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Examining The 4th Industrial Revolution And South Africa Youth Entrepreneurship Linkage To Covid 19: Opportunities And Challenges

Mkhothi Tshabalala
Andrisha Beharry-Ramraj


This article was primarily motivated by the fact that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic affected businesses of all sizes, from small to large, and as a result the available literature focused on small and large businesses only, undermining the extent of COVID-19 consequences on youth entrepreneurs and their start-ups. Furthermore, the article’s main objective was to determine the extent of challenges and opportunities South African youth entrepreneurs faced and reaped. Moreover, the data for this article was collected from secondary data within the context of South Africa, and the data was primarily collected from literature around youth entrepreneurship, their challenges and opportunities during COVID-19 and the role of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR).
The core aim of this article was to highlight youth entrepreneurs’ initiatives that operated during the COVID-19 pandemic and those that were affected by COVID-19 regulations; hence, youth entrepreneurs’ challenges and opportunities were highlighted. The information and findings in this article thus seek to fill the gap in information that relates to how South African youth entrepreneurs overcome challenges of this magnitude (COVID-19). Moreover, future South African youth entrepreneurs can use this article as reference or rather take lessons on how youth entrepreneurs survived the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, the findings of the article reflected that, as much as COVID-19 regulations affected South African youth entrepreneurs’ businesses, there are those that managed to remain creative and weathered the storm of COVID-19 while there are those faced challenges that overcame their businesses. Moreover, the findings also show that the 4IR played a huge role towards the success of South African youth entrepreneurs’ initiatives. Hence, the use of 4IR technologies enabled youth entrepreneurs’ businesses to adhere to COVID-19 regulations.

Keywords: Youth Entrepreneurs, Covid-19, Challenges, Opportunities, 4th Industrial Revolution