Entrepreneurial behaviour of disadvantaged urban youth: a study of the effects of an experiential intervention

students in the last few months of th~ir a:Qterwardsin the tran\ttion \.. studies! and :' stages of their career development I were the sU:b,ejcts of this research. The emphasis fa on t~ose young" adults>who were not able to go to a tertiary education institut~, or to get permanent; employment .. The very depressed economid conditions of recent times has !;'esutled in iI~creased unemployment, in the black in pa.rticulc{•;_· The identi.fication and development of entr~preneurial talent in this community is of -prime importance. The formal sector cannot make a meaningful contribution to the unempl~Yment situation. This research haa developed atlexperiential intervention· Which serves as a model to encourage informal business d'evelopment. It is based upon the initiation and/:l::'unning of a mini-business by high school-students I conducted e:ktra curricularly, and \known as the Junior Achievemel'lt programme. <\ The study measured the increa$e in the achievement. motivation values and internality of the Experimental!:; Group due to the i.ntervention,compared with a Contiol, using varioup Validated instrumel1ts.rrherewas a positive change in the motivational 0) /P , ( '~\ values ~f the Experimental oompare¢l with the Control students. The males in the former increased their internaliJ.tycompared with the females in the two groups. It was ~lso established that there was an increase:in business k:rlowledg~·between 1lhose ,; in the intervention and the rest of the partioipants. The ,results of, the application of the skills as well as (:"_i the knowledge gained 1-2 years after the main inptttshad been given confirmed the effectiveness /0-\ °bf the inte:rvent:;ionintel;.;est. by the Experimental ent;r.eprene;urswere th€i~'~esl1lotf a ..better understand;i,ng of the elements needed in the fOl::-mationof a new business ..':'A similar understandinc;!,'of what is, needed to set up a new venture was not displayed loy the entx;epreneur.s~n the C0l}:trolGroup. This finding ':;j demonstrates the value of the experiential method of learning .• Two results which.explained to some ~xtent contradictory previous findings Were obt~ined involving all of thel' stUdents in the st·:ud.y. In the first it was found that the males were more pro-active and self-reliant than the females (i.e. more internal). In the second, business owners were. found ·to be signifioantly di:{,feren'uls:i;ng \: m~asures of time awareness, action orientation and goal direqtedness compared with non-entre~feneurs. In addition, the business owners were more il?-:I:;.ernaa.ly oriel1tated.compared with tJhEiothers in\~j\thsetudy. ( The Outcomes of the research demonstrated an increase Qf ::/' entrepreneul:'ial hehaviour ill the you~g persons as :h result 1\ df"\)the intervention. There is evidence that the " matriculation results of the Experimental Group were better than those of the control. \) d It was an object!VIlE! of ths stuay .to make the recipients of the JJnputsl\\Ore enterprising livesl:~ The and to empower them to take chal;-geof 'their sta.tistical evidence, t~e results of field \ \, V:•l.Sl'.t s, student interviews and the ex-students' ca,rear aspirations provide that the increase : "j) z.:__1. motivational values an(jinternality did take place. evidence in The provi<t9s the firot quantitative measure of \\ disadvantaged school leavers 'do with their research wha.t urban time, what they aspire to,otheir family circumstances, and what they do to make a little money.
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of Management;. Department of Business Administration, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, "in f~J!fHment of the requirements-for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. I! Johannesburg 1993