Business Education Project Topics

Business Education Undergraduate Students’ Perception Of Community Resources For The Teaching And Learning Of Entrepreneurship In Rivers State University

Business Education Undergraduate Students’ Perception Of Community Resources For The Teaching And Learning Of Entrepreneurship In Rivers State University


Objective of the study

The objectives of the study are;

  1. To ascertain the effects of entrepreneurship curriculum contents on students‘ critical thinking and business idea generation.
  2. To examine the extent to which entrepreneurship pedagogy affects students‘ shared-vision and identification of business opportunities.
  3. To evaluate the role of teaching methods in entrepreneurship on students‘ interest and business start-ups

Research hypotheses

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

H0: Teaching methods in entrepreneurship do not significantly stimulate students ‘interest and business start-ups.

H1: Teaching methods in entrepreneurship significantly stimulate students ‘interest and business start-ups.

H02: Entrepreneurship curriculum contents do not significant impact on students ‘critical thinking and business idea generation.

H2: Entrepreneurship curriculum contents significant impact on students ‘critical thinking and business idea generation.




Entrepreneurship has become much more important in the contemporary world where financial crises have been occurring. Entrepreneurship and innovation are regarded as an important tool to resolve the global challenges of the 21st century, to structure the sustainable development, to create new employment areas, to bring about renewed economic growth, and to enhance welfare (WEF, 2009: 7). The most commonly debated question in the research on entrepreneurship is probably why some individuals are entrepreneurs while the others are not. Numerous studies on business creation suggest that individual differences are the basic reason underlying the question why some individuals actively go for establishing their own businesses while the others do not. Behaviorists consider entrepreneurs independently from individual characteristics as individuals with entrepreneurial behavior. According to the behavioral approach, behavior can be learnt through formal and informal processes (Paço et. al., 2015: 58). Drucker considers entrepreneurship as a discipline (Drucker, 1993: vii). From this perspective, entrepreneurship appears as a learnable fact. Therefore, entrepreneurship plays a critical role in improving prospective entrepreneurs and steering them towards development and entrepreneurship by providing them with a combination of knowledge, skills and capability to establish and maintain new enterprises (Dutta, Li and Merenda, 2011: 165). Education is vital to create an understanding of entrepreneurship, to develop entrepreneurial capabilities, and to contribute to entrepreneurial identities and cultures at individual, collective and social levels (Rae, 2010: 603). Therefore, an individual, who receives a basic entrepreneurship education providing competence in administrative terms, is more likely to engage in an entrepreneurship activity in the future (Dutta, Li and Merenda, 2011: 174). Entrepreneurship education has not achieved sufficient maturity either in theory or in practice. Early courses on entrepreneurship have started in the United States in 1940s. Since those times, entrepreneurship education has increased considerably in the developed world (Paço et. al., 2015: 59). The number of universities and colleges with entrepreneurship courses in their curricula has clearly increased in the United States since the late 1960s. The entrepreneurship-related courses of many schools such as “Entrepreneurship & Venture Creation,” “Small Business Management,” “Enterprise Development” occupy a significant place in their curricula. Increasingly large number of colleges and graduate schools have accepted entrepreneurship as a fundamental area (Lee, Chang and Lim, 2005: 30). This trend became especially common in the universities in the United States, Canada and France in 1990s (Paço et. al., 2015: 59). The financial and economic crisis that emerged in 2008 and the subsequent global recession have led to the emergence of a new economic era with important effects on entrepreneurship education, too (Rae, 2010: 591). A study was carried out on the graduates who completed the University of Arizona’s Berger Entrepreneurship Program between 1985 and 1999. This study determined that entrepreneurship had an effect on generating enterprises and creating welfare. Furthermore, it was concluded that entrepreneurship education had positive impacts on individuals’ risk taking, enterprise education, inclination to be self-employed, and income/welfare generation. Those who received entrepreneurship education earned 10% higher monthly income in comparison with those who did not. In addition, and more interestingly, it was found that the graduates who had received this education gained 62% more personal assets than those who had not received (Charney and Libecap, 2000: 1-7). The entrepreneurship education and culture existing in the United States have formed the basis of the strong infrastructure needed for the creation of worldwide organizations such as Microsoft, Oracle, Dell, and Wal-Mart. In addition to increasing the national welfare, such successful enterprises have created innovative products and services and strengthened the competitive advantage of the United States (Lee, Chang and Lim, 2005: 30). Entrepreneurship education is an important method encouraging entrepreneurship because education 1) gives a feeling of independence and self-confidence to individuals, 2) enables the recognition of alternative career options, 3) broadens the individuals’ horizons by enabling them to better perceive the opportunities, and 4) provides the knowledge that individuals will use in developing new business opportunities. Through adequate entrepreneurship education, an individual acquires the skills and knowledge needed for establishing and developing a new business (Paço et. al., 2015: 60). However, what can change the entrepreneurship intentions of students