The role of culture with festival entrepreneurs
Engelbrecht, Lara Rene
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Purpose: The goal of the study was to determine the influence of cultural differences on entrepreneurship at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. Problem investigated: The Grahamstown National Arts Festival is one of the most important arts festivals on the South African cultural calendar. Diverse entrepreneurs make use of the opportunities created by the festival. However, these entrepreneurs are heavily influenced by their cultural traits. This is because culture has an effect on the general decision making, standards, the behavioural patterns and ways of behaviour in SMMEs (small, medium and micro-enterprises). With the festival's significant annual growth and its economic value in mind, determining the role that culture plays on the individuals' motivation to embark on an entrepreneurial career is essential. How this influences the way they perceive their role at the festival is of vital importance to the festival marketers, organisers and even the South African Government (since it is largely responsible for creating a favourable entrepreneurial climate in the country). Design and methodology: Within the study, a distinction was made between different cultural groups at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival: White entrepreneurs, Black entrepreneurs, Indian entrepreneurs and Coloured entrepreneurs. ANOVAs were used to determine whether there were differences between these cultures. Findings and/or implications: The results of the study showed statistically significant cultural differences between these groups based on their socio-demographic characteristics, entrepreneurial attributes, motivation to attend as well as their perceived role at the festival. Originality and/or value of the research: This was the first time that research of this kind was conducted at a national arts festival in South Africa. The research has shown that by acknowledging and managing entrepreneurs' unique characteristics and traits represented by different cultural subgroups at the festival, a thriving entrepreneurial environment can be ensured. Conclusion: With the aim of achieving a successful entrepreneurial environment, factors that promote cross cultural entrepreneurship need to be an integral facet of entrepreneur-directed education, training and management as this will develop a positive orientation to entrepreneurship.