Students of the Pan-Atlantic University School of Media and Communication have held an expo for its small and medium-based enterprises (SMEs) course at the university campus in Ibeju-Lekki.
The event, which held on the last day of their entrepreneurship course, was facilitated by the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC). It intends for them to start a business in the second year of their academic studies. While the first semester teaches the theory of entrepreneurship and venturing, the students are required to start a business in the second semester.
The students were grouped in teams of ten, and were give N50,000 startup capital each and paired with mentor entrepreneurs.
According to the director of the EDC, Peter Bamkole, “This is their expo day and we have had over 50 trained entrepreneurs from the EDC come around to see them and give feedback. Although it may look like fun, this activity carries 20 marks.”
Continuing, he said:
“We have found that this have positive effect on their academics. They begin to think more creatively and see that education is not just about reading to pass but about application. And this is even better since they are still in the second year. What do you think would happen in their third and fourth year? At year 2, most of these students are 18-years old; so you can imagine what will happen when they grow up. And this is happening in Nigeria.”
For Sikeade Adetu, an EDC trained entrepreneur, this is something other schools should emulate because the students would be established by the time they graduate. Even though there is no job, they would be able to stand on their feet.
“This is about future young entrepreneurs and I’ve always been an advocate of “catching them young.” Seeing children doing something on their own is commendable, knowing the job situation in Nigeria today. But with entrepreneurship, they can even see themselves through school without much pressure on their parents. Right now, one of them is doing about 25 t-shirts for me. And I trust them because of the EDC connection.”
Some of the students apparently enjoyed the experience the expo gave them. Kome Iroro and Chinenye Okatta of the startup “In-Out Courier Express” (ICE), a delivery service that run errands for students and staff of PAU believe their business will expand overtime.
“We saw a gap when we notice most parents won’t allow their children leave school and people don’t want to go all the way to get things that we could get for them. So we are doing it for them at cheaper rate. At first, we started off as assignments in April with zero naira but we now have a net profit of N70,000. We intend to continue with the business because we know it would be needed more as the school grows,” they said.