The University’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies (CENTS) has declared its readiness to take Entrepreneurship to the next level with its strategically designed blueprint of integrating entrepreneurial studies into every field of study in the University.
According to the Director CENTS, Professor Babatunde Adewumi this plan is in order to empower graduates, irrespective of their specialization with skills that will enable them to engage in income yielding ventures if they are unable to secure paid jobs.
Speaking on the proactive measures taken by the Centre to ensure a
more impactful year for stakeholders, students, staff, the entire University and its neighboring community, the Director disclosed that aside the former services being provided by the Centre, “We have quite a number of packages we want to implement for this year, some of them are enlarging what we have on ground and some are new ideas”.
Professor Adewumi stated that, “I want to categorically tell you that this Centre has the mandate to bring an entrepreneurship culture, not only into the students but the entire university and the external community”.
Explaining further, he said that business in Africa is practiced mostly as a hobby rather than an activity that should bring profit both financially and socially to an entrepreneur, stressing that, “that is why we have this Centre to be able to help our students to translate what they learn in the classroom to the industry.”
The Director disclosed that “there is no course offered in the university that does not have business complements and one of the issues we are tackling squarely this year is to ensure we move into all our departments and bring out the business in each of the programs”.
He enumerated the specific goals of the Centre to include creating and promoting entrepreneurial awareness and opportunities, imparting entrepreneurial skills in the students, staff and members external to the University, enhancing the capacity of potential and practicing entrepreneurs who desire to learn practical entrepreneurial skills and creating employers of labour in FUNAAB graduates, thereby contributing to reduction of unemployment and poverty in Nigeria.
Others are provision of market linkages for students’ businesses and assisting in sourcing finance, mentoring of Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs) and Hyper-growth Businesses, offering supportive programmes to SME operators in the community and stimulating the development and growth of entrepreneurship in Nigeria.
Professor Adewumi pointed out that in February last year, the Centre initiated a branding programme titled, “Branding FUNAAB graduates for employability and marketability, adding that it is the intention of the Centre that the programme is continued.
According to him, plans are also in top gear at the Centre to develop an entrepreneurial clinic to breed and nurture the entrepreneurial dreams and visions in students, staff and clients while also promoting Agropreneurship.
The Director further disclosed that the Centre is in partnership with both internal units of the University such as AMREC, FUCONS, FUNAAB Radio, Public Relations unit, Micro-Finance Bank, FUNAAB Companies, Directorate of University Farms (DUFARM) and external organisation such as Abuja Center of GIZ, a German based organization and Lagos based organization pillar at pride modeling Agency and Epic Centre while arrangements are being finalized for the partnership with the EC-Council, USA, WADHWANI Foundation, USA, Jiangsu University, China and many others towards making entrepreneurship more attractive and profitable.
In addition, the Centre plans to work on the patenting and commercialization of successful research products developed in the University.
Corroborating him, the Deputy Director, CENTS, Dr. Elizabeth Oluwalana disclosed that the Centre is also working towards organizing entrepreneurial lectures in the University that will attract philanthropic funds and projects to the University.
She added that the Centre would also engage in more exhibition to showcased entrepreneurial product by students such as herbal soap and cream, fashion caps and easy foot wears, jewelries among other products.