they learnt frm EDS
Re: Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by Dashry(f): 3:50pm On May 15
Okay.








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1 Like

Re: Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by endi4real: 3:51pm On May 15
HigherEd:

Rasaq Quadri - I am inclined to believe your religious bigotry against Christianity is diffusing into Covenant university. I quite remember your handle giving me a dismissive mentions quite a number of times now.
It would amaze you that a Muslim like your self from Bayero University's dangote business school, Kano wrote this beautiful article...

You need to clean your mind out, religious bigotry kills you know.

Thank you for pointing this out... hope d hate-filled mind would find liberation someday.

5 Likes

Re: Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by WetinUGain: 3:52pm On May 15
Okoyeebows:


Ezra, crazy guy.

Met him some years ago when he was freelancing. To see him now, I need visa.

The guy is another thing now oooo. Nails,lashes,make up....nah free spirited

1 Like

Re: Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by Firstorderwizard(m): 3:52pm On May 15
Awolowo's ewedu inspired free education did more harm than good to our education system undecided
Re: Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by WetinUGain: 3:55pm On May 15
HigherEd:
Nice article by Adeiza. However Paystack two founders - Shola Akinlabi and Ezra Olubi are from Babcock, not Covenant.

Thanks for pointing it out.The Paystack guys went to Babacock..

Odun and co of Piggy went to CU

1 Like

Re: Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by Okoyeebows: 3:56pm On May 15
Firstorderwizard:
Awolowo's ewedu inspired free education did more harm than good to our education system undecided

Go and ask of Okoyeebos around. People know I don't take foolishness lightly from flatheaded muddy baboons.

I rarely do this but I'll allow you to keep quiet and watch intelligent people converse. If you dare advertise your stupidity on this thread again, I would use you as a scapegoat for your ilk.

14 Likes

Re: Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by CodeTemplar: 3:56pm On May 15
booked
Re: Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by Okoyeebows: 3:58pm On May 15
WetinUGain:


Thanks for pointing it out.The Paystack guys went to Babacock..

Odun and co of Piggy went to CU

The guys in Softcom too went to CU, at least the 2 co-founders.

3 Likes 1 Share

Re: Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by richie240: 4:10pm On May 15
HigherEd:

Rasaq Quadri - I am inclined to believe your religious bigotry against Christianity is diffusing into Covenant university. I quite remember your handle giving me a dismissive mentions quite a number of times now.
It would amaze you that a Muslim like your self from Bayero University's dangote business school, Kano wrote this beautiful article...

You need to clean your mind out, religious bigotry kills you know.
Oga, biko, what happens on one thread shdnt be 'transfused' into another.
As for ur rejoinder to his 'next' comment on this thread, I don't really think u are any better than/different from him!
.....and by the way, I'm also a Christian.

2 Likes

Re: Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by OzziOhinoyi(m): 4:11pm On May 15
My boss @ Dr Adeiza. Great piece.
Re: Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by OzziOhinoyi(m): 4:11pm On May 15
cool
Re: Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by CodeTemplar: 4:17pm On May 15
ChopBellefull:
Abeggi.. Who no go no know..

D practicals that students dnt take serious.... I am nt saying its bad o... But hw many students or graduates can say what they are doing now is as regards to what they learnt frm EDS
Many graduates may not be using the entrepreneurship knowledge presently but the important thing is that there EDS door was open to them.

3 Likes

Re: Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by HigherEd: 4:23pm On May 15
Okoyeebows:


Ezra, crazy guy.

Met him some years ago when he was freelancing. To see him now, I need visa.
I can imagine grin

1 Like

Re: Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by HigherEd: 4:31pm On May 15
ChopBellefull:
Abeggi.. Who no go no know..

D practicals that students dnt take serious.... I am nt saying its bad o... But hw many students or graduates can say what they are doing now is as regards to what they learnt frm EDS
EDS in CU is very rigourous. And runs from 100 - 500 levels in every semester for every students.
Four years after graduating from CU, I still find my notes quite instructive and priceless in the business world.

5 Likes 1 Share

Re: Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by vezycash(m): 4:31pm On May 15
Saying covenant Esp EDS made any of these guys is like saying Babcock made Davido. It's cute.
Re: Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by HigherEd: 4:39pm On May 15
Okoyeebows:


The guys in Softcom too went to CU, at least the 2 co-founders.
I have heard so much about softcom. Is it a very successful organization?
Re: Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by Okoyeebows: 4:44pm On May 15
HigherEd:

I have heard so much about softcom. Is it a very successful organization?

Ha, bro, you should dig up some stuff on them. You know a lot about CU and Bishop and would be interested.

They are the guys handling the tech backend of all FG's social intervention projects and the 2 Co-founders are CU guys. They beat the biggest and established tech companies in Nigeria to win the project.