during education programs is not what they learn about entrepreneurship itself, but rather what they learn about themselves and their own capabilities. When they want to put their entrepreneurship education into practice (to establish an enterprise) in any future stage of their lives, the learning resources and incubation will help them (Sánchez, 2011: 251). Entrepreneurship is the basic guide for innovation, competitiveness, and development. Due to their strong presence in basic sectors such as service- and knowledge-based activities, smaller enterprises and entrepreneurs play a fundamental role in the economy of the European Union today. There is a strong positive correlation between economic performance and entrepreneurship in terms of growth, companies’ lifetime, innovation, employment generation, technological change, increase in productivity, and export. Besides, entrepreneurship also contributes to the society. Entrepreneurship is a tool for personal development, and it provides social cohesion when everybody is provided with the opportunity to establish his/her own business regardless of his/her background or origins (EC, 2004: 3). One of the four strategic objectives of the Strategic Framework for European Cooperation in Education and Training, which was approved by the Council of the European Union in 2009, is enhancing creativity and innovation, including entrepreneurship, at all levels of education and training (European Council, 2009: 4). In this respect, the basic knowledge created through entrepreneurship education broadly involves (1) determining opportunities, (2) realizing the opportunities by producing new ideas and mobilizing necessary resources, (3) establishing and managing a new enterprise, and (4) developing creative and critical thinking skills (CEE, 2005: 3). Entrepreneurship education has recently come to be considered as a process in which individuals are equipped with capabilities that they can use in many areas of their lives. In this context, entrepreneurship covers the capability of individuals to transform their ideas into action. Entrepreneurship includes such elements as creativity, innovation, risk taking, and planning and managing projects. Entrepreneurship education contributes to the competitiveness of Europe, and at the same time, it provides social benefits (EC, 2011: 2). The report “Effects and Impact of Entrepreneurship Programs in Higher Education” published by the European Commission in 2012 states that entrepreneurship education in higher education improves students’ basic competence in entrepreneurship, reinforces students’ entrepreneurial intentions, and increases their employability. The mentioned report, which recommends that entrepreneurship education is disseminated to all disciplines and delivered through compulsory courses in universities, emphasizes that the post-education monitoring activities should be performed repetitively (EC, 2012: 7).  One of the action pillars of European Commission’s Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan is entrepreneurial education and training to support growth and business creation. Investment in entrepreneurship education is one of the investments that will yield the highest return for Europe. Whether they establish an enterprise or not, those young people who receive entrepreneurship education improve their business knowledge and basic attitudes and skills that include creativity, initiative-taking, decidedness, team work, risk taking, and sense of responsibility. Such entrepreneurial mentality enables entrepreneurs to put their ideas into practice and increases their employability (EC, 2013: 5). The report “Educating the Next Wave of Entrepreneurs, Unlocking Entrepreneurial Capabilities to Meet the Global Challenges of The 21st Century”, which was published by the World Economic Forum and focuses on entrepreneurship education, states that there are a number of approaches which are being effectively utilized and which support the call to action to “mainstream” entrepreneurship education. These approaches are developing leadership and life skills, embedding entrepreneurship in education, taking a crossdisciplinary approach, utilizing interactive pedagogy, and leveraging technology. And the basic factors of success enabling efficient entrepreneurship education are considered as the entrepreneurial ecosystem, developing effective educators, curriculum development, engagement of business, advancing innovation, and sustainable funding (WEF, 2009: 20-22). With its high dynamism to affect economic and social development, entrepreneurship is an inevitable element in the achievement of Turkey’s 2023 targets. For this purpose, a strategy and action plan focusing on the topic of entrepreneurship has been created, and the Entrepreneurship Council has been carrying out its entrepreneurship activities under the coordination of KOSGEB (Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organization). The general aim of the Entrepreneurship Strategy and Action Plan of Turkey for the period of 2015-2018 is to disseminate the culture of entrepreneurship, to create a strong ecosystem, and to develop entrepreneurship. One of the strategic targets in the intervention areas determined for the purpose of achieving this general aim is the dissemination of formal and non-formal entrepreneurship education and the development of a consultancy system for entrepreneurs. This strategic target aims to embed the topic of entrepreneurship in university programs as well as primary/secondary education programs, to include entrepreneurship education in the curricula of the faculties of education, and to disseminate the KOSGEB trainings and entrepreneurship trainings within the framework of lifelong learning. Entrepreneurship education in higher education is delivered through formal education (entrepreneurship courses), non-formal education (KOSGEB trainings), and various projects. KOSGEB confirms the entrepreneurship courses that have been delivered in higher education institutions in accordance with the KOSGEB criteria since 2012 as “KOSGEB Practical Entrepreneurship Education” upon the requests of relevant higher education institutions (KOSGEB, 2015: 7,13,50).


