Entrepreneurship Development as a Lifelong Education and Strategy for Sustainable Development in Nigeria



ntrepreneurship development as a lifelong education is a process of change
where innovation and creativity are key roles of the entrepreneur. The
knowledge and skills acquired by the entrepreneur is employed in seeking for
opportunities and development of new products. The entrepreneur therefore is a risk
taker, creative, independent and hardworking among others. Their activities
contribute to sustainable development in the economy. The paper reviewed roles of
entrepreneurship and lifelong education in sustainable development among which
are; balanced regional development, wrong treatment of entrepreneurship taking
small business to mean entrepreneurs, environmental factors, socio-economic factors,
political factor such as inconsistency in government policies and cultural factors
where entrepreneurs lack the zeal to take risk coupled with the habit of Nigerian’s
dislike of home made goods. The study recommends among others that for Nigeria to
achieve sustainable development, there is need for provision of conducive
environment for entrepreneurial development and lifelong education, the cost of doing
business in Nigeria should be made easy and at a lower expenditure rate and
Nigerians should be encouraged to embrace entrepreneurial business.

Education has long been seen as the bedrock of transformation and sustainable
development. Nigeria, a country endowed with natural resources spread across all
regions, yet pervasive poverty and unemployment are the major macroeconomic evils
facing the nation. There is hardly any part of the country that does not have an
indigenous technology to reckon with. According to Lall (1991) Nigeria is greatly
blessed with gifted hands that are laboriously engaged in various types of indigenous
technologies. That there is hardly any part of the country that does not have a
remarkable indigenous technology to show for its existence is an understatement.
These include: moulding of pots from clay, textile making, bronze casting, cloth
weaving and cap making among others.
If Nigeria desire to move out of the disturbing high unemployment and
ravaging level of poverty, adequate attention must be given to the growth of
entrepreneurship, which is a lifelong education. Anyakoha (1995) cited in Ezeani
(2012) posited that entrepreneurship deals with discovery of new business
opportunities which only ‘alerts’ entrepreneur exploits thereby eliminating the
scenario of utter ignorance and on the process moves the economy toward a new
equilibrium. Entrepreneurship is a lifelong education as it is a process of change
where innovation is the most vital function of the entrepreneur. The skills and training
acquired through entrepreneurship is a lifelong education as the individual uses the
knowledge acquired to become creative and innovative. According to Adams (2005),
creativity rests on the ability to combine previously desperate element in new ways
which implies a need for focus and varied interest. Entrepreneurs therefore, are
innovative and creative and they regularly seek innovating new things. Entrepreneurs
are the veritable backbone on which the world and modern ideas continue to develop
thus leading to a lifelong education and sustainable development. The products
innovated are sold in the market and the entrepreneur always seek to explore new
markets where his products will be accepted. Income is therefore generated from the
products sold thus leading to sustainability of the entrepreneur.
According to Osalor (2010) entrepreneurs are responsible for taking calculated
risks that open up doors to progressing higher levels of economic growth.
Entrepreneurs are job creators and/or become self – employed rather than seekers of
jobs in an over stretched public service. Lifelong education therefore is no longer a
luxury in Nigeria with the geometric growth in the nation’s population, lifelong
education has become a prerequisite for adaptation to the professional, social,
economic and informational demands. Lifelong education through entrepreneurship
development has become a priority for education systems. Contributing, Efe (2014)
posited that education is a veritable platform for tackling socio-cultural, economic,
scientific, political and technological challenges facing many nations. Education
develops human resources. It imparts knowledge, skills and changes attitudes. These
attributes are found in entrepreneurship education as it makes human to become
responsive to themselves, families and also to contribute to the national economy.
Entrepreneurship education is about developing attitudes, behaviours, and capabilities
at the individual level. It is concerned with creating the application of skills, creating a
range of long term benefits to individuals and the society.