7 Likes

Re: Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by MrMcJay(m): 4:49pm On May 15
I think CU needs to run tech version of an MBA. Probably Masters in Technology Administration or something of that nature.
Re: Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by oneolajire(m): 4:55pm On May 15
Entrepreneurship in Nigeria is a Scam and a Multiplier of Poverty: Part 3


In the second part of this article, I described the four types of entrepreneurship available, they are, traditional, conditional, capital and innovative entrepreneurships.
Link to part 2
https://www.nairaland.com/3102449/part-2-entrepreneurship-scam-nigeria

It is important to note that nations that have developed over the years ensured massive emphasis on both capital and innovative entrepreneurship.

Unfortunately, the emphasis of entrepreneurship in Nigeria is on traditional and conditional entrepreneurships. I wonder how these kinds of entrepreneurships will solve socioeconomic problems in Nigeria.

Entrepreneurship in developed nations was used to provide infrastructures such as electricity, railways, airports, hospitals among others. Steel plants, petroleum refineries, automobiles, aircraft and hi-tech companies came to existence as a result of exploits in innovative and capital entrepreneurships.

Nigeria's kind of entrepreneurship being preached to our youth cannot be used to solve any kind of socio-economic problem such as lack of power supply, good roads, portable water, railway and so on. It is so obvious that the entrepreneurship we practice in Nigeria is absolutely handicapped. It lacks both solution and growth factor, however, it is a poverty multiplying one.

Nigeria's kind of entrepreneurship lacks the capability to provide substantial job opportunities needed by the youth. The traditional entrepreneurship we practice provide jobs in retailing, unskilled or semi-skilled jobs, exportation of raw materials and importation of finished goods. Developed nations have massive jobs in information technology, aerospace, space technology, healthcare power, sports, tourism, oil and gas, which are products of innovative and capital entrepreneurship. It is certain that the number of unemployed people in Nigeria will continue to increase if there is no change to our entrepreneurship approach.


Taking a look at the genesis of institutionalisation of entrepreneurship in Nigeria, which can be traced to 1986 when the Government established the National Directorate of employment, NDE, to provide skills for youth in order to make them employable. It was this same time that several industries began to fold up, banks began to liquidate, the quality of education began to experience sharp decline and government's investment in infrastructural development began to recede. It is so obvious that the government at that time lacked job creation skills.

Over thirty years down the lane, one should ask, how much jobs has NDE provided? Would we have the need of NDE if we had abundant industries and functional education that produces job creating graduates? What a pity to see that the major mantra of the government to the youth is traditional entrepreneurship. If Nigeria's kind of cake baking, hair dressing and dough-nut entrepreneurship had failed in the past, how would it help create factories and solve our unemployment problem? I see no reason why we should magnify the failures of entrepreneurship in the name of self employment.

Innovative entrepreneurship of Mr Innocent Chuckwuma of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing and Mr Adetokunbo Ogundeyin of Proforce Limited -manufacturer of armoured vehicles- are undeniable examples. They built technological empires without government's help, yet, the sky is not even their limit, but their starting points. Imagine if we can replicate this achievements in electricity generation, petroleum refining, road/railway construction, metals and material production.

Nigeria is facing serious budget finance crisis because the revenue earned from petroleum is no longer sufficient to fund the budget. Massive funds is being ploughed into traditional entrepreneurship that provides very little tax, thereby plunging the nation massive borrowing. However, products and services of innovative ventures in developed nations have become huge sources of revenue to their respective nations. Therefore Nigeria should to invest in entrepreneurship that will generate abundant revenue to fund subsequent budgets.

Nigeria has more than thirty percent of an estimated population of 200 million people involved in agriculture, yet malnutrition is ravaging our land. The major problem of insufficient food production is the primitive farming using cutlass and hoe -a form of traditional entrepreneurship. So unfortunate that insurgency in North-Eastern Nigeria and the nationwide herdsmen killings hsd highly contributed to reduced crop production.

On the other hand, some nations have lesser than two percent of their population in agriculture, yet they meet local demand and export. They make use of innovative entrepreneurship both on the farm and in the lab/workshops. They don't depend on normads to provide beef for them. Here in Nigeria, graduates of agriculture do not practice farming professionally, yet it is the unequipped graduates of other courses, that are persuaded into agriculture as a result of unemployment.

It is good to have several capital entrepreneurs like Aliko Dangote, who has built several industries in Nigeria and across Africa. His latest investment in the 650,000 bpd of crude oil refinery and petrochemical complex which is expected to help tackle the availability of petroleum products is highly laudable. However, he didn't become an overnight investor, his success story began in 1977 with the 500,000 naira loan -when 1$ = 0.65k - given to him by his uncle, Alhaji Dantata. The major problem of capital entrepreneurship is how to get massive loans for industrial development.

Finally, a paradigm shift is still the solution to our challenges.

5 Likes

Re: Entrepreneurship Education: The Covenant University Way - Businessday by FunmyKemmy(f): 5:23pm On May 15
This is interesting.

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