Challenges facing rural entrepreneurship in selected areas in South Africa
Agbenyegah, Albert Tchey
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South Africa, unlike other developing countries, is classified as one of the best performing economies in Africa. Unfortunately the economic growth of the country continue to be limited by the general constraints of the small business sector, due to challenges of skills such as managerial skills, lack of global competition and the weak entrepreneurial performance. The primary objective of the study is to investigate the influence of selected challenges on the perceived success of entrepreneurship and small businesses within selected rural areas. The primary objective is aided by other secondary objectives including understanding the concept of entrepreneurship and the identification and assessment of entrepreneurial challenges, amongst others. The study was conducted using the quantitative process with main focus to identify the challenges that limit entrepreneurship in the study areas of John Taolo Gaetsewe and Frances Baard District Municipalities of the Northern Cape Province. Drawing from the findings of the study, an integrated framework was designed to improve rural entrepreneurship and small businesses. The study identified the dependent and independent variables of typical, business and operational, personal and specific challenges. From the empirical study, it emerged that these challenges bear significant relationship to entrepreneurial success. An exploratory factor analysis research was conducted using a convenience sample of 282 owner-managers of small businesses to gather relevant data. Besides, a 7- point Likert scale was distributed to owner-managers (entrepreneurs) of small businesses for data. It was revealed that most of the respondents’, who operated most businesses as a sole proprietorship, were male. The majority of the owner- managers (entrepreneurs) ranged between 40 to 49 years old. Most of the small businesses (63.82%) are established in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality. It further emerged that only 10.28% of respondents were aged between 20 to 29 years. There is the need to embark on serious entrepreneurial education for the youth in South Africa. Generally, most of the owner-managers (entrepreneurs) received some formal level of education; data indicated that 23.05% received matric education whilst 22.70% received education that was below the matric level; 18.09% qualified as diplomats and 7.09% received education as university graduates. The empirical study further indicated that most of the small businesses offered full-time employment opportunities to between four to six employees. According to the report, most of the small businesses are able to survive only for a maximum period of 6 years; the annual turnover of these businesses ranged from R30 000 to R50 000. Throughout the study, all the requirements and the criteria set for a credible study were met. Thus it was possible to realise that the primary and secondary objectives that were set initially for this study were satisfied. As a result, this study provides the owner-managers (entrepreneurs) with different forms of challenges that impact on entrepreneurial activities within rural communities. Drawing from the empirical study, it was also possible to highlight specific recommendations that can be utilised to enhance entrepreneurial success.