Time management – Academic Paper – Self and Other
Academic Paper – Self and Other
Table of Contents
About the Author: 2
The world Stage – Background. 2
What Caused the Meltdown?. 3
The Economic Recovery. 3
South Africa – A positive picture for the future. 4
South Africa – Outstanding Possibilities. 4
Concerns for Our Country. 6
Challenges Facing South African Economy. 7
Pushing growth down. 7
Pushing growth up. 7
Consistent Improvement in Productivity. 7
Upbeat future – things are looking great 8
Future Prospects for Our Country. 11
Training our Entrepreneurs for the Future. 13
Definition of Entrepreneurship. 13
Dainow (1986) 13
Review of articles. 14
Entrepreneurial propensity or Ability. 14
Business Prior to Start-Up. 15
Going Concerns. 16
Educational Process and Structure. 17
Summary of the Leadership Training – Alternatives. 18
Entrepreneurial Propensity. 18
Recommendations for the formal education sector 18
Business Prior to start-up. 18
Going Concerns. 19
Education Process and Structure. 19
Training Entrepreneurs in South Africa. 20
Establish Centres of Excellence. 20
Type of training methodologies. 21
Active Experimentation. 23
Formal Education Sector 23
Prior to Start-up. 23
About the Author:
Andrew is a serial entrepreneur, who has owned and successfully operated a number of businesses in numerous different market sectors, over the past 20 years. On the 1 August 2012, Andrew “refired” and stopped his active involvement in all his businesses. Since then he has focused his energy exclusively on his professional speaking and consulting businesses. He is arguably one of the top motivational speakers and corporate success coaches in South Africa. He teaches business professionals how to make a few small shifts to their philosophy and behaviour, so that they can maximise their performance and results. His goal is to I inspire them to greatness, helping them to mobilise every asset and resource at their disposal for the benefit of all stakeholders.
He is a straight shooting, grounded and deeply curious master teacher, who offers a simple, no-nonsense approach to uncovering and utilizing the hidden potential, which lies dormant within all of us. This is accomplished by filtering, synthesizing and converting the best personal development and human behaviour ideas into simple, actionable change tools that are easy to apply and implement, thereby allowing for sustainable success.
His purpose is to empower exceptional people, winning teams and authentic leaders, inspiring them to shift their behaviour and attitude, so that they can maximise their personal effectiveness and consistently deliver their best. He aims to work with people who want to drop limiting rules and restrictions in the pursuit of excellence and want to live an AGILE and thriving life. He will act as the catalyst for success within any organisation. He travels the planet constantly researching, learning and seeking ways to unlock the mysteries of the human mind. He delves into the inner workings of the universe, always looking for ways to understand his role in making things better and contributing to the improvement of the human experience.
The world Stage – Background
The current long recession we are experiencing, started in December 2007 and really took hold of the world economy in September 2008. There has been a significant global decline in the world economy, since then, which has affected certain countries far more than others. This extended recession is the result of a number of global imbalances and was sparked by the 2007 global financial crisis.
This recession is characterised by persistent high unemployment, consumer and producer confidence is low, there is a continuing downward spiral in house prices, foreclosures and personal bankruptcies continues to rise. Although a true recession is defined when an economy contracts for two more quarters in a row, this recession is different to many that have come before. Officially the recession ended in the US in June 2009, as the economy has grown, since then, albeit by a very small percentage. Although the recession, in the USA, the world’s biggest economy, officially ended in June 2009, the perception amongst more than half the USA citizens polled in late 2011is that the recession is not over.
This is fueled by continued high unemployment, low consumer confidence, the continued decline in house values, empty shops, bankruptcies, foreclosures and the perception that the economy is still in decline. The modest recovery in the USA economy has not done much to dispel the feeling of unease amongst the average citizens, despite the fact that the economy has recovered. The richest people in the USA and in the UK were only marginally affected by the world recession.
What Caused the Meltdown?
Economists accept that there are numerous factors, which directly and indirectly contributed to the economic meltdown, which occurred in 2007, 2008. The one most economists however do agree on, which played the most significant role in the current financial crisis, is the subprime mortgage fiasco. The credit boom of the early 2000’s led to banks wanting to lend money and earn the kind of returns they had managed to earn, by lending to qualified buyers of houses. As the qualified buyers were drying up, the bankers eager to earn a quick buck chose to lend money to less and less qualified buyers.
This subprime lending modality placed banks in a precarious position. As food prices and oil prices began to rise, more and more mortgage holders began to default on their repayments. The subprime lending losses were only the tip of the iceberg and as more and more banks were repossessing houses, causing property prices to fall, and other risky loans and over inflated asset prices in the banking sector also emerged. The fall of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, saw a worldwide panic break out in the interbank loan market. Property and share prices plummeted, resulting in huge losses for banks in the USA and Europe.
The Economic Recovery
The world economy keeps showing signs of recovery, but countries like Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Italy, who are unable to adequately service their national debt, keep negatively affecting consumer confidence and are holding the world economy hostage. The BRICS countries have, admittedly seen reduced economic growth over the past few years, but economic growth in these five countries has remained steady. Theses developing economies or emerging economies are distinguished by their rapidly growing economies. The BRICS countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China and recently also South Africa, have gone through the economic recession, virtually unscathed. Despite a slowdown in their economic growth, these countries have managed to avoid any long-term damage to their economies as a result of the world wide slowdown.
The world economy is showing major signs of recovery. In fact, many Fortune 500 companies have reported record profits and many of the world’s wealthy elite have actually seen their fortunes grow over the past two years, as reported by Forbes Magazine and the Sunday Times Rich list. Both of these publications have reported an increase in the number of billionaires and the total wealth owned by this group of individuals has grown to 4.5 trillion dollars in the USA and 414 Billion Pounds in the UK.
