ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATOR'S COMPETENCE ON UNIVERSITY STUDENTS' COMMITMENT TO LEARNING AND BUSINESS PLAN WRITING.

Author:Olokundun, Maxwell Ayodele
Position::Report
 
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INTRODUCTION

An educator's competence is a decisive factor regarding the development of entrepreneurship education initiatives (Hytti & O'Gorman, 2004). This suggests that the competence of an educator cannot be overemphasised particularly because practical business skills and experience are required to inculcate entrepreneurial skills in students. Business planning as an entrepreneurial activity involves the totality of the entrepreneurship process, hence it is still considered as an important aspect of entrepreneurship education and training (Albornoz-Pardo, 2013). A business plan creates diverse scenarios that may affect a business, thus its development requires an accurate analysis in order to transform business ideas and opportunities into successful businesses. Although, some studies such as Honig (2004), Bhide (2001) and Sarasvathy (2008) have criticised the business plan method of teaching entrepreneurship, nevertheless business plan competitions are increasingly becoming a popular option for partnering financial institutions, organizations, individuals, angel investors as well as venture capitalists as an opportunity to stimulate entrepreneurship development among start-up entrepreneurs and university graduates. This is premised on the fact that writing a business plan is considered as an expression of entrepreneurial intentions (Honig & Karlsson, 2004; White, Hertz & D'Souza, 2011). This suggests that the experience and training of an educator in this aspect is very important and decisive for students' commitment to learn and write business plans. Fiet (2000) looked at the role of the educator in entrepreneurship education generally; other studies such as Shulman and Shulman (2004) stressed the role of practical business experience and training of entrepreneurship educators in motivating considerations of entrepreneurship as a career by university students. However, considering the role of business planning activities in inculcating entrepreneurship skills in learners, the objective of this research was to examine the role of an educator's competence in enhancing students' commitment to write business plans as expression of entrepreneurial aspirations and intentions.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Concept of Entrepreneurship

Ejere and Tende (2012) defined entrepreneurship as the willingness and the ability of a business minded individual to identify the areas of needs of people, look for resources to match these needs, combine these resources in the most optimum way, bears the un-insurable risk and established a successful and profitable venture. It is the process of creating something new by devoting the necessary time and efforts while taking the financial and social risks to obtain the rewards. According to Aruwa (2004), entrepreneurship is the ability of some people to accept risk and combine factors of production in order to produce goods and services. It can also be seen as the willingness and ability of an individual to seek out investment opportunities in an environment and be able to establish on the identified opportunities. This is in line with the view Selvarajah and Meyer (2011) who opined that entrepreneurship is the willingness and ability of an individual, a firm or an organization to identify an environmental change and exploit such an opportunity to produce goods and services for public consumption.

Concept of Entrepreneurship Education

Entrepreneurship education is a purposeful intervention by an educator in the life of the learner to impact entrepreneurial qualities and skills to enable the learner to survive in the world of business. Neck and Greene (2011) stated that entrepreneurship education is made up of all kinds of experiences that give students the ability and vision of how to access and transform opportunities of different kinds. It goes beyond business creation. It is about increasing student's ability to anticipate and respond to societal changes. According to Nkala and Wanjau (2013) entrepreneurship education is a catalyst for economic development and job creation in any society. Entrepreneurship education is therefore seen as that type of education fashioned out to prepare learners for innovative ventures which lead to self-reliance and economic emancipation. It seeks to provide students with the knowledge, skills and motivation to encourage entrepreneurship success at various settings.

Entrepreneurship Educator

Hytti and O'Gorman (2004) defined an entrepreneurship educator as one who possesses vision, and the ability to be both open and accommodating to new ideas and also think laterally and critically about subjects and issues. Van der, Klink and Boon (2002) described an entrepreneurship educator as one with a novel role and task, to lead and provide guidance for their students. Shulman and Shulman (2004) argued that entrepreneurship educators must have an unbiased disposition and orientation, especially with respect to the ways in which parents, businesses, students and other stakeholders, ought to be engaged in entrepreneurship education. According to Schwartz (2006) being entrepreneurial as a teacher means to be flexible, and to push the limits with respect to recognised criterions within education. Generally, the entrepreneurial teacher is considered as someone who pays ardent attention to identifying a good idea and putting it to innovative and creative use (Shulman & Shulman, 2004; Schwartz, 2006).

Business Planning

Zuckerman (2004) described a business plan as a comprehensive written report of the goals of the business, which includes discussion of the business concept, operational plan, marketing plan, financial issues, organisational structure, and legal requirements. According to Svatko (1988) a business plan serves as a road map that charts the course of the starting point, direction, and destination of a business. Baker, Addams and Davis (1993) argued that business plans are not only employed by start-up companies but also existing businesses. Perry (2001) and Hormozi, Sutton, McMinn and Lucio (2002) emphasised that the use of business plans enhances the chances of survival and success of businesses and also to minimize the possibilities of failure. Furthermore, Schamp and Deschoolmeester (1998) and...

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