Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal (Print ISSN: 1087-9595; Online ISSN: 1528-2686)

Research Article: 2020 Vol: 26 Issue: 3

Effect of Creativity On Human Capital Development of Nigeria Graduates Entrepreneurs

Oboreh Justina, Delta State University

Aruoren Emmanuel, Delta State University


The paper examined the effect of creativity on human capital development of Nigeria graduates entrepreneurs. The paper became necessary due to high rate of graduates unemployment in Nigeria. The study is a survey research design and data used were generated randomly from 2019 batch C stream II currently undergoing their mandatory one year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Delta State Orientation camp. The data collected were analyzed with descriptive statistics while one tail t-test statistics was used to test the hypothesis formulated at 0.05 level of significance. The results indicated that there is a positive significant relationship between independent variables which have a positive influence on human capital development of graduate. It was recommended that graduates should seek to test new ideas and techniques available and ready to make mistakes and learn from them.


Creativity, Unemployment, Graduates, Human Capital Development, Opportunity.


Technology has increased the demand for graduates to be more competitive and creative. Governments are stem to develop creativity through technology efforts to motivate, incorporate elements of innovation in entrepreneurship education in schools curriculum, (Orman, et al., 2012). In recent years, there is a strong belief that “Entrepreneurship” is a crucial driver of human capital development for both developed and developing nations (Audretsch, et al., 2011). According to Schumpeter (1964), entrepreneurship is a driving force of creativity, and more generally an engine for human capital development. Entrepreneurs are driven by both progressive and regressive determinants and are essentially heterogeneous, the post-entry performance of newborn firms and their eventual contribution to human capital development may be very diverse as well.

Even with wide variety of resources available, coming up with an idea to serve as the basis for a new venture still poses a problem. The entrepreneur can use several methods to help generate and test new ideas, such as: focus groups, brainstorming and problem inventory analysis. Entrepreneurs are great thinkers who always seem to re-package themselves and create something from nothing, starting ventures against all odds and keeping them alive regardless of today’s dynamic commercial jungle (Okekearu, 2006 in Egboh, 2009).

Hisrich, Peters & Shepherd (2005) assert that creativity is an important attribute of a successful entrepreneur. The lack of creativity in an entrepreneur could hinder innovativeness, problem-solving techniques and self-confidence.

In general, education is a learning process, whereby, the knowledge, skills, and habits of a group of people are transferred from one generation to another through teaching, training, or research (Orubu, 2014). Education frequently takes place under the guidance of others, usually within a formal setting such as schools or some other informal learning context. Antai & Aganbi (2013) assert that education creates better citizens and helps to upgrade the general standard of living in a society. The education sector in any country is very important because education supplies the skilled manpower needed for the achievement of national economic goals and objectives. In the view of Aganbi (2013) education is a major instrument for tackling unemployment, poverty and ignorance. Entrepreneurial education is relevant to students with regard to equipping them with skills such as innovation for post-graduation job creation ability rather than job seekers, Onuma (2016).

The most influential factor is creativity and entrepreneurial intentions which increased with increase in age. To increase graduates’ entrepreneurial intentions, students should be mixed during entrepreneurship programmes with recourse to their level of creativity, Agbim et al. (2013). Akhuemonkhan et al. (2013) argued that entrepreneurship development could be effective tools for poverty reduction, stimulating employment as well as fast-tracking realization of universal primary education and promoting gender equality while promoting creativity training.

Some of the cardinal aims of education according to the National Policy on Education (2013) include: the development of the intellectual capacity of persons to recognize and understand their environment and the attainment of both physical and intellectual skills which will allow individuals to develop into useful members of the society.

The high rate of graduate unemployment in Nigeria has been blamed on the fact that most graduates from Nigerian universities are unemployable (Chiaha & Agu, 2013). This is manifested in a number of deficiencies that these graduates exhibit in their work places such as: lack of analytical and information communication technology skills (ICT), lack of entrepreneurial and problem solving/decision making skills, inadequate technical skills and ignorance in the use of modern equipment. This requires entrepreneurship education students to acquire knowledge in the various aspects of ICT which will empower them to offer quality services in anywhere in the world and reap the numerous entrepreneurship opportunities created by ICT and high information generation (Okoro, 2014). The resultant effect of graduate unemployment is youth restiveness in the form of kidnapping, prostitution, armed robbery, political thuggery and advanced fee fraud. A proper appraisal of the situation shows that most of these graduates engage in these activities because they lack requisite skills that enhance self-employment. According to Chinonye et al. (2015) lack of creativity, risk-taking ability, and employability skills resulting from this inadequate and obsolete skill training of students in the universities Nigeria has made graduate unemployable.