South Africa – A positive picture for the future
South Africa will play a significant role in the development of a fast growing Africa. There are a number of African countries, Botswana, Ghana, Mozambique, Angola to name but a few, which are showing phenomenal growth and offer very attractive opportunities for investor to make great returns. The African economies south of the Sahara are set to grow in excess of 4.5 % this year as they recover faster than expected from the global recession.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn said: “Usually there’s a long delay between the recovery [from] crisis in the rest of the world and the time when African countries catch up. This time it’s not the case.” The IMF chief attributed the swift upturn to the ability of many countries to raise their budget deficits and increase expenditure, having introduced more disciplined fiscal policies in the years before the global downturn, when Africa was growing annually by 5 to 7 per cent.
South Africa – Outstanding Possibilities
Looking at South Africa’s economy, using the 76bdevelopment indicators released by the presidency. I see an economy filed with amazing possibility. Yes we are facing a few challenges, but overall I believe we are headed for a wonderful future. These indicators do not only explore raw data, but offer an opportunity to interpret the trends and underlying socio economic indicators.
I have drawn the graphic below to explain my feelings around the future prospects for South Africa.
Explore the picture above. There are two axis, one shows the economic growth in the economy, the other shows the moral, ethical or social capital within the South African economy. The best place to be to ensure the most sustainable growth going forward is obviously in the quadrant with the blue sphere. In this scenario, the economy is growing steadily and at the same there is an increase in the social capital within the economy.
The challenges we face in our economy with a high tendency for corruption, the high incidence of crime, unemployment amongst the youth and a general lack of lawlessness amongst the average citizen, means that we are most certainly not on the right of the axis, regarding social political capital. We have however experienced positive economic growth over the past few years, albeit at a slower rate than wanted. So at this stage the South African economy sits in the top left hand quadrant.
If you take a look at the diagram below, I have shown a picture of where I see the South Africa Economy at present. Things are really looking far better than they did in the 1980’s and the trend is really positive. This means that if we can address the issues around crime, corruption, citizen lawlessness and youth unemployment in the medium to long term, the prospects for South Africa to become a real economic powerhouse are extremely high. It is interesting to note that economic growth in South Africa has tripped only twice since 1994. Both times we entered negative growth, were not due to internal factors, but were the result of external factors (1998 and 2009).
Concerns for Our Country
The concern for the South African economy right now is the economic downgrades for the EU from (-0.5 – 1.6 %), the growth in China is down by 1.4 %. Both of these economies are our two biggest trading partners. These declines will certainly negatively affect our own economic recovery.
The second challenge is that the world recovery is in danger of stalling, at the epicentre of this concern is the danger of many of the European countries defaulting on their national debt repayments. Amongst the greatest danger countries are Greece, Italy, Spain, Ireland and Italy. The challenges facing all these economies are threatening to destabilise the world economy and may cause a double dip recession.
The good news in South Africa is that we have moved back into growth once again. Our growth in 2009 was (-1.7%), it moved to (2.7%) in 2010 and grew even further to (3.1%) in 2011. The consensus amongst most economists is that we will experience economic growth of (2.7%) in 2012 and this will rise to 3.6.%) in 2013 and move up even further in 2014 t(o 4%). Economists cannot agree beyond this point as there is huge uncertainty in the global economy.
The figures that excite me the most are the longer term picture presented by looking at the trend over 10 years from 1995 to 2010 a period of 16 years. The economic growth over this period was (3.3%) after accounting for inflation. This is phenomenal, when compared to the 15 years prior to our democratic elections, where we experienced growth of only (1.55%).
Challenges Facing South African Economy
Pushing growth down
- The challenges in the global environment.
- Political confusion, strikes, inequality.
- Huge social and human deficits; crime, health, education
- The lack of effective public sector institutions. Our Tax collection is world class, but many other government and local government departments need a lot of attention to bring them up to standard.
- Tensions in Transition; Mining and agriculture. Threats of nationalisation and high crime rate and land seizures of farms.
- Investment in infrastructure is growing. It was 4 % of GDP in 2000. This grew to 7.9 % in 2007 as a result of the investment into the soccer world cup. The most refreshing and great news for South Africa is that this trend has continued to rise even after the world cup and now sits at 7,9%. This trend is expected to continue until 2014 as the government invests into roads, power stations and new rolling stock for Transnet.
- Productivity has grown by 3 % over the past few years
- The increasing relations, with the BRIC countries, now BRICS/Africa
- Very strong private sector institutions, including banks and strong blue chip companies.
Pushing growth up
Consistent Improvement in Productivity.
1970 – 1979 = 0.27% p.a. – 2.75 for the decade
1980 1989 = 0.18% – p.a. 1.86 % for the decade
1990 – 1999 = 2.94% p.a. – 33.60 % for the decade
2000 – 2004 = 3.5.% p.a.
2005 – 2007 = 2.95% p.a.
2008 – 2009 = 1.6 % p.a.
2010 = 3.6 %
These numbers were obtained from SARB
The incredible improvements in productivity and positive economic growth, bodes well for a great future for all of us in South Africa as the per capita income is increasing. In other words we are all getting a little richer every year.
Upbeat future – things are looking great
- There are 16 Million people receiving a grant from the government. 1/3 of the population are receiving some type of support from the government. This is a 27 % increase form 2007. This means that more people have more disposable income.
- This number is expected to rise even further by 2014 to around 16.7 million.
- The good news about these social grants is that even though the number of grants has risen so significantly since 2007. The total payment remains only 3.5 % of GDP.
- The result of these grants has seen the level of poverty fall from 58 % in 2008 to 49 % in 2010.
