The contribution of coaching and mentoring to development of the participants in the Small Business Academy programme of the University of Stellenbosch Business School
Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) play a significant role in fuelling economic growth and job creation in South Africa, but the enterprises require owners and managers with the skills and competencies to meet both current and future challenges. Successful entrepreneurial development initiatives aimed at SMEs, specifically those from previously disadvantaged communities, can contribute to the alleviation of poverty through job creation within these communities. Entrepreneurship is a rapidly developing area of study in South Africa and there is an increasing demand for entrepreneurship training. The University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) has launched the Small Business Academy (SBA) to support the growth and development of SMEs in previously disadvantaged communities in the Western Cape Province. Research conducted on the 2013 pilot programme of the SBA substantiated the significant contribution that mentoring had made to the development of the SBA participants. The contribution of coaching to the development of the SBA participants was, however, not included in the evaluation of the SBA pilot programme. In order to increase the awareness and effectiveness of coaching and mentoring as enablers of entrepreneurial development, it is important to have an understanding of the different contributions that coaching and mentoring offer in this development. The aim of this study was to explore the contribution of coaching and mentoring to the development of participants in the Small Business Academy programmes, with a view to discovering possible improvements that could be made with regard to the support offered to the participants in the SBA programme. The study was exploratory in nature and followed a phenomenological approach. The overall methodology was qualitative. Primary data was collected through semi-structured face-to-face interviews. This study recognised and acknowledged the different contributions of both coaching and mentoring to the development of the SBA programme participants. In addition to the insights derived from this study, practical and relevant recommendations emanated from the study, including a suggestion for further research.
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