Help in starting own business

Students from Stellenbosch University march to...

UNIVERSITY students in SA are less likely to follow up on plans for starting their own businesses compared with their international counterparts, and the number of students intending to start their own business after graduating has dropped due to pessimism regarding the financial crisis, according to a survey on global student entrepreneurial outlook.

This comes amid calls by business, government and civil society for more entrepreneurs to deal with SA’s unemployment crisis.

On Monday, President Jacob Zuma said governments could never be the principal providers of jobs and instead, jobs were created by successful, well-managed private-sector enterprises.

However, the 2011 Global University Entrepreneurial Spirit Students’ Survey released in September indicated that the majority of the 697 South African students surveyed at 15 universities who intended to start their own business had not taken any steps to turn their intentions into action, with only 18% having developed a business plan.

Dr Suzette Viviers, senior lecturer in financial management at Stellenbosch University’s department of business management, which co-ordinated the survey, said despite 70,6% of SA students viewing themselves as intentional founders of business, “considerably higher than the global sample of 42%”, the failure to take action meant SA was ranked lower on the entrepreneurship index.

The report concluded that the effects of the global crisis on small businesses’ survival rates and profitability contributed to students being more critical of employment options, including setting up their own businesses. The number of students who were planning to start their own businesses had dropped to 5% this year from 8% in 2008-09.

The “perceived barrier to obtaining start-up capital” was cited as a primary reason for failure to follow up on plans. Cheryl Nesbitt, nominated by Ernst & Young in its World Entrepreneur Awards Programme, last week said she had found it was still very difficult for start-up businesses to get loans from banks.

via BusinessDay – SA graduates ‘not keen on entrepreneurship’

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