Women Entrepreneurship Programme (WEP)

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Introduction

Although South Africa has shown positive economic growth since 1994, it is evident that certain critical economic and social aspects and indicators have not been addressed to the full (Antonites, 2003: 1). Unemployment in particular still seems to be one of the major concerns with regard to economic growth. According to Van Tonder (2003: 8), the current unemployment rate implies that only approximately 13.5 million individuals are part of the economically active population in South Africa. It is imperative to create high levels of entrepreneurial activity within the country in order to reduce the unemployment figure. Timmons and Spinelli (2004: 37) agree, pointing out that entrepreneurial activity is a prerequisite for the success of economic growth, development, social well-being and political stability. Entrepreneurship throughout the world is stirring a revolution that is reforming and revitalising economies; this is due to the establishment of new businesses and the growth of existing ones (Visser, 2002: 1). In Africa one can see a sluggish growth in large private sector enterprises and the strong need for retrenchment in the public sector.

Background and importance of a study on women entrepreneurs

This study focuses on the training of women entrepreneurs in South Africa; it is therefore necessary to explain why such a study is undertaken. One reason for the interest in women entrepreneurship in South Africa could be the revitalising effect entrepreneurship has had on such a depressed economy in the past and may also have in the 21 st century (Erwee, 1987: 153). This view is supported by Blignaut (2000: 37), who points out that the “new” economy also provides women who may have been out of the workplace for a while with a chance to step in and take advantage of exciting opportunities.
Although women are making their mark as entrepreneurs in South Africa, they still seem to be under-represented in the formal sector. According to Foxcroft, Wood, Kew, Herrington and Segal (2002: 9), there are still twice as many male entrepreneurs as female entrepreneurs. The findings of Orford et al. (2003: 11), in their GEM report of 2003, support these results, indicating that men are on average 2.3 times more likely to be involved in entrepreneurial activity in developing countries than women are. In South Africa in 2002 men were twice as likely as women to be involved in entrepreneurial activity, whereas in 2003 men were 1.9 times more likely than women to be involved in entrepreneurial activity. In 2004 men were 1.4 times more likely to be self-employed than women (Orford, Herrington & Wood, 2004: 16). The difference in the female and male rates was statistically significant in 2002 but not in 2003 and 2004. The overall difference between entrepreneurial activity rates of men and women in South Africa is largely due to the much higher opportunity entrepreneurial activity amongst men. Reasons for this could be barriers that women entrepreneurs face. On top of that, there are mutually reinforcing factors such as crime, low visibility and absence of business organisations which raise the barriers to entry and growth for businesses even more.

Literature review

Defining entrepreneurship seems to remain a difficult task, as academics and researchers worldwide have not yet agreed on a definition. Several authors have contributed to the definition of entrepreneurship, including McClelland (1961), Gartner (1990), Bygrave and Hofer (1991), Timmons and Spinelli (2004) and Hisrich, Peters and Shepherd (2005). For the purpose of this dissertation two definitions of an entrepreneur will be used. The first definition, as used by the Chair in Entrepreneurship at the University of Pretoria (Nieman, 2000: 5), is: “A person who sees an opportunity in the market, gathers resources and starts and grows a business venture to satisfy these needs.
He or she takes the risk of the venture and is rewarded with profit if it succeeds”. The second definition, as accepted in this study, is: An entrepreneur is an individual with the ability to realise a specific vision of virtually anything – a definite human creative action. A differentiating factor defining the true entrepreneur is the entrepreneurial skills of creativity and innovation. The fundamental skill to “create”, thus generating an idea, and the action of transforming it into a viable growth-orientated business, forms an unconditional and integrated prerequisite for entrepreneurship training programmes (Antonites, 2003: 3). The definitions of entrepreneur include the promise of growth and expansion and therefore it is essential that the owner of the entrepreneurial venture obtain the adequate skills and knowledge to ensure long-term success.