The objective of the paper is to examine the effect of creativity on human capital development of Nigeria graduates entrepreneur. In line with the objective, the paper formulated a research question as to “what extent does creativity affect human capital development of Nigeria graduates? In order to give statistical significance to the responses that were obtained arising from the research question, the following hypothesis was formulated: creativity has no significant positive effect on human capital development of Nigeria graduates.

The paper is significant, as information gathered would be useful to the education sector most especially National Youth Orientation Camps Managers in Nigeria, as it reveals the areas of weakness and strength of the entrepreneurs courses being thought.

Literature Review

Schumpeter (1964) conceptualized entrepreneurship as the capacity to recombine existing activities in a new ways. His analysis of the entrepreneurial function rather than the identity of the entrepreneur led him to propose five types of innovative activity that results in (1) the introduction of new products (2) new methods of production (3) new sources of supply (4) new markets, and (5) new methods of organizing. While the first four categories are obvious, Schumpeter did not provide any detailed analysis and examples for the latter, however, Hisrich et al. (2005) have argued that new methods of organizing may depict the emergence of a new industry, the reorganization of an existing one, or the introduction of new organizational practices or structures. These creative and innovative activities are the dome of entrepreneurs.

Nigeria is desperate for entrepreneurs who will act as agent of economic and social change, and be responsible for the creative recombination of existing materials and structures in new ways that extend existing applications, create value, and generate desirable outcomes. While Schumpeter (1964) emphasized the process, the entrepreneurial function in contrast, Bowan (1968) focused on the psychological needs and motivation of the entrepreneur by hypothesizing that the most valuable people bring into a deteriorating society would not be economists, or politicians, or engineers, but rather entrepreneurs (Nelson, 2007 cited Bowan, 1968).

Human Capital

Human Capital consists of the skills, competencies and abilities of individual and group (Stewart, 1997). Human capital is interpreted as employee values creating potential depicted in the knowledge competencies, skills, experiences, abilities and talent of firms employees and managers. Human capital captures knowledge, professional skill, experience and innovativeness of employees within an organization, Boujelbene & Affes (2013); Rastogi (1998) cited by Gifford (2000) posited that the concept and perspective of human capital stems from the fact that “There is no substitute for knowledge and learning, creativity and innovation, competences and capabilities and that they need to be relentless pursued and focused on the firms environmental context and competitive logic”.

Human capital “Consists of knowledge, skills, dexterity and personality attributes that enable individual to perform a particular task in an attempt to produce goods and services that have economic value to the people”. For effective and efficient human capital development organizations must place concerted efforts in training its employee’s to take abreast of its changing business environment for improved job productivity (Mustapha, 2005). The trend in technology and market economies however, emphasizes the need for organization to find ways of developing and mobilizing the intelligence, knowledge and creative potential of human capitals in an attempt to meet the demands of the environment.

Creativity an Entrepreneur Skill

Entrepreneurship skill is an orientation towards different ways of identification and recognition of opportunities. According to UNESCO (2008), entrepreneurship skill is made up of all kinds of experiences and orientations that give students the ability and vision of how to access and transform opportunities of different kinds. It is about increasing student’s ability to anticipate and respond positively to societal changes. Herbert & Link (1982) also maintain that it is a catalyst for economic development and job creation in any society. Entrepreneurship education is the individual’s ability to learn and turn ideas into action. It includes creativity, innovation and risk taking, as well as the ability to plan and manage projects in order to achieve objectives. Enu (2012) states “That curriculum content must be responsive enough to address the obvious shortcomings of the present school system”. This calls for innovations in the school curriculum that will be responsive and relevant to solve the current and anticipated needs, problems and aspirations of the learner (Emah, 2009; Ogunkunle, 2009).

Entrepreneurship skill seeks to provide students (especially those in tertiary institutions) with the knowledge, skills and motivation to encourage entrepreneurial studies in a variety of settings (European Union Commission, 2010).

Skill therefore is the rapidity, precision, expertise, dexterity and proficiency exhibited through mental and manual repetition of performance of an operation. Etonyeaku et al. (2014) opine that skill is the capacity of a person to accomplish a task within desired precision and certainty. Skill involves a practical knowledge in combination with clearness, expertise, dexterity and ability to perform a function which could be acquired or learnt in the school or training centres through learning, experience. In the world of business, those who possess relevant business skill and office competencies, coupled with entrepreneurial zeal have better gainful employment opportunities and business success than those who are deficient in such skills.