Entrepreneurship is the professional application of knowledge, skills and
competencies and development of new ideas by an individual or a set of people and
also setting up of an enterprise. According to Hill and McGwan (1999) cited in
Ogundele, Akingbade and Akinlabi (2012) entrepreneurship is seen as a process
which involves the effort of an individual (or individuals) in identifying viable
business opportunities in an environment, and obtaining and managing the resources
needed to exploit those opportunities. Contributing, Bodunrin (2014) posited that
entrepreneurship is the activity of venturing into new enterprise. It is a process of
bearing a non – insurable risk so as to achieve business objectives.
Entrepreneurs therefore, are risk – takers, creative, innovative, independent,
hard-working and they possess other qualities that are driving force behind any
entrepreneurial activities in the economy. Buttressing this fact, Diyoke (2014) posited
that the entrepreneur dreams, invents, creates and figures out how to convert an idea
or dream into profitable reality. The entrepreneur is action oriented, highly motivated
and takes calculated or moderate risks to achieve goals thus leading to sustainable
development. It is also the process of creating something new with value by devoting
the necessary time and efforts, assuming the accompanying financial and social risk at
the end of receiving resulting rewards. Contributing, Twaalfhoven and Indivers (1993)
posited that entrepreneurship development is a disposition to accept new ideas, new
methods and making people more interested in present and future than the past.
Entrepreneurs strive for innovation which has to do with changes leading to
improvement in the quality and quantity of products as well as techniques of doing
things. Innovation is dynamic and creates new things out of existing ones.
Lifelong Education
Lifelong learning is no longer a luxury but a prerequisite for adaptation to the
professional, social, economic and informational demands. Lifelong education has
become a priority for education systems. According to the European Association for
Education of Adults (2006) lifelong education include all learning activity undertaken
throughout life, with the aim of improving knowledge, skills and competence within a
personal, civic and social and/or employment oriented perspective. Contributing,
Bailey and Eton (2014) posited that lifelong education is learning that is ongoing,
voluntary and self – motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal reason. It is
not confined to classroom but take place throughout life in a range of situations.
Olubadewa (2012) cited in Gomos and Danjuma (2014) rightly posited that education
is a cure to all societal ailments, be it poverty, ignorance, unemployment,
improvement in agricultural practices, science and technological development,
inventions and discovery, manufacturing among others. All these problems could be
solved if education is given its rightful place in the society that is, if it is accepted and
taught throughout life.
Entrepreneurship education as a lifelong education is concerned with acquiring
all kinds of abilities, interests and knowledge from pre – school to post retirement.
Buttressing this fact, Olaniyi (2014) posited that lifelong learning activities takes place
from cradle to grave as every stage of man are bundle with different challenges that
call for actions and ideas. Entrepreneurship therefore has to do with risk – taking,
innovativeness in life as one continue the race of life and at each stage of one’s life,
there’s need for one becoming creative and seeking to innovate and explore
opportunities at all times.

Entrepreneurship as a Lifelong Education and a Strategy for Sustainable
Since entrepreneurship development is a lifelong education, as it provides
training to the learner and makes him a better citizen of the society. The entrepreneur
acquires training and skills throughout his/her lifetime. Entrepreneurs always seek for
opportunities and think of new ways and ideas of doing things differently.
Contributing, Chidiere, Ileanya and Udunze (2014) opined that entrepreneurs see
problems as opportunities and they always take action to identify solutions to those
problems. Entrepreneurship development as a lifelong education has played several
roles toward sustainable development in Nigeria among which are:
i. Balanced regional development: – In Nigeria, some regions have more
entrepreneurs than others thus leading to unbalanced development among regions.
However, entrepreneurship development has aided balanced development among
regions as entrepreneurship education is taught with the aim of creating employment
and changing the minds of the people to become entrepreneurs. This is done through
provision of soft loans and subsidies to entrepreneurs to establish their own
businesses. The learner receives education which helps him/her in improving his/her
ability to function well in their communities. Contributing, Suleiman (2006) posited
that entrepreneurship leads to development of small, medium and sometimes large
scale businesses in turn helps in developing the nation’s economy. Entrepreneurial
development instills the enterprise culture into the individuals, it instill the desire to
become resourceful, the drive, initiative, courage, boldness among others. This is
made possible through lifelong education and thereby leading to sustainable
development which has to do with unfolding and actualizing what was actually
ii. Per capita income: – Entrepreneurship development as a lifelong education
and strategy for sustainable development leads to increases in the Gross Domestic
Product (GDP). According to Hisrich, Peters and Shepherd (2008) entrepreneurship
development involves more than just increase in per capita income output, it involves
initiating and constituting change in the structure of business and society. The change
is accompanied by growth and increased output which allows more wealth.
Entrepreneurs are innovators and always seek and device new methods and techniques
with a minimum cost and at a maximum profit. The works of innovation leads to
wealth creation. Fadaee (2014) posited that innovation is key in entrepreneurial
process. The entrepreneur seeks to create new products so as to face competitors thus
adding to the volume of goods and services in an economy. This leads to sustainable
development through changes in the quality of life, increase in real income per capita,
improvement in quality of natural environmental resources among others (Jhingan,
iii. Employment generation: – Entrepreneurship development as a lifelong
education trains humans to become responsive to their personal, families and national
needs and aspirations. Unemployment has become increasingly troublesome in many
parts of the society especially in developing nations. In Nigeria, it has become one of
the most serious socio – economic problem confronting the country. According to
Ajufo (2013) unemployment has become a major problem bedeviling the lives of
Nigerian youth causing frustration, dejection and dependency on family members and
friends, who also have their own problems to contend with. These problems could be acquisition sake, it is an acquisition of skills and ideas for the sake of creating
employment for oneself and others. Entrepreneurship according to Ayobulu (2015)
has been a powerful engine of economic growth and wealth creation and it is crucial
in improving the quality of life, and provision of employment opportunities to many.
Entrepreneurship development as a lifelong education has several multiplier effects on
the economy toward sustainable development. It spurs innovation and foster s
investment in the people. Entrepreneurs create new enterprises, new commercial
activities and new economic sectors, they generate jobs for others and they provide
goods and services to the society. Buttressing this fact, Aliu (2004) cited in Garba
(2010) stresses that the key to transforming Nigeria’s strong natural resources is to
create an appropriate human resource through the provision of ideal educational
environment, education that will produce individuals with the mind set of self –
reliant, creativity and ready to cope with the 21st century world of work, and this
could be made possible through entrepreneurship development as a lifelong education.
The sustenance of self – reliant and search for creativity leads to sustainable
development in a nation.
iv. A key driver of an economy: – Entrepreneurship development as a lifelong
education advocates some specific traits and behaviuors such as inquisitiveness,
creativity, curiosity among others. These traits are needed in the world of business.
With these traits, entrepreneurship could lead to wealth creation and high level of jobs
created through small businesses which were started by entrepreneurially minded
individuals thus leading to increase in the standard of living. As the number of
entrepreneurs in the nation increases, the poverty indicators decrease. Buttressing this
fact, Singer (2006) opined that the best cure for poverty alleviation in any region of
the world lies in encouraging more on business activity and start – up of new ventures
through entrepreneurship development. The start – up of new ventures or the
expansion of existing ones, increases wealth through striving and creation of new
markets, thus leading to increase in real productivity, increase in economic growth of
the nation and improving the general standard of living of the populace.
Challenges of Entrepreneurship Development and Lifelong Education in Nigeria
Despite the laudable effort of entrepreneurship development in providing
wealth, jobs and income generation through lifelong education, the attainment of
sustainable development through entrepreneurship development has remained a
mirage due to the following factors:
i. The approach to entrepreneurship development in Nigeria has remained
faulty: – In Nigeria, the general conception about small business owners is that they
are entrepreneurs, this has hindered the development of entrepreneurship development
whereas small business owners are averse to innovation and creativity, instead, they
would prefer to try something that someone else had succeeded. For an entrepreneur is
all about creativity, innovation, seeking for opportunities and adding value. It’s all
about doing it differently. According to Ahmed and Hoffman (2007) entrepreneurs are
those persons (business owners) who seek to generate value, through the creation or
expansion of economic activity, by identifying and exploiting new products, processes
or markets. It therefore signifies that the treatment of entrepreneurship as business
owners is faulty.

