Key Points:

  • This report reviews recent South African and international research on entrepreneur­ship. The research confirms that entrepreneurship plays a key role in economic devel­opment.
  • In line with this, many government planners, journalists, academics, civil society players, and business people agree that entrepreneurship, and smaller aspirant entrepreneurs in particular, should be vigorously encouraged.
  • The government has adopted numer­ous policies aimed at achieving this goal, and programmes introduced to implement those policies have been well‑funded and widely publicised.
  • However, this consensus lacks focus and a concentration of purpose, and displays sev­eral conceptions of the meaning and purpose of entrepreneurship.
  • Notably, the govern­ment has sought to promote entrepreneurship in order to achieve a variety of hoped‑for benefits, including black empowerment; providing a ‘survivalist’ cushion for people who have lost their jobs in the formal sector as a result of restructuring exercises; and driving economic growth and job creation.

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