- When this is compared to the level of investment made over the same period, we see an investment of R 2.25 for every R 1.00 paid out in grants. The government is doing a great job of reducing poverty and at the same time they are also investing into infrastructure growth. One of the greatest threats to our future is an unemployed youth, who becomes totally disillusioned and could rise up against the government. The grants offered by government will go a long way to limit this threat.
The great news with the slowing population growth in South Africa is that as population growth slows to 0.9%, but productivity continues to increase by 3.6% and the economy continues to grow at between 2 – 4 %, we will all be better off in South Africa. We really do have a great, positive future ahead of us. The challenge I see in the medium term, depicted by the blue arrow, is that the youth born in the late 1980,s, 1990’s, are now entering the job market. There will be a shortage of jobs for these people in the short to medium term.
Since 1995 just after our first democratic election, employment levels have grown substantially from 9.5 million in 1995 to a peak of 13.8 million in 2008, just before the international meltdown. The economic downturn has most certainly had a negative effect on employment in South Africa. Employment levels have now fallen to 13.4 million in 2012. This is based on numbers supplied by the South African Revenue service.
One of the greatest challenges though, is that although the number of jobs has grown since 1995. So too has the employable population, during this time. The unemployment rate in 1995 was 17.7% or 1.9 Million. This has unfortunately grown to 25.5 % in 2012 and represents 4.5 million people. Job creation must be one of the top priorities for government. If COSATU, would get out of the way and allow government to introduce the youth wage, I believe we could address part of our problem in the short to medium term The draconian labour laws and minimum wage requirements, in South Africa, are forcing companies to mechanise and move their production to countries with cheaper labour rates and less legislation.
Based on the predicted economic growth and improvement in productivity improvements in South Africa as described earlier, and the expected population growth, it is predicted that the number of employed people will have grown to around 16 million by 2021. This will mean that unemployment will still be sitting at around 24 % and 5 million people will still be unemployed. We need some creative thinking and the relaxation of our stringent labour laws, if we are to address this alarming picture. Unfortunately I do not believe that government will ever allow for a deregulated labour market.
The government is supporting the growth of jobs, by providing R 9 billion rand to the jobs fund. At present there are very few effective initiatives, which have been implemented, to effectively utilise this funding. We need a very creative push from, business, academia and government, to effectively create a system, which supports new entrepreneurs. We need to equip them with business skills, which will help them to build small to medium businesses that will employ between 5 and 50 people.
I believe in a rosy future for South Africa, despite the declining confidence shown in the graph above. There are a number of really positive developments in South Africa. The investment currently being made by government into roads, power stations and rolling stock will certainly have a compounding effect on our economy. We can only support the improvement needed on the social capital needed to support growth in South Africa.
We need to fight to retain the independence of the judiciary, the toll road fiasco has highlighted the blatant disregard government has for the wishes of the people. Despite rumblings from every possible sector; they are determined to take the matter to the constitutional court. Government is determined to question the independence of the judiciary and to force them to stay out of any decisions made by government. If the constitutional court finds that the judiciary are not allowed to interfere in decisions made by government, then who is left to look after our rights. Government can then impose any draconian law on us and there will be no watchdog to protect our rights. We also need to fight very hard to avoid allowing government to impose the secrecy bill on us. This will make uncovering corruption very difficult South Africa. Please see how South Arica compares to the other BRICS countries, regarding corruption below.
Examining the data above, it is clear that South is not the worst, amongst the BRIC countries, when it comes to the level of corruption required or perceived necessary to do business in each of the countries. The challenge I see is that if the secrecy bill finally sees the light of day, this picture will worsen. Any increase in corruption will have a very negative effect on the economic prospects for South Africa.
Future Prospects for Our Country
I am very upbeat about the positive moves made by the ANC government post the Polokwane conference. There has been a very positive shift away from ideology driven thinking towards encouraging better efficiency in all areas of government.
Over the past 14 years our economy has grown by 56 % and in the same time there are only 13 % more people in South Africa. This is a huge positive for our country and our future.
The green paper on land reform is certainly a move in the right direction. It is far less radical than its predecessor the 2007 expropriation bill. This move certainly shows a very positive move on the part of a more mature government, who is steadily moving from ideology towards true democracy.
The arms deal is once again in the spotlight. Government has not been able to push this under the carpet, despite their best efforts. This is great news for our democracy.
The ANC has flexed its muscles against Malema and the ANCYL. This is most certainly the picture of a more mature leadership and less radical approach on the part of the ANC.
There are some incredibly positive moves on the horizon, South Africa is still facing a few challenges, but overall I see a very bright future.
Moderation is winning the day in South Africa. We are moving into an era where we will live in a more open society. This will encourage the formation of forces and counter forces, effectively a system of checks and balances will be in place in the future, which will ensure that there is a strong move towards better social capital. There will be less and less corruption, crime will reduce, our health system will continue to improve and the average citizen will also start to act more responsibly.
Our economy will become more and more open to all international currency and capital markets. As capital and funding becomes more readily available, there will be an on-going commitment on the part of government and the private sector to continue investing into capital growth.
The independent institutions, such as the media, courts, reserve bank, business and trade unions will all act as governments and societies watchdog. These and many different interest groups will help to keep government on track.
As can be seen from the diagram above things have been progressively getting better as far as social capital is concerned. We still have some unfinished business, but once we have all these factors as described above are in place where all the crucial components, which promote strong social capital in South Africa. Our economy will move into the fourth quadrant and we will become a powerhouse on the world stage, where we will make steady progress towards a future where all South Africans live a great life.
The per-capita income in South Africa grew by 32 % between 1993 and 2011. If we achieve the 3.25 % growth predicted by some economists. It will only take us 11.5 years to achieve the same growth 32% in per-capita income and even if the worst case scenario happens and we only achieve 2.55 %, we will still grow per-capita income by 32 % in only 17 years.
