Page created by Julie Tran
In a first attempt at establishing a baseline of the      Director-General: University Education, Dr Diane
nature and scope of entrepreneurship in South             Parker, and the Chief Director: Teaching and
African higher education, we learnt that a project        Learning Development, Dr Whitfield Green, for
of this nature, in the absence of any prior work and      financial support through the University Capacity
amid the complex and uncertain higher education           Development Programme of the Department of
landscape, is no simple task. This report is the result   Higher Education and Training.
of the valued contributions of a large number of
                                                          The EDHE Community of Practice for
individuals and entities. We acknowledge some key
                                                          Entrepreneurial Universities enthusiastically
stakeholders here, but are sincerely grateful to every
                                                          shaped and guided the study. The input of its two
person who contributed in one way or another.
                                                          conveners, Dr Poppet Pillay of Durban University
The British Council South Africa has been                 of Technology and Ms Charleen Duncan of the
commendable in bringing this project to fruition          University of the Western Cape, was of particular
through its financial contribution and active support     value. Prof. Susan Steinman played a constructive
in execution and brokering linkages with the UK
                                                          role in the background work, which we greatly
Higher Eduction sector. Specific acknowledgement
is deserved by its former and current Science and
Higher Education Programme Managers, Ms Anisa             Ms Joyce Achampong of Pivot Global exhibited
Khan and Ms Meekness Lunga, respectively. We are          remarkable adaptability, patience and perseverance
also grateful for the support and insight provided        in conducting the study. Joyce, we salute you!
by the British Council Deputy Country Director, Ms        We have tremendous appreciation for the
Jean September throughout the research process.           leadership of the CEO of Universities South Africa
We thank the EDHE Steering Committee for its              (USAf), Prof. Ahmed Bawa, for his encouragement
support and endorsement, in particular the Deputy         and unwavering backing of the EDHE team.

Copyright and Disclaimer
Information contained herein should not, in whole or part, be published,
reproduced or referred to without prior approval by Universities South
Africa (USAf) and the Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education
Programme as the commissioning body. Any such reproduction should
also credit the report’s authors; Joyce Achampong, Dr Christopher Hill
and Elli Yannakaris of Pivot Global Education Consulting Group Ltd., as
well as credit any and all research that Pivot Global Education Consulting
Group Ltd undertook in the writing of this report.
                  BASELINE REPORT

     A research study conducted by Pivot Global Education for the
Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) Programme
   of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and
 Universities South Africa (USAf), in partnership with the British Council

                              FEBRUARY 2020
Foreword: An Essential
                                        Baseline Study to Shape
                                        EDHE’s Engagement
                                        The complex relationship of                to facilitate this engagement, to
                                        universities with society has constantly   ensure that there is learning taking
                                        to be worked at. These institutions        place at the theory-praxis nexus and
                                        are global in scope because of the         to provide students with appropriate
                                        nature of knowledge as an entity that      learning experiences. Thirdly, it works
                                        spans borders and cultures, but they       with the universities themselves to
                                        are also deeply rooted in the social,      understand how best to facilitate
                                        economic and political geographies         the development of entrepreneurial
                                        in which they are located. They
                                                                                   ecosystems within which students are
                                        are simultaneously intensely local
                                                                                   immersed. And finally, the research-
                                        and intensely global. This forces
                                                                                   innovation chasm is deep in South
                                        universities to focus heavily on how
                                        they relate to their local contexts and,   Africa. One of the challenges we
                                        as Professor Chris Brink posits (and I     face as a sector is to understand
                                        paraphrase): “it is not enough to ask      how both undergraduate and
                                        what universities are good at – we         postgraduate students engage the
Prof. Ahmed Bawa                        must also ask what universities are        ideas of entrepreneurism as they work
Chief Executive Officer,                good for!”                                 on projects, so that the innovation
Universities South Africa (USAf)                                                   imperative is built into the research
                                        At the heart of South Africa’s
                                        simultaneous crises of poverty and         enterprise rather than seen as
                                        inequality is its unbelievably high        being retrofitted.
                                        unemployment rate. At close to             EDHE, will have to work with the
                                        30%, South Africa has a shockingly         objective conditions at each of the
                                        high unemployment rate which for           institutions, to understand what the
                                        young South Africans rises to close        international best practice tells us
                                        on 50%. This is clearly a mirror of        and to understand what the nature of
                                        the state of South Africa’s economy.
                                                                                   South Africa’s entrepreneurial terrain
                                        It is stagnant. And any hope of
                                                                                   is like. This baseline study is meant
                                        addressing these crises will depend
                                                                                   to provide EDHE with these kinds of
                                        on understanding how to grow the
                                                                                   details and data as a basis upon which
                                        economy so that there are higher
                                        levels of employment. How should the       to design interventions.
                                        universities respond to these crises?      At the end of the day, it is paramount
It is paramount that                    One response of universities would         that each institution, on the basis
                                                                                   of the evidence before it and in
each institution                        be to contribute to the generation
                                        of a new, vibrant culture of               partnership with EDHE, deliberately
deliberately designs                    entrepreneurship. This imagination is      designs the ecosystem that best suits
the ecosystem that                      what gave rise to the DHET’s initiative    its needs and its conditions so as
best suits its needs                    in establishing the Entrepreneurship       to maximise its impact on building
                                        Development in Higher Education            an entrepreneurial culture amongst
and its conditions.                     (EDHE) Programme, which is now             its graduates.
                                        based at and run out of USAf. The
                                        idea of the programme is four‑fold.        This is an exciting intellectual
                                        Firstly, it is aimed at providing          adventure that has the potential to
                                        students with the opportunity              make important social and economic
                                        of engaging with the world of              impacts on students and the economy
                                        entrepreneurship while they are busy       more generally. This baseline study
                                        with degree and diploma studies.           will provide important information
                                        Secondly, it focuses attention on          and data to allow EDHE to maximise
                                        building the capacity of academics         its impact.

