Interrogating Entrepreneurship: Fundamentals and practice


Book Title: Entrepreneurship: Fundamentals and Practice
Author: Patrick E. Egbule
Publisher: Totan Publishers Limited (Abuja, Ibadan, Lagos, Owerri, Zaria)
Year: 2018
Pages: 248
Reviewer: Sunny Awhefeada

The novelist, Chinua Achebe, once located “the trouble with Nigeria” in the failure of leadership, as far back as 1983, in his monograph titled, The Trouble with Nigeria. Thirty-Six years later “the trouble with Nigeria” has manifested in a multiplicity of troubles and the most potentially dangerous being human insecurity which is accentuated by massive unemployment, poverty and criminality. Across the world, and mostly in the Third World, there is socio-political turmoil arising from restiveness stoked by unemployment and poverty. It has become apparent that economic insecurity is a ready tool for political disorder by way of unrest, revolt and insurgency. The geometrical increase in human population has compounded the problem. This is more so when it has become painfully realized that government and other arms of the formal sector cannot provide employment for everybody.

The foregoing is a time bomb and this has been manifest in the Nigerian experience. That Nigeria is today assailed by many crippling crises is as a result of intractable unemployment and poverty. A great deal of what presently plague Nigeria, besides the menace of leadership failure is entrenched in the social disequilibrium arising from the inability of government to provide means of livelihood for the teeming population.

For too long, our society placed much emphasis on education for white collar jobs at the expense of skills development for vocational and entrepreneurial engagements. That tendency negated economic self-reliance. Thus, many graduates, at different levels of education, found it impossible to create economic value since government cannot employ them. Unemployed, no income, poor and desperate, such citizens take to crime and compound the nation’s socio-economic and political dilemma.

Since the human mind is conditioned for problem solving, the idea of formal entrepreneurship education was birthed in order widen the arena of creative productivity that will not only get as many individuals as possible to create employment for themselves, but also generate wealth, add value to their lives in particular and the nation in general. It was for this reason that the National Universities Commission (NUC) reviewed the curriculum of programmes in Nigerian universities and made entrepreneurship studies compulsory. It must be acknowledged that although, polytechnics and management programmes in the universities offer courses which have entrepreneurial content they were not deliberately designed for practical engagement in post-school life.

However, the looming disaster arising from unemployment in a country bogged down by over population has made government to look in the direction of entrepreneurship education. This is the background that privileged Professor Patrick Ekezie Egbule’s new book titled Entrepreneurship: Fundamentals and Practice. This book is a critical intervention in establishing a strong conceptual and practical grounding for entrepreneurship education. I am aware of the acute shortage of full length books on entrepreneurship education in Nigeria. Professor Egbule’s new book has come to remedy that gap and it is coming at the most auspicious time. Right now, Nigeria is faced with an unenviable misery index of unemployment, poverty, terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery among other acts attributable to unemployment. Above all is the specter of overpopulation which will further compound these problems. Thus, the intellectual cum practical intervention by Professor Egbule is a timely gospel that will economically empower Nigerians by making their brains to think, their hands to finding something to do, create wealth and add value to their lives and the economy and thus redirect their fertile minds from criminality and other manifestations of social delinquency to gainful innovation and productivity.

The book is made up of 17 insightful chapters and 248 pages of invaluable mine of information capable of generating good fortune for any reader who applies the knowledge contained in them. The book is a manual for wealth creation. The opening preface by the author is enriched and reinforced by a foreword by Professor Patrick Okedinachi Utomi, Nigeria’s foremost entrepreneurship educator.

The 17 chapters of this hard to drop book are: introduction to entrepreneurship, the Nigerian entrepreneurship environment, concept of business, business opportunity and evaluation, recognizing, acting on and protecting new business opportunities, business creation and growth, developing intuition, judgment, analytical skills for entrepreneurship, decision making in an organization, creativity and intellectual rights, innovation, moving from ideas to action, women entrepreneurship, technological entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, business incubation, family business and succession planning, e-business, financing business enterprises, and a note on determination and success in entrepreneurship. What these chapters offer constitute a holistic recipe for successful entrepreneurship.

Egbule has, in this book, provided a platform for a new generation of hybrid entrepreneurs whose individual grit, vision and acumen will help revamp the Nigerian economy. The strength of the book inheres in its grafting of foreign entrepreneurship model on homegrown realities, the matching of theory with practice, and the magical sync between knowledge and skill. Since the author primarily wrote the book for tertiary education, what we should expect in no distant future is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) model of entrepreneurship education whose graduates have established 25, 000 companies, employing over 3 million people worldwide with a revenue of 2 trillion dollars. This should turnaround the Nigerian economy.

The author painstakingly draws up a list of 200 small and medium scale enterprises that aspiring entrepreneurs can engage in. The list covers a broad range of human services that will thrive in a populous nation like Nigeria. The last chapter has a section “A Brief on Global Key Payers in Entrepreneurship” which new entrepreneurs will find inspiring and rewarding.

Egbule must be commended for putting the product of his rigorous research at the disposal of human capital development to further advance the economic wellbeing of Nigerians. His endeavours as a committed teacher, hardnosed researcher and consummate consultant culminated in this seminar book that is bound to alter the fortune of entrepreneurship education in Nigeria for good. This is a highly recommended book not only for students and teachers, but for all who really want to add value to their lives and the national economy. This is practical scholarship for sustainable national development because the new wealth of nations is embedded in entrepreneurship.

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