Training our Entrepreneurs for the Future
As stated previously in my synopsis above, the best way to reduce unemployment in South Africa is to encourage entrepreneurs to start and build successful businesses, which will employ between 5 and 50 people each.
Definition of Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship is the engine which drives the economy, it is the creative drive which exists within individuals to identify a need within any market and then to create a viable business entity to service this need, by supplying products or services to satisfy this need.
I propose that entrepreneurship is the engine which will drive the South African economy to success and is the vehicle, which will help to reduce unemployment in South Africa over the next five years and beyond. It is for this reason that I want to encourage and enhance entrepreneurship within South Africa.
“Dainow (1986) conducted a survey of the entrepreneurship education literature for a ten-year-period, up to 1984. His goal was “to assess the current state of the art, based on published articles, with a view to identifying the strengths and weaknesses that can guide future efforts” (p10). Among his conclusions he identified “a need for more systematic collection and analysis of data, and more varied methodologies to build a stronger empirical base” (p18).”
While this article does not seek to replicate Dainow’s work, it is based on literature from 1985-1994 and the authors own experience. This paper is aimed at offering some recommendations to build a basic structure, which will support, train and educate our entrepreneurs going forward, so that we can equip them for sustainable success.
I have tried to draw the best information from each article and then based on my understanding of the South African needs and context, related the knowledge gained towards developing and inspiring entrepreneurs. I have tried to draw the best information suited to our countries needs.
Review of articles
I have reviewed 20 articles with a theoretical or conceptual focus on entrepreneurship training or which offered input on education for small business leadership or management. I have organised and presented my argument according to the following four criterion, Ability or propensity to be entrepreneurial, Business prior to start-up, going concerns and papers on different methods for training entrepreneurs or Educational process and Structure. The papers I have selected to include in this review, were those published in leading academic journals, specialising in entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurial propensity or Ability
I studied 6 papers, which deal with the entrepreneurial propensity. All but one of the papers namely, Stumpf, Dunbar and Mullen (1991) are directed towards the formal education sector.
Gibbs (1987) puts a good argument forward where it is stated that it is crucial to distinguish between entrepreneurship, an enterprising person and small business management. Gibb maintains that there should be a distinction made between these three areas. He states that there should be a definite distinction made on the basis for developing education and training programs for enterprise as opposed to training for small business. He concludes that the role of education is to enhance enterprise generation by managing the entrepreneurial attributes of young people. This entire process can be supported by SME,s supporting the process of entrepreneurial development by providing role models, exposure, networks and insight into the independent business process.
Ulrich and Cole (1987) built their argument around the premise of the importance of understanding the learning style preferences for enhancing the learning experience and supporting the entrepreneurial propensity. They concluded that entrepreneurship learning styles tended toward active experimentation, with some balance between concrete experience and abstract conceptualisation. Understanding and utilising the learning style preferences is not only of value to enhance entrepreneurial propensity, but will also contribute to the educational process as well.
Stumpf, Dunbar and Mullen (1991), built their argument around the applicability of behavioural stimulations as a way of teaching or training entrepreneurs. Although their research was not designed to empirically test this hypothesis, they did however conclude that educational objectives for entrepreneurship can be satisfied by utilising behavioural stimulation.
The remaining three papers that I studied, share the view that current educational processes need to be revised. They however offer very divergent views on how they should be changed.
Chamard (1989) explores the public education system and its impact on the personalities of students. His conclusion is very definitive; he firmly believes that the formal education system is not supportive of developing or encouraging entrepreneurship. He even believes that the current formal learning system could even suppresses the more important entrepreneurial characteristics, needed by entrepreneurs. His view is that there is little hope for changing the formal education system to encourage the development of entrepreneurs. His solution is to try to introduce a system to encourage remedial work based training at the post-secondary level in the school system.
Singh (1990) also came up with a similar conclusion. He felt that there was a need in developing countries such as South Africa, that the current education systems may actually inhibit entrepreneurism. He suggests a re-orientation of the schooling system to emphasise the value of entrepreneurship, if there is any hope of cultivating an enterprise or entrepreneurial culture in our country.
Gasse (1985) raised a very valid argument in which he emphasised the importance of identifying and evaluating entrepreneurial potential at the secondary school level. His hypnotises was that we would be far more successful in educating and creating entrepreneurs, if we accepted that there are a number of factors which contribute to the lack of perceived need for education on the part of many small business owners. Once these entrepreneurs were identified, they could be placed on programmes to help them develop as entrepreneurs.
Business Prior to Start-Up
There were four papers I studied in this area of preparation or venture initiation phase of creating entrepreneurial enterprises. Three of the papers I studied only focus this process in a secondary fashion.
Knight (1991) is the only one out of the four papers studied, to focus primarily on content. In this paper a framework and methodology for teaching and encouraging entrepreneurship is discussed. It includes elements right from the concept stage, where the entrepreneur identifies a need or opportunity in the market place, a strategy is then developed to exploit the opportunity, the correct resources are acquired and processes implemented. In this paper Knight suggests that, organisation, industry and society levels, as well as the individual levels must serve as the framework for teaching and developing entrepreneurship. He suggests that the entire framework is necessary. He argues that there must be a complete framework in place for any enterprise to be effective at start-up. He suggests that there must be a clear strategy at start-up and all the necessary dimensions must be in place to improve the possibility of success.
