‘Our Focus is to Make our Students Employers of Labour’ – Director RUNCEDS


‘Our Focus is to Make our Students Employers of Labour’ – Director RUNCEDS:

Director,-RUNCEDS

Director,-RUNCEDS

* Reasons for its Establishment

The process for the establishment of the centre started in 2010, when the former Vice-Chancellor, Professor Oyewale Tomori, set up a committee for entrepreneurial development.  The committee was to look at the possibility of setting up a centre for the entrepreneurial development.  The Committee recommended that the university should set up the centre. 

However, this was not accomplished until the dispensation of the current Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Debo  Adeyewa, who revived the idea of setting up the centre.  Two things were involved.  Firstly, the vision of the proprietor of the university was to produce graduates who would be creators of jobs rather than job seekers.

To realise this vision, we have to equip our student with entrepreneurial skills and other vital technical skills that are needed for them to establish and manage various businesses.

Secondly, the NUC  {National Universities  Commission} in 2004 observed that there were many unemployed graduates and they considered modifying the  curriculum  to provide opportunity for students to acquire skills while still studying in various university.

With these two factors, the Vice-Chancellor gave the approval to set up the RUNCEDS where students would be exposed to both the theoretical and practical aspects of entrepreneurship through the  acquisition of vocational skills.

* Differences between entrepreneurship programmes at RUNCED and  other universities

What makes our own programme different from others is that it includes practical training.  For instance, at the beginning of this semester students are allocated to different vocational centres, for the  acquisition of entrepreneurship skills. There are different centres for students to train and gain something  tangible like event management, printing, fashion designing, petrol station management, barbing and lots more.

We are partnering with successful business owners here on camp to train our students on how to generate business ideas and also on how to nurture those ideas to the points of kick-starting their businesses.  The students have been practicalising what they have learnt even while still on campus.  Our focus is that when they graduate from this university, none of them will be jobless.  Now, students are coming up with business proposals which they think they can implement on commercial basis and make money from it.

* Practicality and impact of the programme on students

The management has given us the encouragement by earmarking fund for students who have viable projects while still in this university and they have been coming up with project ideas that can be commercialized.
 
 * Collaboration and Partnership with major Distributors

We have six products that are already in the market while the seventh one is coming out soon. We have sent our products to  the  Department of Chemical Sciences to help us ascertain the quality and to advice on how to commercialize and compete with the existing ones in the market.  We are trying to rebrand our products as well as getting NAFDAC approval.

 * Training of the General Public

We just designed a three-week course on soap making for anyone who is interested in acquiring the skill.  Even staff of the university have applied to be trained during this programme.

At the beginning we did not intend to train the general public but now we have started putting programmes in place for whosoever wants to be trained in the area of entrepreneurship.

 *Product Launching

We have launched it on a small scale, but we are planning to re-launch on a larger scale once we get our  NAFDAC registration number.



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