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Entrepreneurial Capitalism – Skills Acquisition, Community Empowerment and Microfinance
What is the strategic relationship between abundant resources, human and economic development? What is the critical and strategic link between human capital and economic progress? Why does income inequality persist despite significant economic growth? What are the sure paths to social mobility? What are the sure ways to the middle class – the most important stabilizing force in all societies? Some of the answers to these vexing policy questions loom large and inform the ongoing debate about sensible policy options to deal with the intractable problem of high graduate unemployment in developing countries in general and sub-Saharan Africa in particular.
A meta-analysis of the existing academic literature shows that income inequality persists in both developed and developing countries despite apparent and significant economic growth. There are many theoretical, structural, and empirical reasons for the widening gap between the return on capital and labor, on the one hand, and the compensation of management and workers, on the other. For example, in many jurisdictions capital tends to be more productive, more mobile and has a very favorable tax treatment than labour.
In addition, global competition, innovation, slower productivity growth, and the marginal rate of technical substitution can depress wages even in developed countries. Moreover, the benefits of globalization continue to accrue more unevenly to high-skilled labor than to low-skilled labor. Finally, periods of economic growth tend to correlate with increasing income inequality because different economic sectors and individuals do not grow at the same rate.
As we have explained in many publications on this topic, human capital analysis deals with acquired abilities that are developed through formal and informal education at school and at home, as well as through on-the-job learning, experience, and mobility and longevity in the labor market. . . Please note that countries, like individuals, are portfolios of distinctive competencies arising from resources and capabilities. Many countries in the developing world have a lot of resources but lack the capacity – the ability – to put them to productive use.
It is clear that the simple possession of resources is a necessary but not sufficient condition for economic development. Functional human capital, manifested in productivity and innovation, is a critical and strategic link between resources and economic development. A preliminary analysis of macroeconomic data shows that the problem of economic stagnation is not specific to developing countries and is not limited to them. Indeed, for many years in developing countries like Nigeria, a significant proportion of all tertiary graduates are underemployed, in contract work without employment benefits, or not employed at all even after national service and certification.
Many labor market experts and public observers tend to point to a clear lack of the necessary knowledge and skills for employment, which are in high demand. While this may be true, the lack of functional education leading to employment is only part of the problem. There is considerable empirical evidence to suggest that many of the employed university graduates in Nigeria are not paid or regularly compensated for long periods of time, while others are in contract work with meager earnings and no employment benefits or guaranteed permanent employment.
Before arguing that acquiring skills is neither a panacea nor the fastest route to employment, note that employable knowledge and skills are a necessary but not sufficient condition for social mobility. This partly explains why many graduates of colleges of education and technical colleges, which are in high demand in tightening labor markets, do not do much better than graduates of liberal arts and even business and engineering schools.
Therefore, the objective of the skill acquisition projects undertaken by the Okwelle Skill Acquisition Center (OSAC) is to help graduates and entrepreneurs take effective steps towards functional education, knowledge and skill acquisition, self-employment, independence and financial independence. As a sure path to the middle class and upward social mobility, any knowledge and skills project should aim to create entrepreneurs – a crop of graduates with a burning desire for self-employment, independence and financial independence. Graduates should not only possess the requisite knowledge and skills of their specific trade, but also be business-savvy entrepreneurs with demonstrable business management knowledge and skills. Note that all entrepreneurs are business owners, but not all business owners are entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs are a special breed of business owner who take all the risks in pursuit of profits and financial freedom. Without the entrepreneurial class, the other factors of production – land, labor and capital, including technology – remain idle and are classified in our profession of financial engineering as non-performing assets. As some experts aptly say, once you decide to work for yourself, you never go back to work for someone else. Generally, people don’t plan to fail, they just don’t. In addition, spiritual, economic or political freedom is indivisible and must be relentlessly pursued. A burning desire for financial freedom is the main difference that sets entrepreneurs apart.
Okwelle Skills Acquisition Center Model:
The concept of acquiring skills as a means of empowering and developing society is not new. The concepts, principles and issues are well known in the relevant scientific literature. Please see the textbook on the same topic for a full historical outline of the skills acquisition principles used in many vocational schools, training programs, etc. before the Nigerian Civil War. The concept of Okwelle Skills Acquisition Center (OSAC) focuses on practical and technologically oriented training programs.
