Entrepreneurship at Further Education and Training Colleges in Durban : a demand side perspective.
Entrepreneurship has long been considered an important factor in stimulating economic growth and in reducing unemployment. The youth, in particular, constitute the largest portion of the South African population, making them the most vulnerable to unemployment. Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges have received considerable government interest as a platform to empower young people to become economically active. The aim of this study, therefore, was to ascertain whether young people at Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges in the Durban area had any intentions towards entrepreneurship. Consequently, the study investigated FET College students’ perceptions and attitudes towards entrepreneurship. In so doing, students’ awareness of the existence of entrepreneurial initiatives at their colleges was also assessed. In order to achieve this, a quantitative research approach was used. FET College students in the Durban area were selected as the population of interest. This comprised of 3 FET Colleges with a joint population size of 29 200 students. A total of 670 students participated. Data was collected by means of a structured questionnaire. All 670 questionnaires that were administered were returned. The study found that overall FET College students had positive perceptions and attitudes towards entrepreneurship. Students also demonstrated high levels of self-efficacy and entrepreneurial intention. The majority of students who had self-employed parents indicated that in light of this they would like to start their own businesses. However, parent and family entrepreneurial background did not have any influence on collective students’ decisions to start their own businesses. Neither did gender nor age demonstrate any significant influence on student perceptions of, and intentions towards, entrepreneurship. This study highlighted the need to invest in efforts to heighten entrepreneurial awareness at FET Colleges. It is recommended that FET Colleges respond to students’ demands for entrepreneurship-related initiatives, to expand current entrepreneurship offerings and to extend their offerings to all College students. The study was not without its challenges. Significant limitations encountered included student strikes and logistical challenges.