The Visiting Professor from the Indiana University, Indianapolis, United States of America, Mrs. Bessie House-Soremekun has said that building relationships and bridges are germane to the development of virile entrepreneurship.
The US-based Don disclosed this at the 4th International Lecture Series titled “African-American Entrepreneurship throughout History: Implications for Africa”, held at the University’s Senate Chamber, last Friday.
Professor House-Soremekun gave the reasons why many businesses fail; adding that success and failure are universal phenomena, noting that what constituted success in the Western nations are same in the developing world.
She stressed the need for entrepreneurs to possess sound education, skills, confidence, as well as role models.
The Don who is also the Erelu Bada Asiwaju of Egbaland affirmed that it is a positive thing to be an entrepreneur as “you will be responsible for your well being and that of your employees”.
She advised that “Nobody ventures into a business and expect a total failure”, adding that entrepreneurs are captains of their ships and so, must sail such ships through both troubled and calm waters.
“Businesses no doubt will experience ups and downs and being an entrepreneur entails rising and falling, based on one’s actions”, she stated.
The Founder and Director of the Centre for Global Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development (CEGESD), said cultural traditions, economic necessity, desire for economic independence and struggle for self-sufficiency spurred people to venture into entrepreneurship.
She observed that the massive migration from the Southern America to the Northern America, at the beginning of the 20th Century was due to the fact that people were looking for better opportunities.
According to her, this period brought about great entrepreneurs like Garrett Augustus Morgan, who invented the Traffic Signal, Hair Straighter and the Gas Mask.
“He’s my role model; I wish I met him; this was a man that anything he touched, turned to gold”, she noted.
At the occasion, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Bandele Oyewole said that the Nigerian Higher Education sector is one of the rapidly expanding higher education systems in Africa, adding that over the years, efforts had been made to improve the quality of higher education systems in Nigeria, through the activities of the various regulatory agencies.
noted that “We used to screen our candidates but we are going to resuscitate it now”.
He, however, appealed that graduates of the College should be accorded special consideration for Direct Entry Admissions into the University as well as improving on the opportunities of members of staff of the College enjoying Sabbatical Leave in FUNAAB.
Dr. Ajayi described the visit as “the beginning of many good things to come for both institutions recalling that FCE was the first tertiary institution, to be established in the state.
“We have been striving for excellence and we believe we have not disappointed all the tiers of government because if you go to public and private schools today, 70 per cent of the teachers are from FCE, Osiele”, he added.
Professor Oyewole stated the challenges before the Universities bordered on how to make the staff and students to be up-to-date with innovative teaching tools, through international collaborations by attracting partnership, in order to motivate, mentor and promote the next generation of scientists.
He declared that a serious entrepreneur will always search for change, respond to it and exploit such, as an opportunity to create wealth and add value to life.
“We all know that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change and the most challenging task is to teach people how to learn in the midst of ever-present distractions posed by advances in life-support systems”, he added.
In his address, the Chairman at the occasion, the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba (Dr.) Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, observed the indolent nature of people, saying that “if you are jobless and you are educated, then you are not educated”.
Oba Gbadebo observed that there are endless ways, whereby people can be meaningfully engage and make a living for themselves, by being entrepreneurs.