High school learner’s interest and readiness to start a business: evidence from South African schools

WSEAS Transactions on Business and Economics 14 (1):1-12 (2017)
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Given the growing interest in entrepreneurship education and the quest to provide entrepreneurial skills to all including the youths, the study investigates high school learners’ interest and readiness to start a business in South Africa. A group of high school learners (n=403) from select high schools in Cape Town was purposively sampled using self-administrated questionnaires while personal interviews were held with all Business Studies teachers in the participating schools (n=9). The results of this study indicate that 52% of the learners are interested in starting a business, while 73% of them were from moderate income schools. A chi square test was performed to determine if the race and income level of the school influenced learners’ responses, and we found no statistical significance (P > 0.01). An overwhelming majority of the learners (73%) was of the view that they could start a business with the help of the knowledge and skills gained in the entrepreneurship education received. Suggestions on how to increase high school learners’ entrepreneurial intent and readiness to start a business upon leaving high school include the implementation of frequent learner visits to businesses as well as inviting entrepreneurs to give talks to learners. The goal of any scientific social enquiry such as the one pursued in this study, is to produce knowledge that assists in distilling viewpoints that express accurate necessities for socioeconomic development. Therefore, the practical implications of the study reside in the reinforcement of the need for a curriculum that addresses entrepreneurship education in South African high schools.

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Robertson K. Tengeh
University of the Western Cape


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