Foreword: Towards a National Policy to
Guide Entrepreneurship Development
in South African Universities
It gives me great pleasure to share a          South Africa, a core set of principles,
few thoughts on the first research study       criteria or values could form the basis
to be jointly commissioned by the              of a framework that all universities
British Council and Universities South         could adopt as they see fit.
Africa, as part of our collaborative
                                               What is clear is that instilling a culture
partnership on expanding the capacity
                                               of entrepreneurship across universities,
of South African universities in the
                                               in whatever shape or form, is key to
area of entrepreneurship. The notion
                                               the advancement of social welfare
of an entrepreneurial university is
                                               and economic development in the
gaining momentum globally. In South
                                               region and this Ecosystem Baseline
Africa, the UK and other parts of
                                               Study is a progressive step in the
Europe, universities are increasingly
                                               right direction. Programmes that seek
becoming more entrepreneurial as they
                                               to advance entrepreneurship in the
move away from the more traditional
                                               higher education sector, such as the
management and academically-
                                               Department of Higher Education and
focussed structures and ways of
                                               Training (DHET’s) Entrepreneurship
operating, towards more inclusive,
                                               Development in Higher Education
flexible, student-led curricula that reflect
the realities of industry and the world of     (EDHE) Programme, are very important
work today and ahead into the future.          to the UK as they align with the ideals of
                                               our Overseas Development Assistance
The nature and magnitude of                    (ODA) which ultimately aims to benefit
entrepreneurial initiatives, however,          low income, historically disadvantaged
vary from one university to another. In        and vulnerable populations.
the UK, universities tend to be diverse,                                                    Susana Galvan
with some being research intensive             This Entrepreneurship Ecosystem
                                               Baseline Study fills a crucial knowledge     Country Director,
and others being more teaching                                                              British Council South Africa
focussed. Likewise, this National              gap in the South African university
University Entrepreneurship Ecosystem          entrepreneurship ecosystem. This
Baseline Study reveals the rich diversity      study has succeeded in analysing
and uniqueness of each university              South Africa’s reality and providing
in South Africa. From this study, it is        key information that will be used to
evident that the degree and form of            further support entrepreneurship. More
entrepreneurship at universities vary          importantly, it will feed into the design
greatly across the country, depending          of a National Policy Framework that will
on the type of university and its history.     seek to address the policy regulatory
                                               vacuum and stimulate entrepreneurship
Considering the above, this                    activities in South African universities.
research maps and analyses
                                               This will be facilitated through
the state of affairs in relation to
                                               interventions such as the EDHE
entrepreneurship at universities,
                                               Programme and others in the sector.
guided by an acknowledgement and
an understanding of the diversity              British Council South Africa would
within the university sector in South          like to thank all those individuals who
Africa. As the higher education sector         contributed to making this publication       Instilling a culture of
proceeds to engage with, and make              possible. Without the participation
meaning of the findings of this study, I       of the university representatives,           entrepreneurship across
would strongly encourage universities          we would not have been able to               universities is key to the
to embrace their unique identity and           collect the information that makes           advancement of social
diversity, and continue to discover            this study so valuable and so useful.
their own pathways to becoming                 Very special thanks also go to our           welfare and economic
entrepreneurial, because in the world          project implementation partner, USAf,        development in the
of education, there is no one-size-fits-       and Pivot Global Education (UK) for
all model. With further research and           conducting the research and compiling
engagement with the universities in            this crucial report.

