An international study conducted by UCT Graduate School of Business shows that a culture of entrepreneurship is likely to accelerate development within a country – and the best place to acquire these skills is within education.
About 50% of young men and 48% of young women in South Africa struggle to find employment after finishing school. Innovative and entrepreneurial skills may enable these young people to play a part in not only ensuring that they have a job, but also aiding the development of the economy in South Africa.
"A lot of people want jobs," says Peter Kraan, who heads up the Entrepreneurship Centre at the Tertiary School in Business Administration (TSiBA).
"There is something special about people who are able to go beyond simply wanting a job that puts money on the table, to want to create something sustainable on their own and essentially give back to the community while benefiting from their own hard work."
The school has geared its learning towards instilling a culture of entrepreneurship. The four-year business degree enables students from disadvantaged backgrounds to make practical use of their business theory through its Entrepreneurship Centre.
The centre has been going for two years and has helped numerous small businesses within the students' communities.
"We try to get across to the students that it's not all success and glory and fame, it's a lot of hard work," Kraan explains.
This exposure to the running of a business within a structured and supervised environment gives the students the space to learn from mistakes that in the real world, they may not be able to recover from.