Entrepreneurial Engagements

Its Motivations and Challenges Among Undergraduate Students of Nsukka Arts School in Nigeria


  • Chikelue Chris Akabuike University of Nigeria, Nsukka




undergraduates challenges, Nsukka Art School, visual arts, entrepreneurial experience


This study addresses the experiences of undergraduate entrepreneurs, including what motivates them, their challenges, and how they navigate both entrepreneurial activities and academic work. Using a snowball approach, a qualitative research design involving fifteen purposively selected respondents from among the sculpture students of the Nsukka Art School was used as a case study. Data collection and analysis were conducted using a semi-structured interview and a thematic analysis approach, respectively. Findings show that respondents are actively involved in entrepreneurial deeds within multiple non-sculpture related fields such as painting, graphic, communication design, T-shirt printing, portrait making, and utility wood sculptures. They are motivated by the quest to address personal financial constraints. Such entrepreneurial quests, however, expose them to specialization and operational, marketing, and managerial challenges. It is recommended that policymakers in academia, industry, and government work together toward repositioning student entrepreneurs by creating the enabling environment for economic growth. While a further study is needed to understand how undergraduates navigate their managerial challenges, the nuanced performance and difference in age and gender is noteworthy.

Author Biography

Chikelue Chris Akabuike, University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Chikelue Chris Akabuike was born in 1975 in Nsukka (southeast Nigeria). His career and formal training as a sculptor, art educator, and researcher started at the Department of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. This intellectual training was conducted under reputable artists and scholars such as El Anatsui (who was both his MFA and PhD supervisor), Okpan Oyeoku, Chike Aniakor, Ola Oloidi, Chuu Krydz Ikwemesi, Ozioma Onuzulike, and others who guided his development in critical thinking. They helped to sharpen his interest in studio work, writing, and research on art.

He graduated with Second Class Honours Upper Division in 1998, did his National Youth Service (NYSC) in 1999 as an art teacher in Edo State, and returned to the University of Nigeria for his Master of Fine Arts (MFA) studies in Sculpture in 2000. In 2015, he completed his PhD in Art Education and was employed as a lecturer in the same department the following year. He currently teaches utility sculpture as he pursues a deeper study and research on art as a way to build his capacity and give voice to visual art studies in the Nigerian context.




How to Cite

Akabuike, C. C. (2023). Entrepreneurial Engagements: Its Motivations and Challenges Among Undergraduate Students of Nsukka Arts School in Nigeria. Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts, 11(2). https://doi.org/10.34053/artivate.11.2.172