                                                           NATIONAL UNIVERSITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP ECOSYSTEM BASELINE REPORT   iii
Foreword: An Essential Baseline Study to Shape EDHE’s Engagement .............................................................. ii
Foreword: Towards a National Policy to Guide Entrepreneurship Development in South African Universities ...... iii
Executive Summary ............................................................................................................................................ 2
Introduction ......................................................................................................................................................... 4
Literature Survey .................................................................................................................................................. 6
Research Methodology ....................................................................................................................................... 9
Interpretation of Data and Research Outcomes ................................................................................................ 12
What is Entrepreneurship and what is an Entrepreneur? .................................................................................. 16
Entrepreneurship Activity and Delivery ............................................................................................................. 18
Processes and Approaches ................................................................................................................................ 26
Systems and Processes ...................................................................................................................................... 30
Findings ............................................................................................................................................................. 32
Recommendations ............................................................................................................................................. 39
Conclusion ........................................................................................................................................................ 42
References/Bibliography ................................................................................................................................... 43
Annexures .......................................................................................................................................................... 44

List of tables and figures
Table 1: Summary of South Africa’s youth development policies ........................................................................ 5
Table 2: Survey responses by institution ........................................................................................................... 10
Table 3: Innovation delivery of entrepreneurship development ....................................................................... 35
Graph 1: Word occurrence for ‘What is entrepreneurship?’ (Academic) ........................................................... 16
Graph 2: Word occurrence for ‘What is entrepreneurship?’ (Professional Services) .......................................... 16
Graph 3: Word occurrence for ‘What is an entrepreneur?’ (Academic) ............................................................. 17
Graph 4: Word occurrence for ‘What is an entrepreneur?’ (Professional Services) ........................................... 17

ANDE                  Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs                      MCF                    MasterCard Foundation
DHET                  Department of Higher Education and Training,                    NYDA                   National Youth Development Agency
                      South Africa
                                                                                      SEDA                   Small Enterprise Development Agency
ENACTUS               Experiential learning platform (known formally as
                      Enactus)                                                        SEFA                   Small Enterprise Finance Agency

Entrepreneurship Formal academic programme                                            STEP                   Student Training for Entrepreneurial Promotion,
education                                                                                                    a programme supported by UNESCO SA and
                                                                                                             Leuphana University of Lüneburg
Entrepreneurship Formal or informal, accredited or non-accredited
training         training                                                             TEF                    Tony Elumelu Foundation

EDHE                  Entrepreneurship Development in Higher                          USAf                   Universities South Africa
                      Education: a programme of the Department of                     Wadhwani               An international programme to accelerate
                      Higher Education and Training, South Africa and                 Foundation             economic development in emerging economies
                      Universities South Africa (USAf)                                Entrepreneur           through entrepreneurship, innovation and skills

