The Business School of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka on Monday launched a research on the entrepreneurial model of the Igboman.
The research is sponsored by a non-profit organisation, Pro-Value Humanity Foundation, founded by Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, a governorship aspirant in the 2021 poll in Anambra State.
Okonkwo spoke at the formal opening of the research, entitled: “Invigorating Igbo entrepreneurial behaviour through enhanced apprenticeship scheme: A study of Onitsha market.”
He said the study would rediscover the missing links on Igbo entrepreneurial spirit.
He said: “Onitsha main market occupies a special place in the development history of the Igbo people and Nigeria.”
Okonkwo, who doubles as the Chairman, Dome Entertainment Centre, Abuja, said the research would among other things “interrogate Igbo entrepreneurship culture and the apprenticeship system”.
He said Nigeria must find a connect between intellectual and financial capital to tackle development issues.
Okonkwo traced the commercial history of Onitsha ancient town, linking it to how it produced prosperous businessmen but regretted that “Onitsha today is a shadow of itself”.
Also, the Director of UNIZIK Business School, Prof. Austin Nonyelu, expressed gratitude to Okonkwo, saying that building sustainable businesses that would last beyond their founders should be a concern to all.
Nonyelu said: “This research is the beginning of the interface between the academic institution, the Business School in this instance, and the industry as represented by the consortium of traders and enterprises.
“This emerging relationship is quite timely, given the poor state of the Nigerian economy characterised by multifarious problems.
“These include but not limited to decreasing productivity, collapsing companies and businesses, poor liquidity ratio, graduate unemployment and widening poverty.”
The Deputy vice-chancellor of the university, Prof. Fredrick Odibo, who represented the vice-chancellor, Prof. Charles Esimone, said the institution would support the research and make the business school one of the best in the world.