For many years the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) has confirmed the Institute’s experiences on the ground namely that we are not an entrepreneurial nation – coming consistently last out of all African countries participating in this annual survey. Since 2010 the Institute has been watching with interest the development of a new measure in the form of the Global Entrepreneurship Index (GEI) which measures entrepreneurship capacity slightly differently. The GIE which was released this year places South Africa 53rd out of 130 countries participating and indicates that it is operating at 40% of its entrepreneurship capacity (with the world as a whole at 52%). In addition, South Africa is at the top of the Sub Saharan African region and well above the next highest African country Botswana which placed 66.
Why is is so different from the GEM findings over the years? This is because the GEI measures different aspects to GEM namely entrepreneurial attitudes, entrepreneurial abilities and entrepreneurial aspirations. Each of these are made up of both an individual variable and an institutional variable (unlike GEM which only has an individual variable.) Entrepreneurial attitudes are how a society feels about recognising opportunities, knowing entrepreneurs, thinking of them as being something to admire, accepting risk in starting up businesses and having the skills to do so. Entrepreneurial abilities are the characteristics of entrepreneurs these can vary from sector to sector and are influenced by age, education etc. Entrepreneurial aspirations are the entrepreneur’s effort to develop and grow into new markets or new products, identify various types of financing options and so on. (GEI 2015)
Because our human capital development is low – and if we see this as a glass half full – this provides wonderful opportunity for improvement and growth. SA measures low on indices that only measure individual variables (like GEM) however the good news is that SA is relatively strong institutionally. So – if we can develop a vibrant entrepreneurial culture – something at the core of the existence of the Institute for nearly 20 years – SA could become a winning nation – one that is an entrepreneurial role model to the rest of the world. The areas where we can improve the most are in start-up skills and human capital development – with only 42,7% of our population perceiving that they have the capabilities for starting a business (compared to a Sub Saharan Africa average of 74%).
When the Institute was established in 1996 it believed that there was enormous potential given the strength of the country institutionally and the unlocked and undeveloped potentially individually. Its goal was to develop an entrepreneurial culture through mindset and skill development. This is now being borne out by the findings of the GEI with give credence to the opportunities that the Instituted identified in small business and enterprise development and which is it is still involved in in 2015.
The potential of the BEST Game and other entrepreneurial and skills development programmes….
A new order?
Enterprise Development 2013 NC
Progress Report Training 2013-2014, Khumani Report Kathu April 2015. (2 reports) Parsons, Askham & Kathu, Olifantshoek
Best Game (Enterprise)
The BEST GAME is in essence not a game at all. It is a carefully constructed business skills development tool masquerading as a game. The BEST GAME is interactive and experientially based. It simulates real market conditions and business scenarios in the training room. The process gets participants to weigh up information, make decisions and […]