Creative Skills is one of the skills which graduates must possess. The skill enables graduates to create ideas, services and products which they can sells to people and as such, they are said to be creative. The skill helps them to generate business ideas, imagine new products, packages, services among others. Creative skills assist them to engage in imaginative thinking which can bring innovations in any sector of entrepreneurial activities. It is an important attribute of a successful entrepreneur (Hickie, 2012). Creativity is one of the entrepreneurial skills which could be imparted and acquired through entrepreneurship education. Creativity can be understood as the generation of new ideas (Cook, 2005). Creativity produces not just new ideas but valuable ones. It is an imaginative process with outcomes in the public world that are original and of value (Runco, 2004). Creativity is something of a multidimensional process that requires a combination of thinking styles and tolerance for contradiction and paradox. The ability to bring something new into existence (Holt, 2006). It is a phenomenon where a person creates something new (a product, a solution, a work of art etc) that has some kind of value.

Creativity is a mental process involved in the generation of new ideas or an association between existing ideas. It is inherent in all humans and therefore, has a universal distribution. Creativity is also characterized by the ability to think divergently or differently. It includes the ability to generate new and lots of ideas, flexibility as opposed to rigidity, the ability to associate and link facts and brainstorm, analyze and incubate new ideas. One important entrepreneurial skill that should be encouraged is creativity skill. With creativity skill, graduates could devise ways of solving human problems, devise new concepts among others.

Theoretical Framework

This study is based on psychological theory of entrepreneurship by McClelland (1961). He postulated that traits, motives and personalities are major motivating factors that instill entrepreneurship spirit in an individual. The psychologist was of the view that there is an inner urge in someone that makes an entrepreneur to desire for a change of status and environment that may lead to innovation. The inner urge or force should be injected into graduate prior to graduation in their various territory institutions and entrepreneurship training programme during orientation camp that will enable them to seek for change of status that inspires them to generate ideas and also energize them to pursue small scale businesses for economic growth and achievement in life. The theory, accept that individuals can activate their entrepreneurial potentials if there are enabling environment that activate individual entrepreneurial potentials and creativity.


The study adopted a descriptive survey design. This design is considered to be appropriate because, the study involves data collection in a natural setting. The population of the study is 1,200 of NYSC Batch C Stream II in Delta State NYSC Orientation camp. A sample size of 408 representing 34% of the population was randomly selected for the study. Our decision is justified by the studies of Fawcett (1997); Nwana (1992); Fitcher (1964); Kemp & Reid (1972); Owojori (2002) where they recommended that when population (N) is large a sample size of at least 10% sample size is adequate for a scientific study. A questionnaire titled “effect of creativity and human capital development on Nigeria graduate entrepreneurs” was developed for the study. The questionnaire was a five point likert scale. The questionnaire was subjected to content validity by given it to Information Technology; Measurement and Evaluation experts respectively for their observation, comments and suggestions. Their comments suggestions were used to modify the questionnaires. Out of 408 questionnaires that were distributed to the respondents, only 400 completed questionnaires were returned which were used for the analysis.

To test the reliability of the instrument, a pilot study was carried on 50 NYSC Stream II Batch Corps members outside the sample size in other to establish their reliabilities and internal consistencies of the items within the questionnaire. At the end of the exercise, the completed questionnaires were collected and coded for statistical analysis. The 24th edition of the Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS) was used in analyzing the data. Among the option chosen to determine the reliability and internal consistency of the instrument were the Split Half Method and the Spearman Brown Methods. The result indicated a reliability coefficient of 0.7952 for the Spearman Brown option while the Guttman Split-half yielded a reliability coefficient of 0.83. The observed average measure intraclass correlation coefficient for the items within the instrument was 0.78. These observed coefficients for the instruments implied that they are highly reliable and internally consistent for the study (Tuckman, 1975). As pointed out by Anastasi (1968), the closer to 1, the reliability coefficient of an instrument the more reliable the instrument.

The data generated for the paper were analyzed using descriptive statistics and inferential statistics of one tail t-test with aid of the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS v.24). The use of the one tail test is informed by the fact that it is the best statistical tool that could be used to compare a constant with an observed mean (Steel, 1980).

In the course of the discussions of the items on the likert scale option a summation of the “Strongly agree” and “agree” was effected while “Disagree” and “Strongly disagree” were also added to enable conclusive statement to be made on the items since they added up to either agree or disagree. Most discussion however, in the analysis are presented along likert scale system.

Test of Hypothesis

Null hypothesis (Ho1): Creativity has no significant positive effect on human capital development of Nigeria graduates

Presentation of Data

Going with the expressed opinion of the graduates in Table 1, there is no doubting that creativity has a significant positive effect on human capital development. These concept here is not necessarily the spread but the actual opinions been expressed by the respondents. As observed in the table the graduates were unanimous on the influence of entrepreneurship education on creativity and human capital development. For example 95.9% agreed that entrepreneurship skill provide intending graduate with creativity skills that will makes them meet the manpower needs of the society. Considering mobilization of resources, 96.4% of the graduates agreed that entrepreneurship skill mobilizes resources that will ordinarily have been idle into productive use through innovativeness and creativeness to create jobs. Following this consensus, most (88.7%) of the graduates agreed that entrepreneurship education help graduates with job creation and human capital development. Thus 97.9% of the graduates were of the view that entrepreneurship education influences their skills for creativity and self-confidence in the labour market.