McMullan and Long (1987), Vesper and McMullan (1988) and Plaschka and Welsch(1990), all approach their argument from a curriculum perspective, they all emphasise that curricula of entrepreneurship programs must be differentiated from traditional management education programs. For McMullan and Long (1987), the stage of development within each unique venture, should form the basis for this distinction. They also argue that entrepreneurship education must include skill building programmes. These programmes must include courses like, leadership, creative thinking and negotiation skills. The entrepreneurs should also be exposed to technological innovation and new product development.
Vesper and McMullan (1988), also contended that entrepreneurs require skill building based courses, in addition to knowledge based training programmes. They did however identify two distinct differences between entrepreneurship and traditional management training programmes. They felt it was imperative to train the entrepreneur, to equip them with the ability detect and exploit business opportunities faster. Entrepreneurs also need the ability to plan in greater detail and have the ability to project further into the future.
Plaschka and Welsch (1990) argued that the way to support entrepreneurs is to provide training, which would support them to make the transition from one stage of development in their business to another. They proposed placing emphasis on transition stages in their proposed framework of entrepreneurship. They also emphasise the need for a training programme, which emphasises the need for creativity and multi-disciplinary and process orientated approaches, enhanced by theory based practical applications.
There were five articles, which focused on entrepreneurs with going concerns and their specific training and education needs.
Fairfield-Sonn (1987), made an argument where the focus of training should be on SME’s offering entrepreneurs training on how to gain a competitive advantage. This paper focuses on providing a three stage approach, decision-based, strategic process model to help leaders in small and mid-size businesses decide whether or not training and development can benefit their firms. This is an entrepreneur focused approach, in which they organise the training required by their business.
Tait (1990) explores management education from the decision-maker’s perspective. A decision-making process framework is developed and described in detail and then applied to the decision to engage in management education. Finally, the model is tested against cases drawn from an earlier empirical study completed by the author. It is concluded that perception of need is of vital importance and that a number of factors contribute to the lack of perceived need for education on the part of many small business owners.
Bures and Champion (1987) explores the training and development decision-making processes in small businesses to determine whether or not they differ from those in large businesses. They concluded that small and large businesses are not very different in the factors they use in making training and development decisions. For example, both place considerable emphasis on the judgement of superiors, subject matter, cost, and time. Though the level at which any training and development decisions are made differs considerably between small and large businesses, there is a remarkable overlap in the way these decisions are made.
Skipton (1989) describes a framework for classifying customers, markets and skills-development service offerings. This article outlines the context for business and management skills development for owner/managers of small and medium-sized enterprises in rural and remote areas of Newfoundland and Labrador. This study has some similarity to the conditions in South Africa, regarding our rural areas. This paper proposes a strategy to guide entrepreneurs to develop and deliver training. The proposed framework offered in this paper could be very useful when attempting to develop any training strategy for the geographically dispersed entrepreneurs in our rural areas.
The final paper in this area was written by Wright (1994). In this paper it is argued that most training programmes for entrepreneurs or small businesses, focuses on the personal needs of the participants rather than on organisational performance. By utilising results from two training programs and a meta-analysis of the needs analysis literature, Wright proposes a model that is designed to provide a more holistic approach to meeting the performance needs of the organisation rather than the training needs of individuals. Key elements of the model include an emphasis on identifying organisation-specific performance needs and recognition of both internal and external performance variables. This approach should be of interest to those responsible for developing public policy and to those designing appropriate small business intervention models.
Educational Process and Structure
I used five theoretical papers in this area, to help address the issue around the various aspects related to educational process and structure. Most of the papers I encountered regarding training of entrepreneurs were focused in this area. I have selected five, which I felt were the most suitable to South African conditions. There is a considerable amount of diversity in this area. The papers I read focused on topics such as educational orientation, teaching strategies, different learning styles, entrepreneurship structures and curricula design.
Bechard and Toulouse (1991) used a framework they created from educational sciences to contrast four possible alternatives. Three of the frameworks they used, namely conformist, adaptive and transformative focus specifically on the entrepreneurship course content. They also used an alternative approach, namely the orientation approach, which focused the training on an emphasis approach. The challenge I have with this approach is that the authors of this paper favoured the course content approach and only recommended a transition to the orientation approach as an alternative. They do not address the issue of learning style or the need to build skills through practical skills training.
Dana’s paper (1987) put a better argument forward and suggests that entrepreneurial learning is a process where active participation is a preferred method of developing and training entrepreneurs. He suggested that the best results are achieved through activity and participation. This would help to increase the student entrepreneurs’ awareness and significantly enhance the whole learning experience. Dana also emphasised another valid point, where he stated that the focus of entrepreneurial training should be on entrepreneurial skill development. The training should be process driven and not like traditional management training, which was driven by the course content. I really like this approach.
Leclerc (1985) argued that any tertiary institution should not only offer formal training to entrepreneurs, but should also explore the added benefits of forming relationships and on-going links between universities and small business communities. His conclusion is that business schools, should rethink their mission and refocus their efforts on helping to develop entrepreneurs and that they should build programmes specifically to promote links to small business and entrepreneurs. I really like this approach and would support any initiative to promote links between business schools and entrepreneurs and small business.
Vesper, McMullan and Ray (1989) explored the limitations of the training offered by current business schools. They expressed concern about the way the current model focused on training managers and leaders for operating within big business, but did not have any specific focus towards entrepreneurs and small business. In their view a completely new paradigm is required. They suggest that business schools should include new training methodologies, such as functional differentiation, offer more flexible training offering more opportunities to customise programmes to the needs of individual entrepreneurs. They also agree that training entrepreneurs is not achieved through theoretical knowledge, but is best achieved with practical and participation type training.
Kao (1994) also outlined the shortcomings associated with business schools and saw that the current way of training managers and leaders was very limited, when compared to the needs associated with training entrepreneurs. The general management models as offered by business schools are not suited to training entrepreneurs at all. He suggests that the way forward is to offer completely new curriculum, which is designed specifically for entrepreneurs. In fact he suggests that entrepreneurship education, should be treated as an independent academic discipline.