                                                                         NATIONAL UNIVERSITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP ECOSYSTEM BASELINE REPORT                                1
Executive Summary
Overview                                   communication lines that can be             delivery of entrepreneurship activity
                                           improved upon.                              on campus. This would support
This baseline study provides insight
                                           Activity stems from understanding:          the breaking of entrenched silos,
into the enabling entrepreneurship
                                           both of an idea itself and of where,        which are evident in universities
ecosystem within the 26 South African
                                           how and why it should be delivered.         across the world, and promote
public higher education institutions
                                           In the context of this study, the issue     greater levels of communication and
and existing practices and activities
                                           is compounded by one of definition.         awareness. Academics need to be
currently underway. Its purpose is to
                                           When terms like ‘entrepreneurship’,         involved in the design and delivery
enable, using the recommendations
                                           ‘innovation’ and ‘entrepreneurial’          of entrepreneurship activity, but
gathered, the creation of a framework
                                           are used almost interchangeably,            training and development need to be
to inform the development of a
                                           there is naturally scope for confusion      embedded at an institutional level,
National Policy Framework on
                                           and a need for further clarity. There       and in so doing, support the building
Entrepreneurship Development in
                                           is a need to more clearly define            of a culture and system that promotes
South African Higher Education. The
                                           entrepreneurship in the South African       entrepreneurship at all levels.
report deals with complex issues of
definition, delivery, design and impact.   context, with a particular view to          Findings in this study indicate that
Through an approach of review              improving impact and outcomes.              institutions are convinced of their
and analysis, this report provides         There is a tendency, currently, to talk     value and relevance in providing
a mapping of existing activity; an         more about the process and activity         entrepreneurship training to the
analysis of trends and expectations;       of developing entrepreneurs in              youth of South Africa, but the data
and a series of recommendations            relation to the definition as this is how   also reveals that the current model
regarding future practice.                 people see entrepreneurship and how         and approach is not fulfilling this
                                           it is implemented. Entrepreneurship         obligation. The need is great for
The study illustrates several key
                                           is a loaded term, often associated          Universities South Africa (USAf),
factors that must be addressed for
                                           with Business Schools and more              through EDHE, to work with external
future strategy and development of
                                           readily connected to academic               partners such as the British Council,
Entrepreneurship Development in
                                           delivery which is problematic in its        to provide the support and guidance
Higher Education (EDHE) in the higher
                                           own right, as highlighted by the data       needed to enable universities to
education institutions and among
                                           presented. This study highlights the        deliver on their objectives around
their partners. There is much scope
                                           need to improve the socialisation           entrepreneurship development. In
for increased clarity within the field
                                           of entrepreneurship in the world;           addition, there is a need for an in-
of entrepreneurship in South Africa
                                           normalising the idea that the validity      depth review of what is delivered,
in terms of institutional expectations;
                                           of being a job creator is equal to that     who is delivering it and the manner
measurement and impact; hosting
                                           of being a job seeker. Traditionally,       of delivery. In order to assess and
and activity; and indeed, the
                                           jobs have been seen as the focus            adapt this accordingly, the needs
definition and terminology itself.
                                           and impact factors surrounding              of students must be taken into
The EDHE Programme must
                                           entrepreneurship, rather than the           account in this ever-evolving sector.
position itself as the support unit for
                                           encouragement of engagement.                Herein lies the paradox. Universities
entrepreneurship in higher education,
                                           A key finding of this research is the       rely on tradition and history;
providing policy frameworks to build
                                           positioning of entrepreneurship             entrepreneurship needs disruption
successful university entrepreneurship
                                           activity within an institution, as this     and flux. Universities should be
engagement. EDHE should continue
                                           has a direct impact on the level of         incubators, however, and provide
looking for partners, such as the
                                           visibility, credibility, support and        both opportunity and access, with a
British Council, who align with
                                           funding. There is considerable              more practical approach than in the
their vision of championing the
                                           evidence indicating that academic           past. Traditionally, academia within
development of entrepreneurship in
                                           entrepreneurship (bringing academia         higher education is rooted in a strong
tertiary education. A key issue that
                                           and private sector research and             research tradition. To strengthen
arose in this project was the presence
                                           development closer together through         the entrepreneurial ecosystem,
of discrepancies in the interpretation
                                           knowledge transfer) is doing well;          universities need to increase their
of the findings which were often
                                           however, as a function of degree            focus on developing and supporting
unclear. Responses by individuals
                                           delivery, particularly at undergraduate     entrepreneurship action.
within the same institutions varied
within, and between the identified         level and within the Business School        As is evident in this report,
job types. This was highlighted in         structure, there is more work to be         entrepreneurship is a complex
the disparity between what was             done to broaden the appeal and              and evolving subject. It is also
reported externally by an institution,     access of entrepreneurship across           largely subjective, depending
and what was reported in the focus         a university. This report highlights        on where, and by whom, it is
groups and interviews. The study           the value of having a central entity,       delivered. The complexity of how
highlighted a lack of clarity and          with accompanying senior champion           entrepreneurship is delivered and
awareness throughout, pointing to          to support the coordination and             the learning that is being conveyed

