Evaluation of a pilot entrepreneurial development programme for small business owners from Khayelitsha, South Africa
Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Small, Medium and Micro enterprise (SMME) development was identified by the South African government as a priority for creating jobs to solve the problem of the high unemployment rate in South Africa. The government focused primarily on SMMEs in previously disadvantaged communities. SMME training can be approached from different angles. The main areas of concern are: • Business skills training o Covers all the conventional management training areas in a business • Technical skills training o Addresses the ability to use knowledge or techniques of a particular discipline to attain certain ends • Entrepreneurial skills training o Involves the birth and growth of a business enterprise and includes, among other entrepreneurial traits, creativity and innovation, risk propensity and need for achievement. If small business owners are not in a large team environment, with colleagues to offer advice and tasks being covered by people with different strengths, then it is hardly surprising that they make wrong moves in business. This supports the idea that learning from the real experience of a mentor who has been in business proves to be an effective training model for the SMME environment. A number of initiatives are aimed at building the capacity of small business owners in the Western Cape, South Africa. This study will focus on a new initiative presented by the Small Business Academy (SBA) at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB). This initiative is an entrepreneurial development programme for small business owners from Khayelitsha, combining an academic training programme with a mentoring programme in one single development programme. The programme was a pilot programme and needed to be evaluated throughout the process. The aim of the study was to evaluate the pilot programme in terms of the selection of participants and mentors, the academic training programme and the mentoring journey. The study proves to highlight the successes of the programme as well as adjustments needed to improve its effectiveness. The evaluation of the programme was crucial for the following critical reasons: • To ensure success and growth of the programme and its expansion to other parts of South Africa and Africa in the future.• To ensure future funding for the programme, as it is at present subsidised by the USB and corporate sponsorships. • To ensure the necessary adjustments to the programme in order to improve its effectiveness. Key findings of the programme were that the pilot programme was extremely successful in all three aspects evaluated. The best of the best were selected, the participants excelled academically and the programme achieved a graduation rate of sixty seven per cent. The mentoring journey had an immense impact on the participants’ view of approaching their way of doing business.