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eBaron: Entrepreneurial Education Transformation Through Digital Innovation

Centre for Entrepreneurship, the Federal University of Technology, Akure consults with Prunedge to develop a digital extracurricular learning and grading management system

Abstract

eBaron is a platform where entrepreneurship management can be done. It was built to manage the processes involved in the entrepreneurial education in the Federal University of Technology, Akure. Processes like trade registration, trainer/training centre assigning, trainer registration, and report submission.

Overview

The Entrepreneurial Education Course was introduced into the undergraduate curriculum in Nigeria in 2016. This was seen as a necessity due to the alarming rate of unemployment in the country, especially among university graduates. The white collar jobs in which university undergraduates were trained for are no longer enough for the thousands of graduates streaming into the labour market. The Entrepreneurial Education Course that was introduced sought to equip students with skills and train them for entrepreneurship capability and success after school.

The importance and effects of entrepreneurial education in a country’s economy and standard of living is endless. It offers functional education for the youth that will enable them to be self-employed and self-reliant. It also provides young graduates with adequate training that will enable them to be creative and innovative in identifying business opportunities. It reduces the level of poverty through the creation of job opportunities.

This education will empower students with skills to be able to harness opportunities to be self-reliant and become job-creators and not job-seekers on graduation.

Different individuals have different mix of potentials and capabilities for acquiring entrepreneurial behaviours, skills and attributes. These behaviours can be learned, practiced and developed hence, the importance of entrepreneurial education exposure.

FUTA developed an entrepreneurship internship/coursework program that matches students with locally successful entrepreneurs with clearly established learning objectives.

The Challenge

The Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) offers her undergraduate students an entrepreneurial course which is made compulsory for every student in the third year – a total of 3,000 students registered to take the entrepreneurship course. There was a manual system of registration and assigning of trades and placement in training centres. The registered students had to fill forms, imputing their details and first and second choice of trade. Staff officials in charge of the entrepreneurship course program would manually place the over 3,000 students in either their first or second choice of trade based on first come, first serve basis i.e. if your first choice is unavailable, you are placed in your second choice option.

FUTA needed a digital system that would manage the process of placing students in their different centres. The system that was used before eBaron was tedious and stressful. It involved long queues and filling forms, it also involved manual placement of students across the available trainers and trades.

They also needed a way to track the progress of the students after they must have been handed over to their trainer. Keeping track of the attendance of the students had always been difficult because the trainers were usually not part of the university education system.

Our Solution

eBaron is an entrepreneurship education management system that simply manages any form of entrepreneurship training and learning process. In FUTA, the undergraduates in their third year all have to register for the compulsory entrepreneurship course when doing the usual course registration. They are then directed to the eBaron site where they pick the trade they are interested in learning. The system matches them automatically with a corresponding available trainer.

The trainers also have a duty to fill out weekly reports on each of the students registered with their trade, this helps to solve the challenge of attendance tracking.

Significance of eBaron to the Federal University of Technology, Akure

  • Planning and event management – Venue, team and equipment management; The eBaron software helped to manage and automate the assignment of venue, trainer to trainees and the entire training process life cycle.
  • Trainer management – trainer recruitment and compensation; The software made it possible for prospective trainers to register their trades with the Centre for Entrepreneurship FUTA remotely. It also helped to automate the approval process – making the process smooth and seamless.
  • Trainee management – trainee registration and check in; Managing over 3000 trainees manually has proved to be very tedious. Automating this process with eBaron has significantly improved the entire training process. The trainees were managed via the software – from registration to the end of the training.
  • Report Generation – training event report generation; Trainers were able to generate repots at the end of each training day. Report about attendance and training progress were also made available to the administrative/program team at the Centre for Entrepreneurship, FUTA, the reports are collated and stored by eBaron and are used in the grading process.

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