Summary of the Leadership Training – Alternatives
Entrepreneurs have different and very specific needs when it comes to education and training. The traditional methods of management training offered to large enterprises are not suitable for training and encouraging entrepreneurs. Gibbs (1987) states that training should be offered through mentorship, actual work examples, networking and on-going insight into the business process. Ulrich and Cole (1987) suggested that learning style preferences of the students must be used to support entrepreneurs. The best option according to these authors was active experimentation, ensuring a balance between concrete hands on experience and abstract conceptualisation. It was also shown by Stumpf, Dunbar and Mullen (1991), that behavioural stimulation was an effective way of training entrepreneurs.
Recommendations for the formal education sector
It was found by Chamard (1989) that the formal education system in its current form, actually suppresses entrepreneurialism. In his opinion it is virtually impossible to reform the current education system and as such, he suggests the formation of remedial work based training at the post-secondary level in the school system. Developing countries like South Africa, as suggested by Singh (1985) need to revamp their schooling system, if there is any hope of cultivating an enterprise or entrepreneurial culture in our country. Entrepreneurial potential must be identified at secondary school level, by evaluating students and determining their potential to be entrepreneurial. The students with entrepreneurial abilities could then be identified early and they could be placed on programmes to help them develop as entrepreneurs, as early as possible.
Business Prior to start-up
Training offered to entrepreneurs in the preparation phase prior to starting their business was crucial to help them succeed in their new ventures. As stated by Knight (1991), the training should focus on assisting and guiding entrepreneurs on how best to identify opportunities in the market place, they must be offered guidance on how to best exploit these opportunities, be shown how to allocate their limited resources best and how to apply the necessary businesses processes needed to succeed. He felt that without a complete framework to support the entrepreneurs, there was little hope of these entrepreneurs succeeding in the long term.
There was consensus amongst all the papers I studied, the curriculum for training entrepreneurs is very specific and as such traditional management training would not be effective. This was agreed by McMullan and Long (1987), Vesper and McMullan (1988) and Plaschka and Welsch(1990). They all felt that all entrepreneurship education must include skill building programmes. These programmes must include courses like, leadership, creative thinking and negotiation skills. The entrepreneurs should also be exposed to technological innovation and new product development.
Entrepreneurs require skill building based courses, in addition to knowledge based training programmes. This was the argument offered by Vesper and McMullan (1988). They argued that it was imperative to train the entrepreneur, to equip them with the ability detect and exploit business opportunities faster. Entrepreneurs also need the ability to plan in greater detail and have the ability to project further into the future. The best way to support entrepreneurs as argued by Plaschka and Welsch (1990), is to provide training, which would support them to make the transition from one stage of development in their business to the next. They proposed placing emphasis on transition stages in their proposed framework of entrepreneurship.
The focus of training should be on SME’s offering entrepreneurs training on how to gain a competitive advantage was the argument made by Fairfield-Sonn (1987). They suggested a three stage approach, decision-based, strategic process model to help leaders in small and mid-size businesses decide whether or not training and development would benefit their firms. This model suggested that the entrepreneurs should drive their own training requirements. A decision-making process framework is developed and described in detail and then applied to the decision to engage in management education is the approach offered by Tait (1990). He argued that the perception of a need on the part of the entrepreneur is crucial if the training is to be effective. Training cannot work if there is no perceived need for it on the part of the entrepreneur.
The need for training and the decision relating thereto does not differ much between both large and small businesses as argued by Bures and Champion (1987). They both place considerable emphasis on the judgement of superiors, subject matter, cost, and time. Though the level at which any training and development decisions are made differs considerably between small and large businesses, there is a remarkable overlap in the way these decisions are made. There is also an option to train entrepreneurs in rural areas to act as trainers for other entrepreneurs in their areas. This argument was offered by Skipton (1989). He proposes that entrepreneurs be guided and encouraged to develop and deliver training for geographically dispersed entrepreneurs in our rural areas.
The training of entrepreneurs should not focus on personal needs of the entrepreneur, but rather on organisational performance, as argued by Wright (1994). He argued that there should be an emphasis on identifying organisation-specific performance needs and recognition of both internal and external performance variables.
Education Process and Structure
Entrepreneurial training should be an active participation process, where active participation is a preferred method of developing and training entrepreneurs, as argued by Dana’s paper (1987). Best training results from activity and participation. Entrepreneurial skill development needs special attention too. Tertiary institutions should encourage links with small businesses as argued by Leclerc (1985). These institutions should build programmes to help develop entrepreneurs on an on-going, sustainable basis.
Business schools to revise their current training curriculum and provide specialised training for entrepreneurs as argued by Vesper, McMullan and Ray (1989). There is a complete paradigm shift needed to address the needs to adequately train entrepreneurs. Training entrepreneurs is best achieved by new training methodologies, such as functional differentiation; where business schools should offer more flexible training, by offering more opportunities for the business schools to have the flexibility, to customise programmes to the needs of individual entrepreneurs. They also agree that training entrepreneurs is not achieved through theoretical knowledge, but is best achieved with practical and participation type training. Entrepreneurship education should be treated as an independent academic discipline at business schools as argued by Kao (1994).
Training Entrepreneurs in South Africa
I have designed this training programme to help inspire and encourage the development of 10 000 new entrepreneurs in South Africa over the next 5 years. I would like to see each of these entrepreneurs employ at least 5 people each. This programme will thus, if implemented, help to reduce unemployment by 60 000 people over the next five years.
