Bayonle Adebayo

Title: The Role Of Tertiary Institutions In The Emergence Of Tech Start-Ups: An Empirical And Qualitative Analysis Of The Nigerian Ecosystem

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Erkki Karo

Opponent: Dr. Aleksandros Pazaitis

Defense: 2-3 June 2022


Abstract: This study aimed to analyze the role tertiary institutions play in the formation of tech start-ups in the Nigerian ecosystem. An empirical and qualitative analysis of the Nigerian tech start-up ecosystem was carried out with focus on target groups such as graduate tech entrepreneurs and academic staff who are administrators of technology entrepreneurship programmes in the universities. The study was carried out in two major tertiary institutions in Nigeria using an ex post facto research design and a cross-sectional survey research design. The main findings showed that the quality of human capital requirement for creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem to support tech start-up is low in Nigeria. This revelation was made valid as most of the lecturers charged to equip students with the technical knowledge for enterprise within the universities are far away in generation from the millennials and Gen Z, who make up 60% of the population of Nigeria. This key finding led to the recommendation that universities in Nigeria should establish key partnerships to bridge the generational gap in entrepreneurial practice. Additionally, this study identified elements within a 5-step entrepreneurial ecosystem framework as a recommendation to get universities better positioned to support students who have tech start-up ideas. These elements are: accessible markets, quality human capital, finance availability, progressive policy framework, conducive culture, and institutional support. Subsequent work can successfully develop frameworks well suited to provide robust explanations around the interaction of these elements within specific university context.


Keywords: Emerging economies, entrepreneurial university, Start-ups, tech, university, tertiary institutions, technology, Nigeria, technology entrepreneurship, unemployment, graduates, career, ecosystem