Evaluating the effectiveness of adult entrepreneurial education in building the South African economy.
This study evaluates the effectiveness of adult entrepreneurial education in building the South African economy. A literature review was done to define small, medium and micro enterprises (SMME’s) and their contribution to the Gross Domestic Product of South Africa. Factors hindering SMME’s are also considered. The theory of entrepreneurship is then discussed in order to understand the general principles that govern entrepreneurship. The aim of this study was to establish whether adequate entrepreneurial education takes place at schools and the extent that adult entrepreneurial plays a role in forming SMME’s. The alignment of entrepreneurs with their primary business experience was investigated to establish the extent of training that took place. The average incubation period during the adult entrepreneurial training phase was investigated relative to the economy in terms of unemployment and the absorption rate of the economy. Perceptions of entrepreneurs were established with regards to their education and its perceived success. A non-probability sampling technique was used with purposive sampling as the sub technique. A total of 75 entrepreneurs were successfully interviewed for this project. The study established that entrepreneurial education at schools is minimal. It was discovered that post school entrepreneurial education is an important factor in setting up SMME’s and most entrepreneurs stayed in the same industries that they received their primary training from. Most entrepreneurs obtained some formal post school education and perceived this to be an important factor in their success. It is recommended that entrepreneurship education be taught at all schools (both primary and secondary) to provide a better foundation for school leaving entrepreneurs. It is also recommended that a study be done to find ways to reduce the incubation period that is needed post school in order to gain the necessary confidence levels to start businesses. This study should include ways of identifying prospective entrepreneurs early in their careers and nurturing them.