ensures that there is no simple            Recommendations at a glance
solution; there is no silver bullet to
                                           Audit of entrepreneurship                    entrepreneurship thinking
solve this issue.
                                           development                                  into curriculum design outside
This study highlights examples of                                                       traditional business faculties and
good practice that can be factored         1. Using an established and agreed
into subsequent strategic decision            upon EDHE framework, universities
making. The aim of the benchmarking           should commission an internal          8. EDHE should use its position
exercise undertaken was not to rank           audit of their entrepreneurship           in USAf as the representative
systems, but to build a picture of            development activities. This              organisation of universities in South
entrepreneurship policy and delivery          should include outline staffing           Africa to establish partnerships
in addition to identifying priority           and funding received. It should           with foundations (Tony Elumelu
areas that the Department of Higher           evaluate effectiveness in order to        Foundation, MasterCard
Education and Training (DHET) and             increase communication within             Foundation) and delivery partners
USAf can support institutions in              the silos and present areas for           (LinkedIn Learning, Get Smarter) to
addressing. A framework for future            collaboration between academic            strengthen the entrepreneurship
activity is recommended, but it               staff and support professionals           activities within the universities.
must take context and capacity into           within the institution.                9. Through the Communities of
account. This is of particular relevance                                                Practice, EDHE should encourage
in the South African case, given           Creating an enabling environment
                                                                                        institutions to assess and explore
historic and economic disparity; and       for an entrepreneurial university
                                                                                        their entrepreneurial culture
the fact that the perception of value      2. EDHE, in collaboration with               abilities through the use of
and the location of each institution          the EDHE Communities of                   the HE Innovate tool
plays a very specific role in its             Practice, should work with                (
capacity and function.                        universities to appoint a ‘senior
                                              management’ level champion             Teaching and learning provision
                                              for entrepreneurship to
                                                                                     10. USAf should design a skills
                                              consolidate responsibility for
                                                                                         audit to assess the institutional
                                              entrepreneurship development
                                                                                         development needs for
                                              within their portfolio.
                                                                                         developing and implementing
                                           3. The role of the EDHE                       the entrepreneurship agenda.
                                              Communities of Practice within             This can be an additional pillar for
                                              institutions should be bolstered           performance management through
                                              to provide an internal support             key performance indicators and
                                              structure, as well a direct line to        productivity units.
                                              the ‘senior management’ level
                                                                                     11.The British Council should consider
                                                                                        expanding its support towards the
                                           4. Universities should work with             EDHE Programme by partnering
                                              EDHE to create clear and widely           with DHET and USAf to design
                                              distributed strategies that specify       and implement activities that seek
                                              their institutional objectives in         to build the capacity of emerging
                                              entrepreneurship development.             student entrepreneurs at South
                                           5. Institutions should aim to have a         African universities, thus making
                                              dedicated, well-resourced team            a meaningful contribution in the
                                              with strategic oversight for              graduate outcomes space.
                                              entrepreneurship development           12. USAf should seek funds designed
                                              activities. This means an allocation       to support institutions to allow
                                              of funds, job descriptions, titles         staff to engage in non-conflicting
                                              and objectives that align with             entrepreneurial pursuits.
                                              the universities’ positions on
                                              entrepreneurship development.          Funding specifically for
                                           6. EDHE policy should look to             entrepreneurship development
                                              work with universities to create       13. DHET should work with
                                              opportunities for students to              government funding agencies
                                              engage in entrepreneurship on              like SEDA, SEFA and the
                                              campus.                                    NYDA to set aside funding for
                                                                                         entrepreneurship development
                                           Curriculum design                             tied to an institution’s ability to
                                           7. EDHE should work with the Council          meet key performance indicators
                                              on Higher Education to create              as set out in the EDHE framework.
                                              pedagogically suited Training              This should be based on a
                                              of Trainers programmes (by                 scale of engagement to avoid
                                              general subject area) to integrate         disadvantaging smaller institutions.

                                                      NATIONAL UNIVERSITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP ECOSYSTEM BASELINE REPORT         3
This research project was                 This baseline study provides insight    youth unemployment which has
co‑commissioned and co-funded by          into the enabling entrepreneurship      been attributed to unpredictability,
Universities South Africa (USAf) and      ecosystem within the South              uncertainty and instability
the British Council.                      African public higher education         surrounding the country’s economy.
The two partners share                    sector and the existing practices       Self-initiated job creation is thus
mutual objectives to support              and activities currently under          seen as key to alleviating youth
Entrepreneurship Development in           way. Using the recommendations          unemployment and improving the
Higher Education (EDHE) in South          gathered, it creates a framework        economy.
Africa. EDHE was established at           that allows for the development
                                                                                  With the global emphasis on
the end of 2016 from within the           of a National Policy Framework on
                                                                                  entrepreneurship, entrepreneurs are
University Education Branch of the        Entrepreneurship Development in
                                                                                  increasingly becoming role models
Department of Higher Education            South African Higher Education.
                                                                                  in society, and entrepreneurship as a
and Training (DHET) and has been          All 26 public universities in the       career choice has risen in popularity.
funded through the University             country have been included in the       The term has become part of
Capacity Development Programme            study, albeit, with various levels of   everyday language and is often
since 2018. EDHE is a movement            engagement. These institutions,         associated with economic growth
aimed at driving and supporting           all of which are to be considered       and, in socio-economic terms, the
entrepreneurship development in           unique and functioning in diverse       well-being of societies (Achampong,
universities and has continued to         institutional, geographic, socio-       Harber, Falk and Lee-Wolf, 2017;
grow in output and impact year-on-        economic and political contexts,        Kew, Herrington, Litovsky and Gale,
year. Entrepreneurship in its different   are working in a landscape that         2013).
forms is now increasingly recognised      is complex and at times volatile.
as a priority area by the public          Data presented in this report are       If entrepreneurship contributes to
universities, and most universities       aggregated so as not to unfairly        economic growth and employment,
are making good progress in               rank institutions based on their        then more youth should be
supporting student entrepreneurship,      entrepreneurship provisions. The        encouraged and trained to become
increasing the audience exposed           aim of the study was to understand      entrepreneurs. The studies that
to entrepreneurship through               what entrepreneurship activity          underpin this belief indicate that
teaching, learning and research,          was taking place, where it sat          entrepreneurship is generally
while repositioning themselves as         within an institution, who had          considered a positive opportunity
entrepreneurial institutions.             strategic responsibility for it, how    for youth, rather than simply a
                                          entrepreneurship development            means of escaping unemployment.
As the driver of this collaborative
                                          activity was delivered and what         Entrepreneurship can help alleviate
partnership, EDHE sought a baseline
                                          challenges were being faced by          socio-economic challenges through
study to assess the level, scope
                                          those within the institution who were   the promotion of business formation
and scale of entrepreneurship
                                          engaging with it, in order to provide   and self-employment as a viable
development in the 26 public
                                          USAf and EDHE with data to build        career option. It helps youth build
universities in South Africa. Set
                                          policy to support entrepreneurship      interpersonal skills, and non-cognitive
against a national backdrop which
                                          development.                            skills such as perseverance and it
sees entrepreneurship development
                                                                                  motivates and empowers youth in
as being paramount to the growth
and development of the nation and         Why entrepreneurship?                   other life circumstances, including
                                                                                  coping with poverty and adapting to
its youth population, this work and       The growth and development of
the activities surrounding it, are        entrepreneurship ecosystems around
underpinned by EDHE’s objective           the world is a well-researched          The implementation of entrepreneurship
of developing the entrepreneurial         topic. The drive behind its timely      programmes has been recommended
capacity of universities, students,       and imperative narrative, especially    in national plans and strategies, as
academics and support professionals.      in South Africa, is the increase in     depicted in Table 1.