Establish Centres of Excellence
Training entrepreneurs in South Africa requires the establishment of centres of excellence or entrepreneurial training hubs. My vision for these hubs is to build actual operating business premises, built in the communities, which they will serve. These premises will be designed to house businesses, which can serve the needs of the local community. They would in essence be micro shopping centres. There would be a supermarket, a butcher, hair dresser, cell phone shop, internet café, pub, gymnasium etc. These shops would be carefully chosen, depending on the unique needs of the specific community.
Each centre of excellence will be supported by a team of between two and three training subcontractors, who will spend time at the centre every day, supporting and training the entrepreneurs. Initially they will be based at the premises on a full time basis. As the entrepreneurs develop, the support team will spend less and less time at the facility. The salaries of these trainers is estimated at around R 100 000 a month. This training will also be funded from the jobs fund.
I estimate the cost to build one of these centres at around R 6 000 000 each. This R 6 000 000 will include building the basic structure and stocking the shops in the centre. These centres of excellence can be funded from the R 9 billion jobs fund. The new tenants will be given three months to establish their businesses, build up their clientele and learn the basic business skills they need to run their businesses, before they will be required to start paying rental.
The training offered will be offered by providing the business owners with mentors, who will provide on the job entrepreneurial training. They will be exposed to actual working examples of other successful entrepreneurs, who have succeeded in the business they have chosen. This method of training entrepreneurs is supported by Gibbs (1987). My vision is to gradually train these entrepreneurs, until they themselves can become mentors for the next group of entrepreneurs, who will come along in the next centre of excellence.
Type of training methodologies
This paper is too short to go into all the training methodologies, we would offer. As has been identified from all the papers I have listed previously, the training offered will be very practical in nature.
The areas I have identified as crucial to the success of any entrepreneur is the ability to development a success habit set, which will support their entrepreneurial efforts. This training will be practical in nature and will assist the aspirant entrepreneurs to create daily routines, which will support their efforts as an entrepreneur. These ideas have been extensively tested amongst the employees in large corporate organisations. The individuals, who have applied these principals in their lives and businesses and persevered, with the development of these routines, until they become their new entrenched habit set; saw remarkable improvements in the performance.
We all have habits, both good, which support our efforts to attract success into our lives and bad ones, which keep us from taking the daily actions we need to take, to succeed. If you have any doubt about the power of your habits and how they can keep you locked in a cycle of mediocrity, try this simple test. Cross your arms in front of you. Now look down and see which one of your arms is on the top. Research has shown that about half the population will normally have their right arm on top and the other half, will have their left arm on top. This research also showed that the way you crossed your arms for the first time as a child, is still the same way you are crossing your arms today.
Cross your arms again, this time try to put the other arm, or rather the wrong arm, on the top. How weird does that feel? If I challenged you to put the wrong arm on the top for the rest of your life, could you do it? Of course, with practice, you could train yourself to automatically put the other arm on the top. It is indeed possible to reprogram your brain, with consistent practice.
Neuro Plasticity was first discovered, by NASA when they conducted an experiment using convex lenses, to test an astronaut’s ability to survive in the weightless environment of space. In a weightless environment, there is no up or down and so to try to test how astronauts would cope, they put convex lenses on them, which inverted the world. The astronauts, who took part in this experiment, experienced changes in blood pressure, their spatial perception changed and many of them even experienced motion sickness.
Something amazing happened after 26 days, one of the astronauts, reported that their world had turned the right way up. After about 42 days, all the astronauts’ worlds had turned the right way up. The re-wiring, necessary in the brain to completely change the way the eyes perceive up and down, is immense. This discovery showed scientists that we could completely rewire our brains, irrespective of our age.
Yes, habits are hard to break, but with effort, determination and discipline, we can replace any bad habit with a new success habit, which will support our efforts to achieve greatness. Aristotle said it so well when he said: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act…it’s a habit.” There is no more powerful tool available to you, to shape you future, than a success habit set, which will see you carry out the right activities every day, to deliver the success you desire. The way your future will unfold, will be determined by the thoughts you think, the words you speak and the actions you take or fail to take. When you create a success habit set, to support you to think the right thoughts, speak the right words and to take the right actions every day, success is inevitable and will feel almost effortless.
Entrepreneurial Training: The entrepreneurs will be offered practical programme to support them to develop success habit set, which will support their entrepreneurial efforts. They will be encouraged to Change their negative habits, for a new success habit set, which will support their daily efforts to succeed. They will be guided and offered tools to help them to develop a new success habit set and then will be guided and supported daily to introduce the process of gradually introducing this into their lives.
An example of the new success habit we will help our entrepreneurs develop is a process called my “Code of Personal Achievement”. This process is designed to help the budding entrepreneurs develop and introduce, a success habit set, which will assist them to acquire the specific skills and knowledge they need to succeed as new business owners.
My “Code of Personal Achievement” works in cycles of 90 days each. During the first 90 day phase, they will be guided to choose one area they need to improve. This could be anything from acquiring new accounting skills, to developing the ability to set and achieve goals. They will select this one area to focus all their energy on over the next 90 days. During this 90 day period, they will be encouraged to read three books, listen to five audio books and attend one seminar, all focused on developing that one area of their entrepreneurial ability.
During that first 90 day cycle, they will be guided to extract three new behaviours or habits from each book, audio book and seminar in turn. This will potentially leave them with 27 new success behaviours or success habits, which they can apply in their new business. As they are focusing all your efforts in only one area, it should not be too difficult to narrow these habits or behaviours down to a “SUPER FIVE”.
These 5 new super behaviours or success habits will become “THEIR CODE OF PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT”. These 5 new behaviours are the personal commitment the entrepreneurs will make to themselves. They will be guided and encouraged to ensure that their head does not hit the pillow before they have carried out these new daily routines. Research has shown that after about 66 days, these new daily behaviours will be part of their new habit set. The entrepreneurs will be encouraged and supported to use their willpower to carry these activities, until they are entrenched new success habits.