 The Concept of Entrepreneurship

There is no generally acceptable definition of entrepreneurship that is considered as adequate, and the absence of a universal definition results in the lack of consensus on the meaning of this concept (Katz & Green 2009; Mokaya, Namusonge, & Sikalieh, 2012). Different researchers such as; Drucker (1985) Bruyat and Julien (2001) supported by Shane and Venkataraman (2000) have characterised entrepreneurship from various perspectives and viewpoints; however the different conceptualisations are generally an impression of the analyst’s field of specialisation. Ronstadt (1984) depicted entrepreneurship, as the dynamic procedure of making incremental wealth. As indicated by Ronstadt (1984), this wealth is made by people who take considerable risk as far as value, time, and career commitment, in giving value to some products. The definition of entrepreneurship presented by Hisrich (1985) made a stage for the quintessence of entrepreneurship in the contemporary world. Hisrich (1985) portrayed entrepreneurship as the way toward creating something new with value by allocating the vital time, exertion, and getting the benefits of monetary and personal fulfillment. The dominant perspectives in entrepreneurship research are the functional resource, the psychological and the behavioural views.

  1. a) Functional Resource Perspective of Entrepreneurship Barringer and Allen (1999) stated that the functional resource perspective of entrepreneurship, centers on the role of an entrepreneur in the process of opportunity exploitation and resource combination, and their effects on the economic system .The functional resource perspective is regarded as a neo-classical economic perspective, which emerged around the inception of the nineteenth century with a focus on the economic role of entrepreneurs (Jones & Spicer, 2009; Katz & Greene, 2009). The theoretical foundation for this perspective was mainly provided by the works of Schumpeter (1934) and the primary aim was to examine the socio-economic consequences of carrying out new combinations, Schumpeter (1934) considered entrepreneurship as the vehicle for innovation and came up with the term creative destruction, described as the process of creating disequilibrium, by destroying existing products with new combinations. Long (1983) posited that as a result of the Schumpeter (1934) perspective of entrepreneurship, the means-ends framework postulated by the neo-classical proponents, was altered by the concept of creative innovation. Consequently, researchers such as Zahra, Ireland, Guiterrez, and Hitt (2000) supported by Long (2010) focused on the opportunistic elements of entrepreneurship, which defines the concept based on pursuit and exploitation of business opportunities.
  2. b) Psychological Perspective of Entrepreneurship The psychological perspective of entrepreneurship provides a foundation for entrepreneurship theory building; this explains why this standpoint is embedded in the psychological philosophy, focusing on the personality traits, and dispositions of an entrepreneur (Ensley, Carland, & Carland, 2000 ; Krueger, 2007). The main theme of the personality theory is the identification of specific traits to provide answers to questions regarding the person, and emergence of an entrepreneur, stemming from the hypothesis that entrepreneurs may be different from non-entrepreneurs (Fayolle & Gailly, 2004 ; Baum, Frese, & Baron, 2007). The primary objective of the emphasis on entrepreneurial identity is to give a hypothetical clarification, on why few people are more effective as entrepreneurs than others. The attributes of an entrepreneur focuses on the need for accomplishment, proactive identity, risk propensity and independence (McClelland, 1961; Littunen, 2000). This suggests that an individual with a high ‘ need for accomplishment’ may likewise have a strong urge for accomplishment and achievement (Brockhaus & Horwitz, 1986; Chell, Hawort, & Brearley, 1991). The reactions to this view are that the situational environment is not put into thought in McClelland’s (1961) study and that the exploration on qualities and traits is not conclusive (Swedberg, 2007). The response to this feedback was the development of the social cognitive viewpoint, which considers cognition as an effect variable of behaviour (Bandura, 1997; Krueger, Reilly & Carsrud, 2000). One of