An investigation into the psychological characteristics that South African entrepreneurs attribute to the success of their businesses

Pirie, Natasha (2020-12)

Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : South Africa currently faces high levels of unemployment and inequality, and many sources have identified entrepreneurship as a mechanism by which these challenges can be tackled. To explore the personal experiences of entrepreneurs that enable them to run successful businesses in the South African context and achieve the research objectives of this study, a qualitative research design was employed based on the interpretive paradigm. A phenomenological approach was followed using a combination of purposive and snowball sampling. Data was collected from a total of 14 participants through two phases, namely semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with successful entrepreneurs (including coaches or specialists working with entrepreneurs for phase 2). In summary, the results of the study indicated that 1) the perceived challenges faced by entrepreneurs in South Africa include financial challenges, insufficient and ineffective formal support structures and poor educational systems and support; 2) the perceived opportunities available to entrepreneurs in South Africa relate to entrepreneurship education and support; 3) the psychological characteristics that South African entrepreneurs attribute to the success of their businesses include conscientiousness, emotional stability (moderate levels), and openness to experience from the Big 5 model of personality, as well as risk propensity; 4) the contextual factors attributed to entrepreneurial success in South Africa involve social capital and leveraging of previous skills and experience; and lastly, 5) the reason for becoming and succeeding as an entrepreneur is due to passion. With these insights, various interventions could be developed to inspire and support individuals to become entrepreneurs, as well as to equip them with the skills and mindset needed to run successful ventures, thereby helping to alleviate the desperate situation regarding poverty and income inequality in South Africa.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Suid-Afrika staar tans hoë vlakke van werkloosheid en ongelykheid in die gesig, en baie bronne het entrepreneurskap geïdentifiseer as 'n meganisme waardeur hierdie uitdagings aangepak kan word. Om die persoonlike ervarings van entrepreneurs te ondersoek wat hulle in staat stel om suksesvolle ondernemings in die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks te bestuur en die navorsingsdoelstellings van hierdie studie te bereik, is 'n kwalitatiewe navorsingsontwerp gebruik gebaseer op die interpretatiewe paradigma. 'N Fenomenologiese benadering is gevolg deur gebruik te maak van 'n kombinasie van doelgerigte en sneeubalsteekproewe. Data is versamel van altesaam 14 deelnemers in twee fases, naamlik semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude en fokusgroepbesprekings met suksesvolle entrepreneurs (insluitend afrigters of spesialiste wat saam met entrepreneurs werk vir fase 2). Samevattend het die resultate van die studie aangedui dat 1) die vermeende uitdagings waarvoor entrepreneurs in Suid-Afrika te staan kom, finansiële uitdagings, onvoldoende en oneffektiewe formele ondersteuningstrukture en swak onderwysstelsels en ondersteuning insluit; 2) die geleenthede waarvoor entrepreneurs in Suid-Afrika beskik, het betrekking op onderwysondersteuning en ondersteuning; 3) die sielkundige eienskappe wat Suid-Afrikaanse entrepreneurs toeskryf aan die sukses van hul ondernemings, sluit in pligsgetrouheid, emosionele stabiliteit (matige vlakke) en openheid om te ervaar vanuit die Big 5-model van persoonlikheid, asook risiko-geneigdheid; 4) die kontekstuele faktore wat toegeskryf word aan ondernemingsukses in Suid-Afrika, behels sosiale kapitaal en die benutting van vorige vaardighede en ervaring; en laastens, Met hierdie insigte kan verskillende intervensies ontwikkel word om individue te inspireer en te ondersteun om ondernemers te word, asook om hulle toe te rus met die vaardighede en ingesteldheid wat nodig is om suksesvolle ondernemings te bestuur en sodoende die desperate situasie rakende armoede en ongelykheid in inkomste in Suid-Afrika te help verlig.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/109260
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