Entrepreneurship is a national developmental issue that is imperative for an inclusive and growing economy. There is currently a low conversion rate from training to small enterprise or co-operative start-up in South Africa in comparison to peer economies and little is done to better understand and measure the impact of entrepreneurship training in fostering small business start-ups.
The aim of the TTT is to make recommendations where appropriate and, with the support of the relevant government department, mobilise resources to give impetus to particular initiatives.
The Technical Task Team has set up seven work streams and has made significant progress, detailed below:
This work stream is responsible for investigating the state of entrepreneurship in schools and developing recommendations regarding measures that must be taken to encourage entrepreneurial thinking among school learners.
The work stream, with funding from the Alan Gray Orbis Foundation, undertook an international benchmarking study to determine whether or not models of international best practice could be found regarding the delivery of entrepreneurial education in schools.
The research found that no single model could be replicated in South Africa and the TTT agreed that given the precarious nature of the education system in SA, steps should not be taken to introduce entrepreneurial curriculum into schools in SA.
This work stream is currently working towards identifying methodologies, tools and resources that can be provided to schools free of charge and which will stimulate entrepreneurial thinking, critical thinking, analysis, creativity and innovation among school learners.
The TTT is also in discussions with the Department of Basic Education regarding the provision of free websites to schools as the TTT is of the view that this will contribute positively to greater accountability and transparency in schools. Some of the benefits of schools having a website include:
The DBE has indicated that the Vodacom Foundation is in the process of building a resource centre for schools in each of the nine provinces of the country. These resource centres will be fully equipped with internet access and will serve as central points for the schools in the particular districts to access the internet. Approximately 200 schools will be linked to each resource centre.
Going forward the EE TTT will work hand in hand with the DBE to set up the training sessions in each province and it is envisaged that by early 2013 all of the 1600 schools will have their own websites
The EE TTT is working with the Forum for Entrepreneurship Development Centres at Higher Institutions (FEDCI) to investigate ways of strengthening entrepreneurship in the higher education system. FEDCI is currently working on the following:
- Researching the state of entrepreneurship education in higher education institutions
- A youth entrepreneurial programme aimed at getting youth to start their own small businesses and in so doing contribute towards reducing unemployment
It has been agreed that the DTI and the DHET will coordinate efforts to ensure that FET colleges play a critical role in both training and supporting entrepreneurs.
The TTT believes that what is needed is a one-stop shop where all information relating to entrepreneurship is contained. This will take the form of a national web portal which will be owned and managed by an organisation such as the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA).
The portal will contain the following information:
- Information relating to starting and managing a business
- Licenses, registration and taxation
- Funding and grants available to entrepreneurs
- Industry information including research data and resources available
- Training and mentorship
- Links to free resources, government SMM support initiatives, funding initiatives, government tenders, networking groups, chambers of commerce
- Newsletters and listings for regional and contact information
The site will include a robust content management system; a mobi site which can be accessed by means of cell phone; a purpose-built library to guide browsers through business stages; Linkedin connectivity; instructional video content; an events calendar; training information; a newsletter and links to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
The TTT has identified the fact that it takes approximately eight months to register a business as one of the barriers to entrepreneurship in SA. To this end the TTT has met with an inter-governmental team consisting of representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), South African Revenue Service (SARS) and Statistics South Africa (STATSSA) who are working towards creating a single point of entry where entrepreneurs can register their businesses. This team is known as the Business Registration Review (BRR) team and its goal is to ease the means of doing business in SA, contribute to the production of a comprehensive business database and thus measure economic activity.
In order to reach and communicate with entrepreneurs in South Africa, the TTT has agreed that a database of wholesalers who deal with SMMEs on a regular basis should be developed.
The TTT has also developed a significant library of reports and publications that deal with entrepreneurship in South Africa. These reports are available via the Dropbox which the EE TTT has set up. These reports are constantly being catalogued and indexed by the Secretariat.
In January 2012 the HRDC entered into a partnership with Google, Vodafone and the DTI to provide free websites to small businesses. This initiative was launched at a high-profile event that received widespread press coverage in both the local and international press, reaching millions of people.
The EE TTT is pleased to report that it has entered into a partnership with Regenesys Business School to make free education materials available to every small business and individual in South Africa.
Participants will be able to access the full content of top business qualifications online. This includes textbook-independent content, video clips, access to e-books, study guides, examples of good assignments and past exams to practise on. This is fully free and open.
Options will exist to submit assignments for assessment and write examinations for certification – which will be a paid-for service. Tutors and one-on-one support can also be purchased on a pay-as-you-go basis.
The target group and beneficiaries are:
The project is focused on small businesses in South Africa and those in the country who otherwise have been unable to access high-quality accredited business education;
The envisaged project beneficiaries are: matriculants without access to higher education, entrepreneurs and business owners, organisational workforces, people who require knowledge and skills but not necessarily a qualification, and business professionals wishing to continuously improve their education; The project aims to enrol 100000 students in the first year, reaching one million over a period of five years.
The following four qualifications will be offered initially:
- MBA – Master of Business Administration;
- PDM – Postgraduate Diploma in Management;
- BBA – Bachelor of Business Administration;
- HCBM – Higher Certificate in Business Management; and
During the second phase of project implementation, 50 short skills programmes that will assist entrepreneurs and their staff will be offered.
To develop a set of recommendations and, where appropriate, initiate action for the HRDC regarding the following:
- Best practice models (local and international) on entrepreneurship education and training
- Critical success factors for effective entrepreneurship training, education and support
- Critical components required to build an entrepreneurial society
- Measures to ensure that recommended models of entrepreneurship training are implemented in a coordinated, standardised and effective manner
- Mechanisms in which entrepreneurship training can be linked, aligned to and supported by IPAP and other relevant government policies
- Methodology to strengthen entrepreneurship training and education in the higher education and training curriculum for young adults
- Methodology to strengthen entrepreneurship training and education into the Basic Education curriculum for young adults
- While the primary role of the Technical Task Team is to make recommendations it will, where appropriate, and with the support of the relevant government department, mobilise resources to give impetus to particular initiatives
- Mechanisms that must be put in place to support small-business owners, co-operatives and incubators