the advocates of this approach is Rotter (1966) who argued that an individual is propelled by the discernment, and convictions in regards to the degree to which the result of an event is within his internal control, or past his own control. In this manner, entrepreneurs are considered as people who have internal control desires connected with learning and a drive to consistently improve (Mueller & Thomas, 2001; Krueger, 2007). Contrary to the approach of the trait models of entrepreneurship, the contingency models pay attention to the environment and prevailing circumstances inferring that entrepreneurial attributes ought to be situated within situational and environmental settings (Spector, 1982; Vaghely & Julien, 2010). The trait and socio-cognitive literature stress a general absence of agreement on what ought to constitute the principal qualities of an entrepreneur, hence research on the qualities of an entrepreneur has created contention in this stream of research (Amit, Glosten & Muller 1993; Morris, Davis & Allen, 1994). Nevertheless, Chell, Haworth, and Brearley (1991) supported by Collins, Locke, and Hanges (2000) affirmed that the reviews on the characteristics of an entrepreneur, give extremely valuable theoretical foundations for explaining entrepreneurial behavior
  3. c) Behavioural Perspective of Entrepreneurship The focus of this perspective is on the actions of entrepreneurs that are viewed as vital, as against a consideration of the characteristics entrepreneurs possess (Jansen & van Wees, 1994; Gartner, William, & Carter, 2003). Wickham (1998) argued that what makes an entrepreneur is the capacity to act and the penchant to make change. Despite the fact that Schumpeter’s (1934) research was at first embedded in the functional approach, his research considered the behaviour required of an entrepreneur (Goss, 2005; Mitchell, & Shepherd, 2010). As a result, Schumpeter’s (1934) typology, highlights five noteworthy sorts of entrepreneurial behaviour which includes; the introduction of a new product as well as a new production process; the opening of a new market, obtaining a new source of supply of raw material and finally the creation of a new organization (Swedberg, 2000 ; Kuratko, Hornsby, & Naffziger, 1997). Gartner (1985) is one of such researchers who addressed the general one-dimensional perspective of new venture creation which underlines entrepreneurial attributes. Based on Gatner (1985) theory of the entrepreneurship process, a structure of four measurements was postulated; the individual, organisation, process and environment. The framework depicts the multidimensional approach to new venture creation, demonstrating that each phase of the entrepreneurship process requires particular entrepreneurial behaviour and practices. Gatner (1985) noted that researchers that focus on the entrepreneurship process need to concentrate on what entrepreneurs do, the related behaviours, or practices. To this end, Gatner (1985) recommended six common behaviours/ practices which are incorporated into his model; finding the business opportunity, aggregation resources, marketing, creating the product, organisation building, and reactiveness to environmental factors, such as government and society (Shaw, 2011). Gana (2001) posited that the growing interests in entrepreneurship research, encapsulates the different perspectives in entrepreneurship particularly because most researches are centered on entrepreneurial dispositions and mindsets, and the need to confront change as an opportunity that can be translated into positive outcomes through creative thinking patterns, identification and recognition of opportunities as well as exploitation of the discovered opportunities . Therefore this thesis draws on the functional and behavioural perspectives of entrepreneurship to define entrepreneurship as the process that involves the development of novel business ideas, the identification of business opportunities, the process of business planning resulting in the act of business creation and innovations. This suggests that the abilities of a successful entrepreneur should be centered on idea generation, opportunity identification and exploitation, business planning, as well as the abilities to efficiently combine resources towards the establishment of an enterprise and product innovation (Katz & Green, 2009 ; Choi & Shepherd, 2003).