In a very simplistic, yet realistic fashion, all we really experience in our lives are events and outcomes. The outcomes we experience are governed by our habitual responses to these events. Simply by training (developing appropriate habits) the entrepreneurs will learn new habitual ways to respond to any events which may occur in their businesses thereby giving them tools to get the best possible outcomes in their businesses. We can’t control everything that happens to us, but we can develop habits that will allow us to respond appropriately to most events in our lives. The effort invested into helping the entrepreneurs to develop these new success habits developing these success habits will equip them, to over time become very successful.
There are a number of similar tools and techniques, which will be introduced to our budding entrepreneurs over time. The process described above will be the tool we will use to introduce any new skills or knowledge to the entrepreneurs.
The rental income earned from each centre of excellence will be reinvested into a trust and will help to fund the next centre of excellence in that community. If the money is properly managed, each centre will be self-sustaining and the rental income generated can be utilised to fund the next centre of excellence.
The learning styles of the individual entrepreneurs will be considered in each case and the most appropriate active learning process put in place to support each entrepreneur as suggested by Ulrich and Cole (1987). The fact that the entrepreneurs will be running actual businesses, with the support of an onsite team of experts will assist them to learn the specific skills they need to succeed in their chosen ventures. They will have the behavioural stimulation they need as suggested by Stumpf, Dunbar and Mullen (1991), to learn the skills they need.
Formal Education Sector
I cannot even begin to suggest ways to modify the current education system in the short term. I would suggest that a system be found to identify scholars within the schooling system with entrepreneurial flair, as suggested by Singh (1985). They are to then be invited to job shadow at a centre of excellence, where they will learn the skills they will need later in life, when they are entrepreneurs themselves. This remedial work based training as suggested by Chamard (1989), will equip our youth with both the skills and drive they need to become entrepreneurs themselves. It will equip them to open their minds and to start looking for opportunities in their own communities where they can exploit opportunities.
Prior to Start-up
Before these entrepreneurs even start trading for the first day, they need to be offered training and support in the form of helping them to identify feasible opportunities, how best to exploit these and then they need to be guided on how to allocate their limited resources, so that they can leverage them as best as possible. As stated by Knight (1991). The entrepreneurs must be given a complete framework and they must have a crystal clear picture of what is required of them, prior to trading for the first day.
The training offered at the centres of excellence must include skill building programmes, like leadership, creative thinking and negotiation skills as argued by McMullan and Long (1987), Vesper and McMullan (1988) and Plaschka and Welsch(1990). The entrepreneurs should also be exposed to technological innovation and new product development.
All the programmes offered to the entrepreneurs will be skilled building based, in addition to the theoretical based training offered, as proposed by Vesper and McMullan (1988). The training will be designed to equip the entrepreneurs detect and exploit business opportunities faster. They also need the ability to plan in greater detail and have the ability to project further into the future as proposed by Plaschka and Welsch, who suggested that it is crucial to support entrepreneurs to make the transition from one stage of development in their business to the next. They proposed placing emphasis on transition stages in their proposed framework of entrepreneurship. The on-site training offered by the experts, will be designed to encompass all of these crucial educational requirements.
Dana, L. P. (1987), `Towards a Skills Model for Entrepreneurs’, JSBE, 5(1), pp27-31.
Gasse, Y. (1985), `A Strategy for the Promotion and Identification of Potential
Gibb, A. A. (1987), `Education for Enterprise: Training for Small Business Initiation —
Some Contrasts’, JSBE, 4(3), pp42-47.
Gibb, A. A. (1993), `The Enterprise Culture and Education: Understanding Enterprise
Chamard, J. (1989), `Public Education: Its Effect on Entrepreneurial Characteristics’,
JSBE, 6(2), pp23-30.
Garnier, B., and Gasse, Y. (1988), `Utilisation of Local Newspapers for Training
Potential Entrepreneurs’, JSBE, 5(3), pp20-33.
Kao, R. W. Y. (1994), `From General Management to Entrepreneurship: The Business
(`B’) School Challenge’, JSBE, 11 (2), pp4-10.
Knight, R. M. (1987), `Can Business Schools Produce Entrepreneurs? An Empirical
Study’, FER Babson College: Wellesley, MA, pp603-604
Leclerc, W. (1985), `Universities and Entrepreneurs’, JSBE, 3(2), pp41-47.
Lim, C. P. (1985), `Entrepreneurial Development Programmes: The Malaysian
Experience’, ISBJ, 4(1), pp12-24.
Plaschka, G. R., and Welsch, H. P. (1990), `Emerging Structures in Entrepreneurship
Education: Curricular Designs and Strategies’, ETP, 14(3), pp55-71.
Reid, S. (1987), `Designing Management Education and Training Programs for Service
Firm Entrepreneurs’, JSBM, 25(1), pp51-60.
Stumpf, S. S., Dunbar, R. L., and Mullen, T. P. (1991), `Simulations in
Entrepreneurship Education: Oxymoron or Untapped Opportunity?’, FER Babson
College: Wellesley, MA, pp681-694.
Tait, E. (1990), `Owner-managers’ Perceived Management Education Needs: An
Integrated Framework’, ISBJ, 8(4), pp33-48.
Ulrich, T. A., and Cole, G. S. (1987), `Toward More Effective Training of Future
Entrepreneurs’, JSBM, 25 (4), pp32-39.
Wright, P. C. (1994), `A Policy Alternative to Externally-sponsored Management
Development and Skills Training Programs Aimed at Small Business’, JSBE, 11(3),
South African Revenue Service
Statistics South Africa