The Covenant University pioneered the idea of making entrepreneurship development studies compulsory for all its students in 2002. The motivation was to produce graduates who would be jobs creators. The impact thereafter was evident in the increase in companies founded by the school’s young graduates. Some of them are Gingerbox, PushCV, SimerNG, Grappleline, RSVP, Softcom and Vericampus, reports DANIEL ESSIET.
Founder and Chief Executive, Ginger Box, Adekunle Jinadu, is an entrepreneur with business ideas that never stop. His success started with his affection for good food.
He thought about fresh food delivery business. Eventually, he founded Ginger Box, from the vision to establish an online marketplace that connects eaters with the nation’s fresh food. Today, Ginger Box is a success story. They are explorers of food and on a mission to discover everything delicious and fresh. The care and craftsmanship that go into transporting the food after an order, bring them great satisfaction.
His organisation works with a number of high-profile customers with presence in Lagos metropolis. He is one of the most-celebrated graduates of the Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State. He studied Computer Science and graduated in 2007. He was among the graduates of the university that said the university provided the environment for its students to learn e-skills necessary to start their businesses.
During his undergraduate days, Jinadu participated in many entrepreneurship activities as much as he could. He attended lectures by local entrepreneurs and took classes in entrepreneurship. For him, the entrepreneurial training gave him the edge.
He is among the success stories of the university entrepreneurship programme.
The motivation of the university was to produce graduates, who will not look for jobs but create them. In a very short period, the impact was evident by the companies founded by those graduates.
Consequently, venture capitalists have spotted the university graduates as those with high promise to invest in. Startup investment accelerators such as Leadpath recently found out that 50 per cent of the startup companies they invested were Covenant University graduates. Startup accelerators such as Co-creation Hub (CcHUB) have visited the University for Partnership. Director at the Centre for Entrepreneurship Development Studies, Covenant University, Dr Stephen Oluwatobi, announced plans by the CcHUB to establish a relearn centre at the university.
He said the university wanted to create new opportunities for students to develop entrepreneurial mindsets, behaviours and skills – abilities that will help them not only to create their own futures, but to contribute to the economy.
According to him, Nigeria faces the same challenges as those of most developing countries. The challenges, though pressing, are also opportunities for new ideas.
He added that government has to respond with a range of national policies and initiatives aimed at achieving a more competitive economy where enterprise, entrepreneurship and innovation are the drivers of growth.
He maintained, however, that graduates with entrepreneurial and innovative mindsets, behaviours and skills are vital to making this happen. The higher education sector, through entrepreneurship education, according to him, has a crucial role to play.
Oluwatobi said entrepreneurship was part of the institution’s vision and strategy, and with clear objectives and outcomes.
He explained that employability issues have emerged as a key concern for students in the context of changing graduate labour markets, adding that students of the university are willing to pursue self-employment and entrepreneurship, including social entrepreneurship.
By catalysing a thriving business ecosystem, linking students to opportunities and providing business coaching, Oluwatobi maintained that students are provided the motivation to build strong business ideas while in campus.
Through a series of intensive workshops and professional mentoring, he said students are able to devise core business models, find the right product-market fit and test their ideas with potential customers.

Building hope, skills, incomes through entrepreneurship

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