 An Entrepreneur

The word entrepreneur is said to have originated from France long before the conceptualisation of the term entrepreneurship (Casson, 1982; Minniti & Lévesque, 2008). One of the earliest uses of the word is dated back to the sixteenth century describing individuals who were engaged in spear-heading military missions and expeditions (Buame, 1994; Swedberg, 2007). Some writers and French economists in early 1800 attempted to give a definite meaning to the words, entrepreneurship and entrepreneur. However, there were disparities based on the features of the aspects of the economic sector of interest (Baumol, 2002; Bygrave, 1993). Kizner (1997) asserted that the French economist Richard Cantillon and Jean-Baptise Say, were the first to have first used the term ‗entrepreneur‘ as a technical concept. Cantillon in his definition referred to the entrepreneur as the agent who organizes factors of production with the aim of creating a new product, while Jean-Baptise Say incorporated the concept of leadership, in defining an entrepreneur as one who organises individuals, in order to create a useful product (Kirzner, 1997; Shane & Venkataraman, 2000). It was Joseph Schumpeter who clearly associated entrepreneurs with the concept of innovation and economic development, defining an entrepreneur as the one responsible for organizing all factors of production to create quality products, while maximizing the employment of resources to achieve high productivity (Shane, 2003 ; Shaw, 2011). Schumpeter (1934) posited that an individual, who can successfully and efficiently organise resources in search of an opportunity to create value, can be referred to as an entrepreneur. Shumpeter (1934) further argued that an entrepreneur may be considered as a founder who creates value by offering a product, while possessing strong beliefs about the market opportunity and at the same time organizing available limited resources in optimal combination to achieve greater output (Shane & Venkataraman, 2000; Swedberg, 2007). Consequently, entrepreneurs may be described as talented individuals with ideas as the bedrock for business start-ups and not necessarily particular individual attributes (Shaver & Scott, 1991; Klepper & Thompson, 2009).



5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was the Business Education undergraduate students perception of community resources for the teaching and learning of entrepreneurship in rivers state university. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of Business Education undergraduate students perception of community resources for the teaching and learning of entrepreneurship


This study was on Business Education undergraduate students perception of community resources for the teaching and learning of entrepreneurship in rivers state university. Three objectives were raised which included: To ascertain the effects of entrepreneurship curriculum contents on students‘ critical thinking and business idea generation, to examine the extent to which entrepreneurship pedagogy affects students‘ shared-vision and identification of business opportunities and to evaluate the role of teaching methods in entrepreneurship on students‘ interest and business start-ups. In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 students of Rivers state university. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study.


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