The success of cognitive apprenticeship as a learning method is dependent on the ability of the system to create viable employment for its graduates. Interestingly, the

apprenticeship system in Nigeria is an indigenous knowledge system that is based on culture and tradition. Therefore, this study evaluated the role of culture in entrepreneurship with

a focus on the Igbo trade apprenticeship system in Nigeria. Start-up capital accumulation, availability of networking and customer base, profitability, employment creation, and business survival /growth were assessed using a structured questionnaire. Respondents include 350 Igbo Traders who are members of the General Electric Dealers Association (GEDA) at Alaba International Market, Lagos State, Nigeria.

Results showed that the respondents within the age of 40 – 49 years had the highest percentage (42.6%). The respondents were mostly male (99.4%) and had passed through formal education. Most of the respondents spent 6 to 8 years as apprentices. The respondents were composed mainly of the Igbo tribe (92.4%) and already owned their own businesses with good patronage. Most of the respondents affirmed that they were settled by their masters at the end of apprenticeship (86.7%), that their settlement was only in cash from their masters (55.4%), and that the settlement from their masters was the single source of start-up capital (72.5%). Results

also showed significant relationships between the number of years of apprenticeship and accumulation of start-up capital, customer acquisition and networking, and employment creation by graduates from the Igbo Trade Apprenticeship System. Thus, the Igbo apprenticeship system is a self- sustaining system that could be adopted by the government and other skill acquisition institutions.

Keywords: Igbo culture, apprenticeship, profitability, employees, customers, Nigeria

Read the full article on page 23 of the ISM Journal Vol. 4, issue 1, July 2021.

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