Table1: Summary of South Africa’s youth development policies (Yiannakaris, 2019)

                                                                             The Department of Trade and
                          The National Development Plan
 Policy                                                                      Industry Youth Enterprise
                          2030 (NDP)
                                                                             Development Strategy 2013–2023

                          2012                                               2013

                                                                             A strategy instrument intended to
                          The NDP is a detailed blueprint for how            foster youth economic participation
                          South Africa can eliminate poverty and             by deliberately enhancing youth
                          reduce inequality by the year 2030.                entrepreneurship and accelerating the
                          It proposes that fertile conditions for            growth of youth-owned and managed
 Description              entrepreneurship and career mobility               enterprises. It aims to increase the number
                          will contribute significantly to uniting           of self-employed youth from approximately
                          South Africa’s people and supports                 6% to 20% by 2023, as well as increase
                          entrepreneurship as a youth development            entrepreneurial culture, business managerial
                          strategy.                                          capacities, technical skills and talents among
                                                                             young people.

                                                                             Introducing young people to a curriculum
                                                                             on entrepreneurship at an earlier stage,
                          Introducing community-based programmes
                                                                             particularly at the basic level of education.
 Recommendations          to offer young people life-skills and
                                                                             A programme to raise awareness of
 include                  entrepreneurship training.
                                                                             entrepreneurship as the first option for
                                                                             economic participation endeavours.

                          (National Planning Commission, 2012)               (Department of Trade and Industry, 2013)

Analysis and recommendations around current and future activity are best seen in light of the policy implications in
Table 1. There is a connection between driving forces, expectations and intended outcomes that should be given
attention and factored into future strategy discussions. While the data does not advocate a top-down approach that
controls all activity, there is certainly scope for a more cohesive and structured approach that would better support and
measure engagement and impact – with a further view to review and adaptation.

