Entrepreneurship programmes were first introduced in the USA, with students of private and public universities being trained on how to become entrepreneurs (Fiet, 2001). The first course that was taught on entrepreneur was offered at the Harvard Business School in 1947 (Brockhaus, 2001).

Early grooming on how to acquire knowledge and entrepreneurial skills is very necessary for producing entrepreneurs and contributing towards the economic development of an economy. Entrepreneurship education programmes are a step in the right direction for inculcating entrepreneurial mindset and culture amongst university students. The best idea youths (graduates) can adopt in order to build a sound career is ‘entrepreneurship’ (Beeka and Rimmington (2011) and Buang (2011). Entrepreneurship if fostered by government and other well meaning organizations can help reduce unemployment in Nigeria to a reasonable extent. Due to the failure on the quality of Nigeria’s education, along with the government’s inability to provide jobs for the teeming youths; entrepreneurship seems to be the surest way out of this whole mess (Herrington et al. 2009).

Universities play a pivotal role in ensuring both short and long term development of any economy; this is because it prepares and produces a viable manpower necessary to achieve this.

Nigeria, like one of the countries of the world currently experiencing political, economic, and social influence of the global economic meltdown (recession) has really served as a wakeup call to everyone to be up and doing in order to reduce the level of poverty in the country. Nigeria as a mono-economy has also posed a challenge in combating the high level of poverty, even as everyone seems to depend so much on the proceeds from the sale of oil (Ahiauzu, 2010). Though it has now dawn on Nigerians that there is need to diversify the economy and this is where entrepreneurship as a tool towards achieving this comes to play.

Moreover in Nigerian universities, the policy of cost sharing applies only to federal universities, whereas the cost of tuition fees in the state and private universities keep increasing on a daily basis. As a result of the limited resources available to both institutions and the government, most Nigerian students have not gained admission to the university. Those that have succeeded in gaining admission find it difficult to meet with the challenges and those from low income households cannot afford the cost of going to state or private universities. Due to these, those students that have succeeded in gaining admission into the university find it difficult to meet up with the high cost of tuition fees, buying of learning materials, paying for accommodation, carrying out researches/projects, etc. therefore, they are pushed to venture into entrepreneurship in the campuses. They have resorted to business in the campus in order to meet ends need.

This is quite noticeable in University of Lagos were you have a lot of students from different backgrounds coming to seek for knowledge in order to be useful members of the society. These students are seen venturing into different types of business on the school premises in other to meet with the exorbitant cost of education in Nigeria; trying to break the notion that ‘education is meant for the rich’. Students of University of Lagos as means of making money sell the finished products of their skills, example bead making, tying of gele, make-up, making of shoes/bags, art work, etc. some venture into the sales of wears, cosmetics, phone accessories, stationary, bags, etc.

Student entrepreneurship on campus has both positive and negative effect. One major positive effect it has on university of lagos students is that it serves as a training ground for preparing the students into being prospective entrepreneurs who will not wait for white collar jobs of the government, but will on their own create wealth. On the other hand, student entrepreneurship on campus tends to affect the academic performance of students.

Consequently, this is the reason for embarking on this study in order to investigate if student entrepreneurship on campus is a survival response or a career rehearsal, using University of Lagos as a case study.



Student entrepreneurship is a recent development in the university. Nigerian students in the university are seen running business on the campus, rather than learning and as a result of this their academics is hindered. Students that engage in student entrepreneurship on campus experience the following problems:

  • Lateness for lectures
  • Absenteeism
  • Failure
  • Inconsistent with happenings in class
  • School dropout
  • Stress
  • Extra year (having issues that make the student stay back longer than the required duration of that course)

These are the problems associated with student entrepreneurship on campus and this study seeks to make recommendation in this regards.


1.3   OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY                          

        The major objective of this study is to examine student entrepreneurship on campus: a survival response or a career rehearsal?

                Other specific objectives include:

1.To investigate the significant relationship between student entrepreneurship on campus and human capital development.

2.To examine the opinions of university of Lagos students on students’ entrepreneurship on campus.

3.To examine if student entrepreneurship on campus promotes entrepreneurship among Nigerian youths.

1.4   RESEARCH QUESTIONS                                                        

The following research questions are generated to guide this study:


  1. Is student entrepreneurship on campus a survival response or a career rehearsal?
  2. What is the significant relationship between student entrepreneurship on campus and human capital development?
  3. What are the opinions of university of Lagos students on students’ entrepreneurship on campus?
  4. Does student entrepreneurship on campus promote entrepreneurship among Nigerian youths?


H0:   Student entrepreneurship on campus is not a survival response or a career rehearsal.

H1:   Student entrepreneurship on campus is a survival response or a career rehearsal.




This study is meant to inform, educate, sensitize and enlighten the general public, universities’ administrators, and government on student entrepreneurship on campus: a survival response or a career rehearsal.

This study aims at informing particularly the government on what our universities have been turned into (a business plaza) and the need for them to look into solving this problem. The government needs to review their policies on ‘school admission’ and ‘tuition fees’ into federal universities, in order for children from low income families to have access to education rather than undergoing unnecessary stress.

In addition, school administrators need to enact policies to control the rate students involve in business in the campus.

This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this topic and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other work or study.




This study is restricted to student entrepreneurship on campus: a survival response or a career rehearsal?; With University of Lagos as a case study.


Limitations of study

  1. 1.        Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
  2. 2.        Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.





ENTREPRENEUR: A person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.

STUDENT ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Entrepreneurship offers students the opportunity to develop themselves and gain experience.

SURVIVAL RESPONSE: whenever we feel attacked or cornered or scared or threatened or overwhelmed we all respond physiologically by releasing the stress hormones into our system…the very same hormones that prevent us from rational thought and solution oriented thinking…..that is why so many of us keep doing the same things over and over again..we are simply too stressed out to really think…we cannot change our physiological response…or can we?




Ahiauzu, A. (2010). Entrepreneurship and economic development in Nigeria: The way forward. Books Africa

(vol. 1, pp. 278–296). Retrieved from

-1/519 – Augustine.


Fiet, J. (2001). The pedagogical side of entrepreneurship theory.

Journal of Business Venturing,16 - 2, 101-18.


Brockhaus, R.H. (1982). The psychology of the entrepreneur in sexton & smilor & vesper “The Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurship” Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.


Beeka, B.H., & Rimmington, M. (2011).Entrepreneurship as a career option for African youths. Journal of Development Entrepreneurship, 16(1): 145-164.


Herrington, Mike, Kew, Jacqui, Kew, Penny (2009), Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, South African Report. From< 2000pdf> (October 15, 2013).