Becoming a better entrepreneur (SAED NYSC)

Becoming a better entrepreneur

In Nigeria, youth and graduate unemployment is a serious problem. This source of great frustration for the individuals affected but also an issue of national concern because some of our best educated and most dynamic people are not contributing to economic and social development. Becoming a better entrepreneur

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The reality of the Nigerian labor market is that there is a dearth of wage employment opportunities for graduates. This is despite relatively robust economic growth and is due to structural changes in the Nigerian and global economy which are likely to persist for some time. It is also the case that the tertiary education system does not equip graduates with the skills required for self-employment or entrepreneurship as an alternative to a reliance on seeking white collar jobs. Becoming a better entrepreneur

In 2012, NYSC was directed by the Federal Government to establish the Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) department address the above issues. In particular, SAED department was tasked with sensitizing corps members to the realities of the Nigerian job market and by providing foundation entrepreneurship and practical skills allow them to explore the options of self-employment or starting up their own business. I encourage you to take this opportunity to learn about the self-employment and business start-up options which may be open to you.

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Starting my own small business is a modular package in entrepreneurship for the corps members so that they acquire an entrepreneurial mind-set and the knowledge to set up a small business, if they so wish. It has been designed for delivery during NYSC orientation camp but with this workbook and the companion facilitators guide corps members can also self-study at camp and later in their service year.

The UNESCO prototype from this package was adapted, was developed as a result of numerous requests from high level education makers in developing countries, particularly Africa, who bemoaned the lack of employment opportunities for graduates and the technically trained, while at the same time the local supply of quality produced goods and services was limited. They were convinced that young people needed to become self-employed as independent producers rather than depend on finding wage employment. Young people would then be able to satisfy the demand for local goods and services while carving out profitable careers for themselves.

The training package is intended to be an introduction to ethical entrepreneurship. It makes no claim to be a complete resource material on starting a small business and can be expended or abbreviated as the studying situation demands. It also aims at installing a heightened sense of self-confidence and awakening corps members to the possibility that self-employment could be a viable career option.

Launching a successful business requires an awareness of one’s knowledge, skills, abilities, atitudes, vales and preferences. The training therefore begins by inviting corps members to consider their own strengths and weaknesses, so that they develop a clear sense of themselves. You will be encouraged to perceive yourself as an actor responsible for your own life. You are then guided through the various stages of developing a commercial idea, from identifying a community need for a product or service to acquiring resources, organizing workplace and marketing the product or service and finally preparing a business plan. At each step, you will be encouraged to discover how your skills may be utilized to cater to a need in the community. While encouraging independent thought, creativity and initiative, the training demonstrates the benefit of collaborative work by treating selected topics as group activities.

Finally, a self-study section on the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in a small business enables an introduction to these concepts to the extent that is relevant and time allows. The rapid spread of ICT usage lends this topic increasing significance. Such a discussion may also help to dispel the mystery that could persist in the minds of some of you regarding ICT.

By promoting economic self-reliance, and the need to playa constructive role in the community the training also aims at human capacity building, a key element of productive livelihoods in consistent with the Nigeria 2020 vision and the first of Milennium Development goals, which is concerned with poverty eradication.

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Becoming a better entrepreneur

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