A Professor at the Indiana University, Indianapolis, United State of America (USA), Bessie-House Soremekun, has advised the Federal Government to pay more attention to the development of entrepreneurship, in order to enhance economic growth in the country.
Prof. Bessie Soremekun, the Founding Executive Director, Centre for Global Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development (CGESD) and Director of Africana Studies, Indiana University, USA, gave the charge in a lecture and keynote address delivered on Tuesday and Wednesday July 28 and 29 at the Adeyemi Federal University of Education (AFUED) Ondo.
Speaking on the topics entitled: “The Importance of Black Entrepreneurship Throughout History and Entrepreneurship, Economic and Sustainable Development Initiative in Africa”, the University don identified entrepreneurship development as one of the driving force that could help in alleviating poverty and boosting economic activities not only in Nigeria but across the world.
Defining entrepreneurship simply as the production of economic asset, Prof. Bessie Soremekun explained that for any one to achieve success in it, there is need for creativity and “thinking out of the box”.
She mentioned some important factors that are necessary for enhancing the development of entrepreneurship to include provision of unfettered access to education, empowerment of women, availability of financial capital and experience.
While stressing the need for the Federal Government to create enabling environment that could accelerate development of entrepreneurship, the University don explained that the idea of entrepreneurship is a global concept and an innovation that is widely acknowledged.
According to her, “Innovation is a universal thing, the only difference between what they do here (in Nigeria) and what they do in America is environmental”.
“The government has a role to play in providing the mechanism for effective operation of entrepreneurship by providing financial assistance” she remarked.
As a panacea towards achieving success in entrepreneurship development, Prof. Soremekun advised people wishing to become entrepreneurs to develop passion, self confidence and undertake strategic planning while performing their work.
She pledged her readiness to support AFUED in its development plan and assured that The Global Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development Centre (GESDC) under her leadership, would offer professional advice to students of the University in order to make them self reliant after their graduation.
In his remark, the Acting Vice-Chancellor, AFUED, Prof. Olukoya Ogen described the lecture as highly educative and inspiring.
He explained that the University decided to extend invitation to Prof. Bessie Soremekun, in order to tap from her wealth of experience and to seek ways of collaboration between AFUED and her University.
While dropping hint of plan by his administration to provide entrepreneurship training to students of the Institution, Prof. Ogen said the move is aimed at complementing the knowledge acquired from the course they were admitted to study at the point of entry into the University.
He opined that the two certificates that would be given to students at the time of graduation would enhance their competitiveness and give them an edge above others in the labour market.
Prof. Ogen also assured members of the University community that the institution would benefit from the collaboration with Prof. Bessie Soremekun’s University and other top notch Institutions where outstanding scholars would be contacted in no distant future.
The two-day programme held at both the S.K. Babalola Conference Centre and Olusegun Obasanjo auditorium was preceded with a familiarisation visit to the Home Economics and Fine and Applied Arts Departments in the Faculty of Vocational and Technical Education where Prof. Bessie-House Soremekun inspected some exhibitions.
The two occasions were attended by dignitaries from within and outside the University. They include the University Registrar, Mr. Felix Aderinboye; Bursar, Mr. Ganiyu Abdul; Members of Academic Staff, Non-teaching Staff, Students among others.