Table 1 Extent to Which Creativity Affects Human Capital Development of Nigeria Graduates
S/N Creativity effect on human capital development Agree Undecided Disagree Mean Ranked
1 Entrepreneurial skill help graduate with job creation and human capital development. 355
3.837 8
2 Entrepreneurial skill helps in bringing out the willingness and ability of creativity of graduate. 378
3.286 4
3 Entrepreneurial skill provides graduate with creativity skills that will make them meet the manpower needs of the society. 384
3.837 3
4 Entrepreneurship skill mobilizes resources that ordinarily would have remained idle in the hands of people and employ them productively through innovativeness and creativity to create jobs. 386
3.687 2
5 Entrepreneurship skill creates a balance in rural-urban migration through innovativeness and creativity  374
3.837 5
6 Entrepreneurship skill brings about self-fulfillment when he/she has discovered the strength, weakness, opportunities and treats in business creativity. 363
3.185 6
7 Entrepreneurship skill Facilitates the identification, creation and utilization of resources through innovativeness and creativity 347
3.521 9
8 Entrepreneurship studies have adequately prepared  me for self-reliance, self-employment through innovativeness and creativity 362
3.303 7
9 Entrepreneurship studies influences skills for creativity, and self-confidence in the labour market.   391
3.406 1

In further ascertaining the influence of creativity on human capital, 94.4% agreed that entrepreneurship education helps in bringing out the willingness and ability of creativity of graduates.

Emphasizing the inherent efficiency of entrepreneurship studies on creativity and human capital development 90.5% of the respondents agreed that entrepreneurship education has adequately prepared them for self-reliance, self-confidence, through innovativeness and creativity. The opinions of the graduates are not differences in items 5, 6, and 7 on the table where the graduates frequency score were within 86–90% margin. This means that virtually all the graduate agreed that entrepreneurship studies influences creativity and human capital development.

To give statistical significant to the respondents’ responses, the responses were subjected to one tail t-test using the hypothesis formulated, the result is presented below:

Test of Hypothesis

In the test of the hypothesis the mean score of the subjects was subjected to a one tail t-test statistical method. The test in the table revealed that entrepreneurship skill has significantly influenced on creativity and human capital development of Nigeria graduates. This is indicated by t-value of 46.83 at a significant level of 0.000. That is the t-calculated or observed (46.83) mean is greater than the t-critical value of 1.96. This means that the hypothesis that creativity has no significant positive effect on human capital development of graduates could not be retained.

Discussion and Findings

The tested hypothesis above proved empirically that creativity has positive influence in human capital developments of Nigeria graduates. In fact entrepreneurial skill help graduate with job creation, bring out the willingness and ability of creativity of graduate, provides graduate with creativity skills that will make them meet the manpower needs of the society. It also brings about self-fulfilment when the graduates discovered the strength, weakness, opportunities and treats in business creativity and will placed them adequately prepared for self-reliance, self-employment and self-confidence in the labour market.

Those entrepreneurship skill that would have remained idle are mobilized in the graduates and these findings agrees with that of Agbim et al. (2013) whose findings showed that the most influential factor in entrepreneurs success is creativity on entrepreneurial intentions with increase in age. The test in Table 2 revealed that entrepreneurship skill has significant influence on creativity and human capital development.

Table 2 One Tail T-Test on the Effect of Creativity on Human Capital Development of Graduates
Variables Mean Standard deviation Std. error t-value DF P Remarks
Observed mean 4.2998 0.554 0.028 46.83 400 000 Significant
Expected mean 3.00            


Creativity is essential in the entrepreneurial development process. Creative entrepreneur’s personnel are important members of modern-day business developers whose services are contributing in moving organizations forward in the face of acute technological advancement and competition. These changes have altered the roles of entrepreneurs throwing up enormous challenges to business promoters. Creativity, innovations and standard codes and ethics are essential for the growth of businesses and sustainability of employment.


1. Tertiary institution and NYSC orientation camps curriculum in Nigeria should seek to produce graduates that are creative thinkers, and those who are ready to challenge the status quo, ready to make mistakes and learn from them.

2. Graduates should not be afraid to put forward new ideas, and constantly evaluate the ideas thoroughly in order to be able to successfully launch their business.

3. Government should also increase graduates’ entrepreneurial intentions by establishing more centers for entrepreneurship development where the graduates during the period of orientation have a brainstorming on product or any other relevant issues that can help them be creative and be self employed.


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