Poverty alleviation consequences of rural educational enterprise: a case study of Madonna University, Elele
Chinyere Nwajiuba; Chinedum Nwajiuba; Kingsley Nwaodu
International Journal of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Vol. 1, No. 4 (2012) pp. 373 – 379
Sustainable poverty alleviation is a key development challenge for many of the less developed countries (LDC), including Nigeria. In this context, rural enterprise development is a key approach to alleviating widespread poverty. However, many enterprises targeted for promotion of development in this direction are in sectors within which the capacity for indigenous sustainable development and management is at times limited. An exception to this is the educational sector which has traditionally been promoted as a social service dominated by the public sector. Given the growing population of young individuals and growth of private indigenous entrepreneurial capacity and interest, however, this sector has the potential to become a strong driver of growth and leading Nigeria out of poverty. Specifically, studies on poverty alleviation have focused on small-scale enterprises. This paper fills the gap by focusing on Madonna University, a private university with its campus in the rural community of Elele, River State in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region. The role of this private university initiative in reducing poverty in Elele community is examined. The main tool for data collection was a questionnaire, the results of which were analysed using descriptive statistics. The main finding is that Madonna University has had a positive influence on the well-being of its local residents. A significant proportion of these individuals now live above the poverty line. This is attributed mainly to cash inflow into the area as a result of the University’s initiatives in the area of growth and poverty alleviation.
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