The Igba-boi Apprenticeship Approach : Arsenal Behind Growing Success of Igbo Entrepreneurs in Nigeria
The Igbo ethnic group in Nigeria is known for success in business and entrepreneurship. Through an apprenticeship scheme known as Igba-boi, people from this ethnic group have dominated and continued to excel above their contemporaries from other ethnic groups in the country and beyond. This article profiles the "Igba-boi" scheme and comes up with a model on how to improve it. A survey research design grounded on a qualitative method was used. Purposive sampling technique was used to identify individuals with in-depth knowledge about this approach for one-on-one interview and focus group discussion in selected regions of Nigeria. The data analyses were performed using Atlas. ti v8, through thematic approach. Findings reveal the approach involves three main stages: the talent identification, the learning stage and the settlement/start-off stage. The parents/guidance helps identify their children's entrepreneurship ambition and provide capacity building such as sourcing a mentor. The child indicates interest of entrepreneurship and accepts to pursue the career at early stage. Potential mentor/entrepreneur takes the child through the training process and in the end provides support to establish and individually innovation. In light of discrepancies during settlement of apprentices after a successful completion of training, the study recommends legal involvement in the process. It will be appropriate for the government to use the approach as a resource for entrepreneurship capacity building. The approach should be improved as pedagogy in institutions of learning to spur entrepreneurship spirit amongst the youths.