Title: Evaluating the skills of emerging entrepreneurs in a developing economy

Authors: Chris Adendorff; Fidelis Emuze; Ezekiel Vilakazi

Addresses: NMMU Business School, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, P.O. Box 77000, Port Elizabeth, 6031, South Africa ' Department of Built Environment, Central University of Technology, Free State, Private Bag X20539, Bloemfontein, 9300, South Africa ' NMMU Business School, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, P.O. Box 77000, Port Elizabeth, 6031, South Africa

Abstract: South Africa's economy is in a phase of transformation. As part of this process, the South African Government has identified the development of economic activities amongst historically disadvantaged individuals (HDIs). However, this noble intent is challenged by a lack of entrepreneurial skills, which are seen as important elements in the economic development effort that is necessary to achieve transformation goals and objectives. Based on the literature reviewed, a questionnaire was compiled and used to collect data from 51 emerging non-white (black) entrepreneurs in Cape Town, South Africa. The purpose of this exercise was to determine the skills that are essential for entrepreneurial success. It was discovered that financial management, marketing and sales, communication, self-motivation, and time management formed the essential skills required for business success. It was also discovered that these new entrepreneurs still face difficulties at start-up and are thus unable to drive their own businesses. In effect, this paper reinforces the importance of entrepreneurial skills for the government's growth and development strategy, and highlights a new set of skills that is required for the existing workforce to be competitive and to cope with the changing business environment.

Keywords: developing countries; emerging economies; entrepreneurship; entrepreneurial skills; small businesses; South Africa; small firms; financial management; marketing and sales; communication; self-motivation; time management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSEI.2013.057019

International Journal of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 2013 Vol.2 No.3, pp.240 - 252

Available online: 05 Oct 2013 *

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