Entrepreneurship Centres are Critical to Socio-economic Development

The Director in Charge of Entrepreneurship Programme at Coventry University, Prof. Gideon Maas, has said that Entrepreneurship Centres are very important to the socio-economic development of any country. However, he pointed out that the centres were facing neglect in the world and, therefore, called for entrepreneurs to tackle those challenges and create future solutions. Prof. Maas said these at a workshop organised by the Africa Institute for Transformational Entrepreneurship (AITE) to market its activities at the University of Cape Coast (UCC). The workshop which was also used to launch a book on Entrepreneurship Centres brought together entrepreneurs across Ghana. It was on the theme " Transformational Entrepreneurship: the Role of Entrepreneurship Centres ". Prof. Maas said the major challenges facing Entrepreneurship Centres were overly reliance on the provision of grants and subsidies, location of centers and limited and variability of resources. He indicated that entrepreneurship behaviour was changing as a result of globalisation, multi-cultural society, the need for “intrapreneurial behaviour” and the acceptance of multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary orientation. Prof. Maas urged universities to play a major role of Entrepreneurship education in order to produce knowledgeable and skilled workforce who could over time contribute to innovation and growth of the country. Taking his turn to address the workshop on the topic "Entrepreneurship Centres: UCC Experience ", the Head of Marketing and Supply Chain, Dr. Daniel Agyapong, said UCC has established the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Small Enterprise Development to enable students start their own business and contribute to national development. He said there were three Units within the Centre, namely: Entrepreneurship Education, Research and Publications and Business Incubation. Dr. Agyapong indicated that the Centre was in partnership with government to implement a three-year Exim Bank project on Graduate Enterprise Project Initiative. He said the Centre had taken over 10,000 students through a course in Entrepreneurship to provide them with entrepreneurial mindset as part of their training. He said the Centre was grappling with financial resources, physical infrastructural and limited human resource. The Provost of the College of Humanities and Legal Studies, Prof. Dora Edu-Buandoh, who opened and also closed the workshop , said the function was important to the University and expressed optimism that the discussion would lead to transformational Entrepreneurship. She was hopeful that AITE programme would make a difference in driving forward innovation and support wealth creation. Topics treated included “Educating for Transformation” and “Researching for Transformation”. The AITE is a platform which seeks to promote transformational entrepreneurship in Africa through education, research, and practice-based activity.