OSAC will predominantly offer accredited vocational and career oriented certificate programs to students from the Niger Delta region where Imo State is the hub and attraction of industry. The Okwelle Skills Acquisition Center will fully integrate functional skills and microfinance to make the vision of self-employment, independence and financial freedom a reality for our graduates. The key strategy of the private-public partnership (PPP model) – OSAC is well established and tested. When the relationship with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is fully formalized, OSAC intends to use our network with global institutions, collaborative agreements with tertiary institutions in the United States, Okigwe in the Diaspora and friends of Okigwe to fulfill our mission and achieve our strategic goals .
And because our partners live in the target communities, they bring contextual familiarity with community-related issues. This allows OSAC to avoid policies, analyzes and programs that are not tied to reality. OSAC will seek creative collaboration and strategic partnership by engaging with global institutions such as the World Bank, IMF, USAID and other civil society organizations (CSOs) with a common mission and NDDC through information sharing, dialogue and consultation at the global, national and state levels. . . Knowledge is OSAC’s strategic weapon.
Some work instructions:
Many new ventures fail. Therefore, the most important goal of effective skills acquisition projects is to help new entrepreneurs minimize the failure rate of new ventures. Entrepreneurs must have a good understanding of business fundamentals such as managing people, processes and products effectively. Also, entrepreneurs who take on new business ventures must proceed with a known probability of success. The OSAC project will combine microfinance, acquisition of knowledge and skills with the 3Ms of a successful small business (money, management and marketing).
As you know, many non-business majors such as architects, dentists, pediatricians, lawyers, etc. study at university without the required business courses. However, after graduating from an educational institution, they become owners of a small business with a private practice. These deficiencies are then made up in a hurry through on-the-job training or hiring business managers. However, without practical knowledge of the basics of entrepreneurship, small business owners become completely dependent on business managers. An agency problem occurs when the interests of business owners diverge from those of business managers, whether full-time or outsourced. Agency concerns aside, small business owners need to understand what the numbers mean in order to ensure effective leadership, oversight and control. Therefore, OSAC curricula will include the role of relevant business systems and business functional areas based on sound management principles and current industry best practices.
A preliminary review of failed small businesses reveals a common pattern: a lack of attention to the 3M’s of business: money, management, and marketing. In addition, many small businesses ignore the concept of a business entity: business activities must be registered separately from the activities of the owners. Indeed, the personal activity of a small business owner should be separate and distinct from the activity of a business entity. Many small businesses get into trouble by not making this distinction, especially when it comes to cash flow and the use of cash generated from business operations.
Offered training programs
OSAC will have seven academic programs: School of Information Technology, School of Drafting and Design, School of Electronic Technology, School of Business Technology, School of Agricultural Technology, School of Medical Technology and School of Nursing. OSAC imparts skills and knowledge that our graduates can use for employment in today’s world.
OSAC’s training programs will combine traditional academic content with applied learning concepts, with a significant portion devoted to hands-on activities in a laboratory setting. Advisory boards will consist of representatives from local businesses and employers who will help each OSAC program periodically evaluate and update curricula, training modules, equipment and laboratory design.
Some strategic goals
(1) In addition to developing human potential and creating an ever-increasing pool of trained workforce, OSAC will encourage a culture of self-employment and self-reliance for employment and job creation. OSAC’s ultimate goal will be to encourage continuous modernization of our internal manufacturing processes and capabilities, as well as innovation – the adoption of new ways of doing business.
(2) OSAC provides financial literacy workshops under the business technology program heading that will provide our communities with access to workshops that generate income, empower them, and strengthen their self-sufficiency. The Okwelle Skills Acquisition Center with integrated microfinance programs will provide access to credit, appropriate training and inculcate in our graduates the importance of savings and investment.
(3) OSAC plans to provide tools and training to increase agricultural production at the local level. The Niger Delta region in general and old Akigwe-Atanzu-Atanchara in particular have the natural capabilities and the requisite human capital to become the food basket of the Southeast. OSAC will encourage community farms where they can implement new techniques and fully mechanize agriculture and industrial food processing.
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#Entrepreneurial #Capitalism #Skills #Acquisition #Community #Empowerment #Microfinance