Design of the study

As already indicated, this study will be based on an experimental design but will also focus on a survey design. The empirical study will consist of quantitative research, in which three different research questionnaires will be used to obtain information from respondents. The first questionnaire will be given to respondents before the actual training takes place to measure the respondents’ level of knowledge and skills as well as training expectations and needs (this will be referred to as O1). The second questionnaire will be given to respondents to measure their behaviours and attitudes directly after they have completed the programme (this will be referred to as O2), and the third questionnaire, will measure the respondents’ business performance six months after they have completed the programme (this will be referred to as O3). The control group will only receive the first questionnaire (O1) and the third questionnaire (O3).

Importance and benefits of the study

The study presented explores entrepreneurship from an intervention perspective; essentially, this study is an exploration into the nature and effectiveness of the WEP and will also investigate other entrepreneurship education and training programmes. However, the main contribution of this study to effectiveness is represented by a focused longitudinal study in which both the tangible and intangible outcomes of the particular WEP cohort are examined. An aspect which enhances the findings of this study is the use of control and experimental groups which, given the nature of the field, are becoming more and more difficult to find. In 2001, Friedrich et al. (2003: 4) conducted a study by selecting 84 entrepreneurs; one part formed the experimental group, while the other part were the control group. After six months these authors compared the results of the experimental group with the control group and found that the experimental group had developed better in their business performance than the control group. These authors further report that as far as they have researched, no other entrepreneurial training in South Africa has been evaluated with a control group and an experimental group six months after the respondents were measured the first time. Therefore, the principal aim of the study is to make a valuable contribution in the area of entrepreneurship education and training

Education

The Oxford Dictionary (2005) defines education as the theory and practice of teaching or information about or training in a particular subject. Van Heerden (1994: 5) states that education is the act or process whereby knowledge is provided, especially through formal teaching and instruction of mainly the theory of a specific concept. The education approach mostly involves the cognitive domain, which refers to the mental process of learning. This definition of education by Van Heerden is seen as the one that provides the most appropriate distinction between training and education. According to Bruner (1996: 20), the term education is used in three main senses: to indicate a process, a system and a goal. This process is often carried on within a system, and many people speak of education as if it were that system, for example, when saying that the government spends money on education. The system itself is not education: it is a system designed to promote the process of education, or an educational system.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS :

  • Chapter Introduction and background to the study
    • 1.1 Introduction
    • 1.2 Background and importance of a study on women entrepreneurs
    • 1.3 Literature review
    • 1.4 Defining constructs in the study
    • 1.5 The research problem
    • 1.6 Purpose of the study
    • 1.7 Effects of training
    • 1.8 Research objectives
    • 1.8.1 Primary objective
    • 1.8.2 Secondary objectives
    • 1.9 Hypotheses
    • 1.10 Research methodology
    • 1.10.1 Sample selection and size
    • 1.10.2 Design of the study
    • 1.11 Importance and benefits of the study
    • 1.12 Outline of the study
    • 1.13 Abbreviations
    • 1.14 Referencing technique
  • 2. Entrepreneurial education and training
    • 2.1 Introduction
    • 2.2 The constructs of education, training and learning
    • 2.2.1 Education
    • 2.2.2 Training
    • 2.2.3 Learning
    • 2.3 The field of entrepreneurship
    • 2.4 Entrepreneurship and economic development
    • 2.5 The relationship between employment and
    • entrepreneurship education and training
    • 2.6 Entrepreneurship versus small business management
    • training and education
    • 2.7 Entrepreneurial education
    • 2.7.1 Can entrepreneurship be taught?
    • 2.7.2 Difficulties in entrepreneurship education
    • 2.8 Entrepreneurial training
    • 2.8.1 Enhancing and restraining factors of
    • entrepreneurial training
    • 2.8.2 Types of interventions
    • 2.9 Conclusion
  • 3. Entrepreneurship training models and programmes
    • 3.1 Introduction
    • 3.2 Entrepreneurship training models
    • 3.2.1 Entrepreneurial Performance Education Model
    • (E/P model)
    • 3.2.1.1 Entrepreneurial Performance (E/P)
    • 3.2.1.2 Motivation (M)
    • 3.2.1.3 Entrepreneurial Skills (E/S)
    • 3.2.1.4 Business Skills (B/S)
    • 3.2.2 Entrepreneurial Education Model (E/E model)
    • 3.2.2.1 Entrepreneurial success themes
    • 3.2.2.2 Business knowledge and skills
    • 3.2.2.3 Business plan utilisation
    • 3.2.2.4 Learning approaches
    • 3.2.2.5 The facilitator and the programme context
    • 3.2.3 The Education for improved Entrepreneurial
    • Performance Model (E for E/P model)
    • 3.3 Entrepreneurship training programmes
    • 3.4 Objectives of entrepreneurship training programmes
    • 3.5 Design, content and duration of entrepreneurship training
    • programmes
    • 3.6 Measuring the effectiveness of entrepreneurship training
    • programmes
    • 3.7 Selected entrepreneurship training programmes in South
    • Africa
    • 3.8 Existing Entrepreneurial Skills Development Programmes
    • (ESDP) in Africa
    • 3.9 Other international (USA, Europe and Asia)
    • entrepreneurship programmes
    • 3.9.1 The US perspective
    • 3.9.2 The European perspective
    • 3.9.3 The Asian perspective
    • 3.9.3.1 India
    • 3.9.3.2 Indonesia
    • 3.9.3.3 Malaysia
    • 3.9.3.4 The Philippines
    • 3.10 Training programmes for women entrepreneurs
    • 3.11 Conclusion
  • 4. Women entrepreneurs in South Africa
    • 4.1 Introduction
    • 4.2 Literature on women entrepreneurs in South Africa
    • 4.3 Factors motivating women to start their own business
    • 4.4 Comparison between men and women entrepreneurs in
    • South Africa
    • 4.5 Barriers facing women entrepreneurs
    • 4.5.1 Lack of access to financial resources
    • 4.5.2 Lack of support structures
    • 4.5.3 Balancing business and family responsibilities
    • 4.5.4 Gender discrimination and bias
    • 4.5.5 Lack of training and education
    • 4.6 Training needs analysis of women entrepreneurs
    • 4.6.1 Training needs analysis of women entrepreneurs in
    • South Africa
    • 4.6.1.1 Specific training needs of women
    • entrepreneurs
    • 4.7 The need for women entrepreneurship training programmes
    • 4.8 Conclusion
  • 5. Women Entrepreneurship Programme (WEP)
    • 5.1 Introduction
    • 5.2 The WEP overview and background
    • 5.2.1 The WEP pilot programme
    • 5.2.2 Objectives, outcomes and possible contributions of the WEP
    • 5.2.3 The WEP targets and training schedule
    • 5.3 The WEP design and content
    • 5.3.1 Phase 1: Screening
    • 5.3.2 Phase 2: Profiling
    • 5.3.3 Phase 3: Selecting
    • 5.3.4 Phase 4: WEP (training intervention)
    • 5.3.4.1 Stage 1: Birth (day 1)
    • 5.3.4.2 Stage 2: Survival (day 2)
    • 5.3.4.3 Stage 3: Success (day 3 and 4)
    • 5.3.4.4 Stage 4: Expansion (day 5)
    • 5.3.4.5 Stage 5: Maturity (day 5)
    • 5.3.4.6 Stage 6: Maintenance (day 6)
    • 5.3.5 Phase 4: WEP (training intervention) continues
    • 5.3.6 Phase 5: Business plans