                                                      NATIONAL UNIVERSITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP ECOSYSTEM BASELINE REPORT          5
Literature Survey
Background                              Nature of entrepreneurship               spirit, and culture; 27% associated
                                        activity                                 entrepreneurship education with new
In recent decades, scholars,
                                                                                 venture creation; and 24% associated
policy makers, and educators            Existing literature suggests there is    it with social contribution by helping
have shown increased interest           great variation in entrepreneurship      entrepreneurs to form and grow,
in the field of entrepreneurship.       education programmes around the          developing their capabilities and
Entrepreneurship is viewed as a         world (Mwasalwiba 2010; Henry            improving the tangible and practical
critical source of economic growth      2013; Fayolle and Gailly 2012; Maritz    links between these capabilities and
in most countries, and its effects      and Brown 2013), some of which           social need.
are evident in terms of increased       is naturally attributable to context.
innovation, competitiveness, wealth     While most entrepreneurship              Scholars generally agree there are
creation, productivity, job creation,   programmes are offered by higher         three types of entrepreneurship
and new-industry development            education institutions (Maritz           courses (Pittaway and Edwards
(Kuratko, Morris and Schindehutte       and Brown 2013), various other           2012; Mwasalwiba 2010; Robinson,
2015; Kuratko 2005). Today,             programmes are offered in training       Neergaard, Tanggaard and Krueger
promoting entrepreneurship is a         and development fields for non-          2016; Sirelkhatim and Gangi
key theme in government policies        business and non-academic                2015). ‘About’ courses typically
and strategies around the world,        audiences, and often for specific        teach theories of entrepreneurship
aiming to stimulate economic            groups such as women and                 and aim to increase awareness of
activity, increase employment           immigrants. Mwasalwiba (2010)            entrepreneurship and encourage
rates, and promote international        argued that such variation was           students to consider it as a career
competitiveness (Arshed, Carter         mainly attributable to a lack of         choice. ‘For’ courses aim to support
and Mason 2014; O’Connor 2013).         consensus on key issues as well as       students’ intentions to become
Along with policy makers’ efforts       the conceptually fragmented state of     entrepreneurs (Sirelkhatim and
to promote entrepreneurship,            the field. Fayolle (2008) (as cited in   Gangi 2015) by providing them
there has been significant growth       Maritz and Brown, 2013), suggested       with tools and skills (Mwasalwiba
in entrepreneurship education           there was no common framework or         2010). Lastly, ‘through’ courses aim
programmes and courses in                                                        to help students acquire a range of
                                        agreed-upon best practice regarding
universities (Fayolle and Gailly                                                 skills, competencies, and business
                                        entrepreneurship education.
2012). This growth is fuelled by a                                               understanding as they create new
belief that entrepreneurship, or        Entrepreneurship education can help
                                                                                 ventures (Mwasalwiba 2010). While
at least some aspects of it, can        realise a range of socio-economic
                                                                                 ‘for’ and ‘through’ courses are
be learned via formal education         goals. Therefore, its objectives
                                                                                 considered more effective than
and training (Valerio, Parton and       are often expressed as broad
                                                                                 ‘about’ courses, the latter is the
Robb 2014).                             economic, social, or pedagogical
                                                                                 most dominant in higher education
                                        aims. Economic goals can include
Despite the worldwide proliferation                                              institutions (Robinson et al. 2016).
                                        creating new ventures and jobs;
of entrepreneurship education                                                    These classifications, based on course
                                        social goals can include developing
programmes, there has been little                                                objectives, affect the types of learning
                                        an entrepreneurial ‘culture’; and
agreement on their objectives,                                                   outcomes educators seek (Pittaway
                                        pedagogical goals can include
target audience, content, teaching                                               and Edwards 2012). Here, a learning
                                        educating potential entrepreneurs
methods, and assessment practices                                                outcome is ‘a very specific statement
                                        about entrepreneurship (Maritz
(Mwasalwiba 2010). This lack                                                     that describes exactly what a student
                                        and Brown 2013). Reviewing
of consensus has been partially                                                  will be able to do in some measurable
                                        50 entrepreneurship education
attributed to the multi-definitional                                             way’ while an ‘objective’ is ‘a very
                                        programmes, Hytti and O’Gorman
nature of entrepreneurship                                                       general statement about the larger
                                        (2004) (as cited in Jones, Matlay,
(O’Connor 2013), which may give                                                  goals of the course or program’
                                        and Maritz 2012) found that the
rise to differences in the quality                                               (Hartel and Foegeding 2006).
                                        majority of these programmes
and effectiveness of different
programmes. It has been suggested,      were designed to help individuals
                                        become entrepreneurs, followed
                                                                                 Nature of delivery
therefore, that the abovementioned
components need to be aligned.          by programmes intended to help           The literature on entrepreneurship
                                        people understand entrepreneurs          education generally emphasises
                                        and become entrepreneurial in            ‘learning by doing’ (Fayolle 2013)
                                        their lives. In a similar review,        over traditional teaching methods
                                        Mwasalwiba (2010) estimated              (Maritz and Brown 2013). While
                                        that 34% of scholars believed that       traditional approaches might be
                                        entrepreneurship education aims to       effective for presenting information
                                        increase entrepreneurial attitudes,      (Bennett 2006, as cited in Mwasalwiba

