The focus of this study was aimed at investigating effects of entrepreneurial skills acquisition on self-employment, as to redress the ills of unemployment in Nigeria. The study which was designed as a descriptive survey evaluated the mediating effects of psycho- social factors on the relationship between entrepreneurial skills acquisition and self-employment in Nigeria. Instrument for data collection was close ended questionnaire, which was designed with five options: strongly agree, agree, undecided, strongly disagree and disagree; in line with the five (5) points modified Likert scale. The instrument was tested for validity and reliability and found suitable for the study. The population of the study was Twenty-Two Thousand, Eight Hundred and Seventy Six (22,876), serving National Youth Corps members in South- East, Nigeria. Using Borg and Gall (1973) technique, sample size of Four Thousand, Four Hundred and Twelve (4412) was deduced, though the study was conducted using 4,400 copies of questionnaire that were received fully completed and usable. Data generated from the study were analyzed using descriptive statistics: tables, frequencies, percentages, graphs, pie charts and histograms. Five distinct hypotheses were formulated to guide the study, and were tested using Ordinary Least Square (OLS) regression inferential statistics, with the help of e-view, version 9. All tests were carried out at significance level of 0.05 and 10% degree of freedom (df). The study revealed that entrepreneurial skills variables: business skills, technical skills and personal entrepreneurial skills have significant positive effects on self-employment in Nigeria. The study also established that psycho- social factors (self- motivation and social influence) have significant positive effect on self-employment in Nigeria. The research concluded that with adequate effort in motivating the students and enhanced positive social influence, entrepreneurial skills acquisition will encourage nascent entrepreneurship activities and stimulate existing entrepreneurs to high performance. Hence the study recommended, among others that tertiary institutions and other entrepreneurial training centres should enrich their curriculum with business skills, technical skills, personal entrepreneurial skills, and also planned activities that will motivate students and provide positive social influence, to ensure that entrepreneurial skills acquisition generates enterprise creation and reduce the problem of unemployment in Nigeria.
Keywords: Entrepreneurial Skills, Self-Motivation, Self-employment, social influence
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