ii. Environmental factor: – Entrepreneurship development as a lifelong
education in Nigeria has been hampered by environmental factor such as incessant
kidnapping, ethno religious conflicts and the Boko Haram insurgency among others.
These acts had created unhealthy and unsecured environment for entrepreneurial
development and lifelong education. Innocent and Onyisihi (2011) cited in Dabo and
Dakyap (2013) posited that in the South – South, the fear of kidnapping is becoming a
wisdom. Contributing, Arizona (2009) cited in Ihugba, Odii and Njoku (2013) opined
that Nigeria have become a den of kidnapping and incessant hostage taking and unjust
harassment thereby impacting negatively on entrepreneurship development and
lifelong education.
iii. Socio – economic factors: – Economic factors such as high cost of doing
business, the weight of high incorporation costs, legal and professional fees, business
permits and licenses add up to either start – up costs to create heavy burden on
entrepreneurs and also limited access to credit facilities or high interest rates has
restricted the development of entrepreneurship development and lifelong education in
Nigeria. Contributing, Adegun and Akomolafe (2013) posited that policy reversal,
high and double taxation, unstable exchange rate among others and lack of access for
start – up capital has vehemently hindered entrepreneurship development and lifelong
education in Nigeria. Other factors are poor infrastructural facilities, including water
supply, poor road network and many others has hindered the growth and development
of entrepreneurship.
iv. Political factor: – Nigeria has witnessed different forms of leaders each
coming with different policies pertaining entrepreneurial development. There has been
inconsistency in policies with regard to entrepreneurship development and lifelong
education. This has hindered the growth of entrepreneurial development in Nigeria as
most of the policies are been replaced by successive governments. According to
Adegun and Akomolafe (2013) politically, some government policies favour friends
and associations this has resulted in social malaise from systematic corruption which
dissuades many people from venturing into entrepreneurial business.
v. Cultural factor: – The fear of taking risk and the stigma of failure has affected
entrepreneurial development in Nigeria. The entrepreneurial culture of risk taking is
not found among many youths and the habit of Nigerians for high interest in foreign
goods have contributed to slow pace of entrepreneurial development in Nigeria.
Coupled to these is corruption in all ramifications which has posed a threat to the
survival of small businesses in Nigeria.
Entrepreneurship and lifelong education will contribute to sustainable
development in Nigeria since its emphasizes on acquiring and updating all forms of
abilities, promotion of knowledge and skills. Entrepreneurs seek for opportunities and
explore new markets, add value to existing products or develop new ways of doing
things. Countries that are able to replenish the stock of entrepreneurial business
through lifelong education have the capacity to accommodate vitality and turbulence
in the entrepreneurial sector, are best placed to compete effectively. Entrepreneurs
therefore play key roles in achieving sustainable development through its contribution
to wealth and job creation, economic advancement thus promoting growth and
development in the economy.