    • 5.3.7 Phase 6: Mentors and counsellors
    • 5.3.8 Phase 7: Access to finance
    • 5.3.9 Phase 8: Final assessment
    • 5.3.10 Phase 9: Follow-up
    • 5.4 WEP sponsors and partners
    • 5.4.1 The Africa Project Development Facility (APDF) now
    • known as Private Enterprise Partnership for Africa
    • (PEP Africa) – Phases 1 and
    • 5.4.2 ECI Africa (South African and International Business
    • Linkages, SAIBL)
    • 5.4.3 ABSA Bank – Phase
    • 5.4.4 Insights learning and development South Africa (Pty)
    • Ltd – Phases 2 and
    • 5.4.5 Companies and Intellectual Property Registration
    • Office (CIPRO)
    • 5.4.6 Business Skills South Africa (BSSA) – Phases
    • and
    • 5.4.7 Department of Trade and Industry Woman
    • Empowerment and Gender Unit
    • 5.4.7.1 SAWEN
    • 5.4.8 Public relations for the WEP
    • 5.5 Measuring the WEP against the improved entrepreneurship
    • training model
    • 5.6 Determining and measuring the effectiveness of the WEP
    • 5.7 Conclusion
  • 6. Research design and methodology of the study
    • 6.1 Introduction
    • 6.2 The research problem
    • 6.3 Objectives of the study
    • 6.3.1 Primary objective
    • 6.3.2 Secondary objectives
    • 6.4 Hypotheses
    • 6.4.1 Hypotheses testing
    • 6.5 Research methodology
    • 6.5.1 The experimental design
    • 6.5.2 Classification of experimental designs
    • 6.5.3 Sampling design and data collection methods
    • 6.5.3.1 Response rate for the experimental group
    • 6.5.3.2 Response rate for the control group
    • 6.5.3.3 Data collection
    • 6.5.4 Sample selection and size
    • 6.5.5 Purpose of the study
    • 6.5.6 The time dimension
    • 6.5.7 The topical scope
    • 6.5.8 Subjects’ perceptions
    • 6.6 Questionnaire design, validity and measurement
    • 6.6.1 Validity of the research questionnaire
    • 6.6.2 Research questionnaire (O1) design
    • 6.6.3 Entrepreneurial learning programme evaluation instrument questionnaire (O2) design
    • 6.6.4 Follow-up research questionnaire (O3) design
    • 6.6.5 Measurement of research questionnaires
    • 6.7 The characteristics of sound measurement
    • 6.7.1 Validity of the training intervention
    • 6.7.1.1 Internal validity
    • 6.7.1.2 External validity
    • 6.7.2 Reliability of the measuring instruments
    • 6.7.2.1 Factor analysis
    • 6.8 Determining and measuring the effectiveness of the WEP
    • 6.9 Data processing and analysis
    • 6.9.1 Descriptive statistics
    • 6.9.2 Inferential statistics
    • 6.9.2.1 Chi-square test
    • 6.9.2.2 t-test
    • 6.9.2.3 Wilcoxon matched-pairs test
    • 6.9.2.4 Kruskal-Wallis (K-W) One-Way Analysis ofVariance (ANOVA)
    • 6.9.3 Statistical significance
    • 6.10 Conclusion
  • 7. Research findings
    • 7.1 Introduction
    • 7.2 Personal demographics of the sample
    • 7.3 Business demographics of the sample
    • 7.4 Respondents’ satisfaction and expectations regarding the WEP
    • 7.4.1 Respondents’ satisfaction with the WEP
    • 7.4.2 Respondents’ expectations regarding the WEP
    • 7.5 Validity and reliability of the measuring instruments
    • 7.6 Testing the statistical and substantive significance
    • 7.6.1 The chi-square (x²) test
    • 7.6.2 t-test for independent samples
    • 7.6.3 Paired sample t-test
    • 7.6.4 Wilcoxon matched-pairs test
    • 7.6.5 Kruskal-Wallis One-Way Analysis of Variance. . . . . . . . . . (ANOVA)
    • 7.7 Statistical techniques used to measure the effectiveness of the WEP
    • 7.7.1 General comments of respondents
    • 7.8 Conclusion
  • 8. Conclusion and recommendations
    • 8.1 Introduction
    • 8.2 Overview of the literature study
    • 8.3 Research objectives revisited
    • 8.3.1 Primary objective revisited
    • 8.3.2 Secondary objectives revisited
    • 8.4 Hypotheses revisited
    • 8.5 WEP targets revisited
    • 8.6 Contribution to the science
    • 8.7 Limitations of the study
    • 8.8 Recommendations and further research
    • 8.9 Summary and conclusion
  • REFERENCES
    • ANNEXURE A: RESEARCH QUESTIONNAIRE (O1)
    • ANNEXURE B: ENTREPRENEURIAL LEARNING
    • PROGRAMME EVALUATION
    • INSTRUMENT (O2)
    • ANNEXURE C: FOLLOW-UP RESEARCH
    • QUESTIONNAIRE (O3)

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MEASURING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE WOMEN ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAMME, AS A TRAINING INTERVENTION, ON POTENTIAL, START-UP AND ESTABLISHED WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS IN SOUTH AFRICA

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