An investigation into youth entrepreneurship in selected South African secondary schools: An exploratory study

  • AG Steenekamp
  • SP van der Merwe
  • R Athayde


This research paper examines the status of entrepreneurship education
in selected South African secondary schools to determine the impact
thereof on young learners’ attitude towards entrepreneurship
and their future plans. It highlights some challenges facing youth
entrepreneurship development in Sedibeng secondary schools. The
study is based on the attitude approach to entrepreneurship research
and discusses the results of an empirical study involving 1 748 grade
10 learners. South African youth appear to have a positive attitude
towards entrepreneurship and the existence of opportunities for
new venture creation, but seem to have inflated expectations with
respect to their future academic qualifications and less interest
than would be expected in starting their own businesses. Statistical
analysis of the data revealed that entrepreneurship education in the
sample schools was largely infrequent and without depth or focus.
The results indicated that catalytic factors, such as exposure to
entrepreneurship at school and having self-employed parents, have
not had any effect on learners in the sample, thus re-emphasising
the urgent need for entrepreneurship training programmes of value.
The paper concludes with recommendations for further research on
entrepreneurship education in South African secondary schools.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1998-8125
print ISSN: 1561-896X