UCT study spotlights youth entrepreneurship

22 May 2008 | Story by Newsroom

GEM report
Latest: The 2007 edition of the UCT Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship's Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), which tracks entrepreneurial activity in South Africa

South African youth are developing the confidence and potential to become entrepreneurship superstars, according to the latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) study.

The key findings of the study, conducted by the UCT Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) at the UCT Graduate School of Business, show that the youth have a positive attitude towards opportunity-oriented business activities.

In the analysis, researchers identified trends that point to the youth as being capable of generating much-needed socio-economic growth in South Africa. The study shows that more youth are opportunity seizers, rather than those starting a business because they have no other option. In line with international trends, more female entrepreneurs are entering the market.

In addition to strong positive education trends for youth, they also believe that they have the right knowledge and skills to create new businesses. Respondents felt that a culture for entrepreneurship is being created in South Africa. There is a positive mindset regarding the possible creation of new jobs in the future.

Finally, research shows that many of the early-stage businesses started by the youth are doing the same thing. This could indicate a negative trend regarding perceptions on innovation which can manifest in negative consequences for the economy over the long term if not properly addressed.

Dr Mike Herrington
Fresh findings: Dr Mike Herrington, director of the UCT CIE and research team leader of GEM South Africa since 2001

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