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South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences

On-line version ISSN 2222-3436

Abstract

MAHADEA, Darma; RAMROOP, Shaun  and  ZEWOTIR, Temesgen. Assessing entrepreneurship perceptions of high school learners in Pietermaritzburg, Kwazulu-Natal. S. Afr. j. econ. manag. sci. (Online) [online]. 2011, vol.14, n.1, pp. 66-79. ISSN 2222-3436.

Although South Africa achieved positive economic growth rates since the advent of democracy in 1994, the formal sector has not been able to absorb the annual increasing number of job-seekers on the market and solve the unemployment problem. The exercise of entrepreneurship, through business formations and expansions, is regarded as a vehicle for job creation and output expansion. According the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) reports, South Africa's level of early stage total entrepreneurial activity (TEA) is rather low relative to other countries at a similar level of development. This is partly owing to skills and resource limitations. If more individuals could realistically be exposed to practical entrepreneurship education at the secondary school level, South Africa's base for entrepreneurial capacity can be enhanced. This study uses quasi logistic regression to examine the probability of secondary school learners, in Pietermaritzburg, the capital of Kwazulu-Natal province in South Africa, to start their own business in the future. It also probes the association between the socio-economic attributes of these learners and entrepreneurship. On the basis of a survey of 275 senior school learners from 5 schools, the regression results indicate that gender, ethnic background and having a role model as well as acquiring personal skills to run one's own business are significant factors influencing an individual's propensity to venture into small firm self-employment in the future. Black learners are perceived to have a significantly greater disposition to enter into business than other groups, and male scholars are found to have a greater probability of starting their own business than female. As potential entrepreneurs do not necessarily come exclusively from a business family background, the supply of effective entrepreneurship can be augmented, if more young individuals with the relevant skills endowment can start opportunity firms and necessity ventures.

Keywords : entrepreneurship; school learners; economic growth; gender; employment creation.

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