South Africans more positive about entrepreneurship – report

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South Africans view entrepreneurship as a career option more positively than their global counterparts, and the country ranks third in the world for how friendly society is perceived to be towards entrepreneurs, according to a new report.

Released today, the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report for 2014 surveyed 43,902 people across 38 countries worldwide; with South Africa the only African country to be included.

According to the report, over 75 per cent of South African respondents felt positively about the idea of entrepreneurship, and 50 per cent of the respondents said they could imagine starting a business themselves.

Globally speaking, these opinions placed South Africa was above the global average for both positivity and potential to start own business.

In terms of people’s perceptions of how entrepreneur-friendly society in their country is, South Africa ranked third of all countries surveyed.  Over 70 per cent of South African respondents said they felt South African society to be “very friendly” towards entrepreneurship, while only approximately 15 per cent said society was unfriendly.

The corresponding global average saw less than 50 per cent of respondents say their country is very friendly to entrepreneurs.

Asked whether entrepreneurship is an innate skill or can be taught, 71 per cent of South African respondents feel entrepreneurship can be taught, and entrepreneurs do not necessarily have to have been born to the “calling”.  Again, this response is much higher than the global average of 63 per cent.

Considering what skills should be taught to entrepreneurs to help them start a new business, 42 per cent of respondents worldwide felt basic business skills such as financial controlling, marketing are most important. 37 per cent said leadership, management and rhetoric skills were key; and a further 37 per cent felt practical skills such as business planning should be taught. 31 per cent said innovation skills – on how to apply creativity to business offerings – should be taught.

28 per cent of global respondents said mentoring and engagement with entrepreneurs is the form of education which should be available to prospective entrepreneurs; while a further 24 per cent said analysing entrepreneurial success stories would be of most educational value.

When asked who should be responsible for entrepreneurial education, opinions were split quite equally.  Schools and secondary education institutes were given the most responsibility by respondents at 36 per cent, while individuals teaching themselves were given the least responsibility at 23 per cent.  Between the two extremes, opinions as to responsibility were spread equally across special startup programmes – both governmental and non-profit -, higher education institutions, and private startup programmes provided by companies.

Only 11 per cent of respondents globally felt education for entrepreneurs to be sufficient in their country, and a further 32 per cent said education was sufficient but could still be improved; leaving 57 per cent of respondents who felt not enough is being done to provide entrepreneurial education in their country.

Asked why entrepreneurship is attractive, two main reasons across all regions and age groups ranked top: the wish for self-fulfillment and the possibility to realise own ideas; and the wish to “be your own boss”.

 

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Inspired and excited by the African tech entrepreneurial scene, Gabriella spends her time travelling around the continent to report on the most innovative tech startups, the most active investors, and the latest trends emerging in the ecosystem.

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