The impact of education and experience on entrepreneurial success in Gauteng
ABSTRACT The current global economic climate remains a quagmire for global leaders as they attempt to find ways to carve out economic prosperity for their countries. In the South African context, government has the arduous task of stimulating growth and driving inclusive economic transformation to help redress the structural problems of the past. Entrepreneurship is vital to this transformation path. Furthermore, entrepreneurship in the manufacturing sector will be a crucial element of the growth agenda. Previous studies across the extant entrepreneurship domain have provided strong evidence that education and experience are key requirements for entrepreneurial success. This study used a quantitative approach to determine the impact of education and experience on the success of South African entrepreneurs. The study was limited to manufacturing entrepreneurs in Gauteng and used self-completion surveys (n = 111). Entrepreneurial success was operationalised through both growth and entrepreneur satisfaction. Growth was measured through growth in employment, sales and assets. Entrepreneurs were asked to rate their overall satisfaction with business performance to assess satisfaction. Hierarchical regression, exploratory and descriptive statistics were used to test the hypotheses postulated. A small but significant association was found between education and employment growth. No statistically significant relationships were found between experience levels and growth. The lack of effect for specific experience might be expected since few entrepreneurs reported having prior entrepreneurial and industry related experience in this sample. Investment in education and experience is still undoubtedly needed for entrepreneurs to succeed in South Africa. Government can stimulate entrepreneurial activity by promoting entrepreneurship at all levels of the education system and help bridge the experience and skills divide through focussed intervention.
New business enterprises, Small business -- Government policy, Entrepreneurship, Manufacturing industries -- South Africa.