Expert Sensitises Students to Basic Concept of Engineering Entrepreneurship
A business consultant, Engr. Adeyemi Biodun Oyedepo, has urged engineers to feel challenged to acquire entrepreneurial skills to become either an entrepreneur that owns his/her own business or an entrepreneur that works in a company or firm, as engineers must appreciate the responsibility thrust on them towards salvaging the local economy in Nigeria.
He made the declaration on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, at the Town and Gown Seminar of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Covenant, where he delivered a lecture titled, ‘Engineering Entrepreneurship: An Overview’.
Engr. Oyedepo, who is the Managing Partner/Chief Executive Officer, Helbon Associates Limited, said that embracing entrepreneurship had become imperative for graduate engineers, who didn’t usually have exposure to business issues, because most of their traditional courses focused on engineering fundamentals, while engineers in big corporations rarely emerged as managing directors or chief executive officers, as most felt a sense of achievement becoming just the Engineering Manager.
The Guest Speaker described an entrepreneur as one who saw opportunity, turned it into business, created value and mobilised resources. “Entrepreneurship is not about what you do, but who you are,” he added.
While speaking on the core characteristics of an entrepreneur, which he listed as passion, vision and innovation, Engr. Oyedepo stated that an entrepreneur had a singular focus, a drive, exposure, and expressed a relentless pursuit of a set goal. According to him, what others saw as a problem, an entrepreneur had a vision to see as an opportunity. “The entrepreneur recognises when he doesn’t have the required resources to execute his endeavour, but that doesn’t stop him. The innovator in him will always find a way,” he emphasized.
On the common traits of entrepreneurs, he enumerated that entrepreneurs don’t just think outside the box, they actually create new boxes to think in; entrepreneurs are incurable optimists; entrepreneurs are not afraid to fail; they have the can-do spirit; they do not dread change; and they are teachable and open to new ideas.
Engineers, he asserted, should not find it difficult embracing entrepreneurship, because an engineering education imbued an engineer with the necessary characteristics that could make a new enterprise succeed. “Engineers are problem solvers, they are optimists, they are team builders and knowledge seekers,” he said.
The Guest Speaker, who shared with the students the successful stories of Nigerian entrepreneurs such as the Chief Executive Officer, Slot Systems Limited, Nnamdi Ezeigbo, and the Chairman, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing, Dr. Innocent Chukwuma, however, did not end the lecture without giving the audience tips for entrepreneurs on the journey to success.
He said that would-be entrepreneurs have to be innovative, their ideas don’t need to be perfect before they start, they have to think long term and plan short term, know what they can and cannot sacrifice, think about others, be an expert in something, and celebrate milestones.
Earlier at the seminar, the Head, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Professor Sunday Oyedepo, expressed satisfaction at how the Town and Gown Seminars organised by the Department in the Alpha Semester of the 2018/2019 Academic Session had turned out, saying that they were highly impactful. He said that for the first Town and Gown seminar in the Omega Semester, Engr. Adeyemi Biodun Oyedepo had come to share his wealth of experience with members of the Department and urged the students to be attentive with a view to making use of what they would learn.
Also at the event were the wife of the Guest Speaker, Engr. Folashade Oyedepo, the immediate past Dean, College of Engineering, Professor Christian Bolu, other Professors, faculty and staff.