The Institute for Entrepreneurship and Development Studies (formerly Centre for Industrial Research and Development) was established within the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, in June 1968, as a research unit in small business development. Then, the Institute was referred to as Industrial Research Unit (IRU). As a result of assistance received by this Unit from old Western Region of Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) it was upgraded to Industrial Research & Development Unit (IRDU) and later to Centre for Industrial Research and Development (CIRD). The assistance of the UNDP/UNIDO was directed towards strengthening it as a Centre of Excellence for Entrepreneurship Development and Training for other ECOWAS English speaking countries. In effort at increasing the scope of activities of the Centre it was upgraded to an Institute, that is, Institute for Entrepreneurship and Development Studies (IFEDS), to run degree programmes in entrepreneurship and development studies, as well as providing training in vocational skills.
The vision of IFEDS includes promotion of entrepreneurship and development of small scale enterprises in Nigeria. This is pursued through its training programmes for various public and private organisations in all the functional areas of business start-ups and management. The Institute also provides business support in terms of counselling, monitoring and evaluation, and technical backstopping organisation.
Institute for Entrepreneurship and Development Studies has a wide range of experience in enterprise promotion, and in the past decade, it has been involved in several initiatives targeted at the introduction of entrepreneurship education and self-employment into the curriculum of tertiary-level institutions in Nigeria. Some of these include entrepreneurship training between 1988 and 1992, when IFEDS, in collaboration with Durham University Business School, Federal Ministry of Industry, Nigerian Bank for Commerce and Industry (NBCI), Centre for Management Development (CMD), and Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) developed and test-run a Nigerian model of the Work-for-Yourself training programme in some States in Nigeria. The Centre also developed a 3-phase Entrepreneurship Development/Self Employment Programme for the United Nations Development Programme and International Labour Organisation (ILO), which was also implemented successfully in seven States in Nigeria.
Currently, the Institute runs a 4-year B.Sc. degree in Entrepreneurship and Industrial Extension and one year Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship Studies. The Institute is also responsible for offering two elective courses for all students in the university. The courses are Principles and Practice of Entrepreneurship and Self-employment and Business Environment and Approach to Business Start-up.
Industrial Extension Services/Business Support Services
IFEDS is one of the foremost institutions providing industrial extension services in Nigeria. The extension services offered include in-plant visits and counselling of small and medium industrialists in management, accounting, marketing, record keeping, work study, product costing, personnel management, and quality control.
Presently, IFEDS is actively involved in entrepreneurship education and training, business counselling and mentoring through its Business Resource Centre (BRC) and weekly Radio programme on Orisun 98.5 FM on every Thursday (4.00 – 4.30 p.m.). The BRC is furnished with entrepreneurship resource materials and providing mentoring and counselling for the students and staff of the university.
Management Training/Skill Acquisition
There are many management trainings conducted by IFEDS over the years for the staff of private and public organisations. IFEDS also has served as an institutional consultant for both national and international organisations to conduct management and skill acquisition trainings. Some of these are UNICEF-sponsored skill acquisition training; entrepreneurship and self-employment training for the retirees of federal and state ministries, among others.
IFEDS has taken delivery of some equipment funded by Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) to provide vocational skills training in fashion designing, photography, leather works, aluminium fabrication, wood works and paint making.
Social and Economic Research
The Centre was selected to conduct an economic baseline economic survey for Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) within the south west zone of the country. Some of the outcomes of this survey were Pre-Investment proposals (PIPs) of agro-based raw materials and mineral-based raw materials and Project Inventorising based on mineral and agricultural resources available in Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti States.
The consultancy activities of the Centre included ‘sensitisation workshop on problems and constraints of SMEs development in Nigeria’ and ‘strategies for operationalising small and medium enterprises equity investment scheme (SMEEIS)’ for the staff of some commercial banks in the country. Also, IFEDS acted as consultant for the government of Osun State to organise a workshop on ‘facilitating access to SMEEIS and business packaging for potential and existing industrialists’ in Osun State. Moreover, under the United Nations Development Programme/Osun State Sustainable Human Development Fund project, IFEDS assisted Osun State to disburse N30 million Naira to over 5,000 beneficiaries in the State through Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs). Many feasibility reports were also prepared for industrialists in Nigeria.
OUR DEGREE PROGRAMME
B.Sc. Entrepreneurship and Industrial Extension
Objectives of the Programme:
The primary objective of this programme is to produce graduates who are adequately equipped to initiate, engage and provide leadership in entrepreneurship and development process.
The specific objectives are to:
(a) develop entrepreneurial competencies in students through the teaching of concepts, theories, principles and practice of entrepreneurship as well as exposing them to mentorship by successful entrepreneurs;
(b) promote the culture of hard work and diligence in preparation for the world of work;
(c) develop in students business leadership attributes including interpersonal skills, required to set up and manage businesses and or for working in various organisations;
(d) create in the students the ability to operate businesses taking due cognizance of the changing socio-economic and physical milieu as well as the capability to link research outputs with the business world; and
(e) equip graduates with requisite skills and capability for efficient and effective Industrial Extension services.
Elements of the Programme
(i) Generation of business idea, identification and exploitation of business opportunities.
(ii) Promoting personal entrepreneurial competencies (PECs) and innovative skills among graduates.
(iii) Strategies for handling managerial challenges.
(iv) Developing business feasibility reports and business plans.
(v) Starting-up and running businesses as well as developing appropriate work ethics.
(vi) Identifying and exploring local, national and international business opportunities.
(vii) Managing finances at personal and organisational levels.
(viii) Greening national economies.
(ix) Effective linkages of research outputs with industries.
(x) Managing risks in business.
At the end of the course, graduates should be able to think critically with requisite analytical and communication skills to efficiently and effectively start and manage enterprises in today’s increasingly competitive business environment. From home-based businesses to venture capital start-ups, the graduates of the programme should also be able to work in a wide variety of settings and contribute meaningfully to the country’s socio-economic development.
Candidates for admission must possess a Senior Secondary School Certificate or General Certificate of Education or their equivalents with at least five credits including English, Mathematics and one of social sciences subjects (Economics, Government and Geography) at not more than two sittings. Entry requirement to Part I include passing the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and post UTME to the satisfaction of the university. The UTME subjects combination for the entrance examination includes Mathematics, English and any other two subjects which must include one of the social sciences subjects, except commerce and bookkeeping.
Direct Entry: In addition to the “O” Level requirement above, candidates must possess a minimum of credit pass in at least five GCE A/L subjects. Also, candidates with Diploma awarded by OAU, Ile Ife or ND/HND with at least an Upper Credit score from accredited and recognized institutions can apply.