2010), experiential methods more          South African context                     entrepreneurial ecosystem was
closely mirror the unpredictable                                                    weighed down by red tape, low
                                          South Africa is the economic
nature of entrepreneurship and                                                      transfer research and development,
                                          powerhouse of Africa, accounting for
expose students to broader                                                          lack of entrepreneurship education at
                                          approximately 21% of the continent’s
possibilities (Maritz and Brown 2013),                                              schools and poor cultural and social
                                          $2.19 trillion GDP. In spite of its
thus teaching them how to deal with                                                 norms towards entrepreneurship.
                                          developed economic infrastructure,
real-world problems (Pittaway and                                                   In its 2019 survey of global social
                                          South Africa continues to experience
Cope 2007).                                                                         entrepreneurship, the Thompson
                                          severe income inequality. According
Many studies have suggested that          to the national data agency, Statistics   Reuters Foundation contacted
a research gap persists regarding         South Africa, in 2015, 55.5% of the       academics, social entrepreneurs,
assessment in entrepreneurship            population lived below the poverty        investors and policy-makers in
development programmes (Fayolle           line with limited prospects of finding    the 44 countries with the largest
2013; Duval-Couetil 2013; Maritz and      employment (Statistics South Africa       economies in the world, to assess
Brown 2013). Duval-Couetil (2013)         website). At 63, South Africa’s GINI      the level of social entrepreneurship
differentiated between ‘summative’        coefficient (a World Bank measure         in each country. Using six key
assessment (measuring what students       of statistical dispersion, representing   indicators (government support;
know at a given point in time) and        the income or wealth distribution         ability to attract skilled staff;
‘formative’ assessment (giving            of a nation’s residents, and used to      public understanding of social
real-time feedback on students’           measure inequality), is the highest in    entrepreneurship; the ability to make
performance to help adjust teaching       the world.                                a living through entrepreneurship;
and learning). Summative methods          In addition, the country is plagued       the ability to grow momentum
include quizzes, tests, projects, and     by high unemployment due to the           of social entrepreneurship; and
course evaluations, while formative       misalignment of the skills required by    access to investment), the report
methods include observation,              the economy and those possessed           highlighted how accepting
questioning, peer and self-               by the populace. The government           these countries are to social
assessment, and early or mid-course       has committed to fostering                entrepreneurship. Canada topped
evaluations. Duval-Couetil (2013) also    entrepreneurship to advance its           the list, followed by Australia,
differentiated between ‘direct’ (tests,   economic development and, in              France and Belgium, while South
assignments, activities) and ‘indirect’   particular, job creation priorities.      Africa came in 34th, advancing three
(surveys, interviews, focus groups)       This is in recognition of the fact that   places from the 2016 survey. The
methods.                                  investment in the development of          country summary emphasised that
Pittaway and Edwards (2012) found         small businesses has been among           it had become easier for social
that business plans and business          the key ingredients of success for        entrepreneurs to access grants,
reports followed by presentations         many successful economies (Omidyar        attract staff with the required skills
(i.e. skill-based ‘for’ courses) were     Network, 2013).                           and make a living from their work in
the most common assessment types          South Africa has a low rate of            the last three years. The strongest
in entrepreneurship development           entrepreneurial activity when             point, and most telling of all, was
programmes. They also found that          compared to the average for               that social entrepreneurship was
traditional methods (tests, exams,        efficiency-driven economies. Just         reportedly gaining momentum in
essays) were less prevalent than          9.2% of adults were involved in           the country, which bodes well for
expected given the dominance              starting up a business in 2015,           the aims and objectives of EDHE
of ‘about’ courses. This might            compared to the average of 15% in         and entrepreneurship activities
point to potential alignment issues       efficiency-driven economies, while        within universities.
between a course’s objectives/            3.4% of adults were involved in           In addition to the policies
learning outcomes and assessment          running existing firms, against an        aimed at youth development,
practices. Methods such as reflective     average of 8% for efficiency-driven       the South African Government
assessment, peer assessment,              economies (GEM Report a).                 established the Department of
and interviews were the least             Things are not completely                 Small Business Development in
prevalent. Pittaway and Edwards           bleak in the country. The Global          2014. This department focuses
(2012) observed that ‘about’              Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM)            on enhanced support for small
entrepreneurship courses were             reported that a high percentage of        businesses and cooperatives, with
more likely to use tests, exams, and      adults viewed entrepreneurship in         an emphasis on programmes to
case studies, while business plans,       a positive light – with 73.8% seeing      advance entrepreneurship amongst
business reports, and presentations       it as a good career choice and            women, the youth, and people with
were more likely to be used in ‘for’      76.1% as high status. The survey          disabilities, in order to contribute to
and ‘through’ courses. In addition,       data also highlighted that over a         job creation and economic growth.
reflective assessment practices were      quarter of entrepreneurs expected         The department houses two major
more likely to be used in ‘through’       to create six or more jobs over the       funding and support bodies, namely
courses since they are considered         next five years. However, when            the Small Enterprise Development
essential for experiential learning       GEM compared South Africa to              Agency (SEDA) and the Small
(Pittaway and Cope 2007).                 other countries, it noted that the        Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA).

                                                     NATIONAL UNIVERSITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP ECOSYSTEM BASELINE REPORT           7
The Aspen Network of Development
Entrepreneurs (2019) mapped out
the entrepreneurial ecosystem in
South Africa illustrating a relatively
high number of direct funders
and capacity building agencies
in the country. Funders identified
include government agencies, fund
management firms, venture capitalist
and angel investors, as well as private
equity funds and crowd sourcing
organisations. Entrepreneurs also
have access to a plethora of training
and capacity building providers
from government and corporate
programmes through to ‘not for profit’
and ‘for profit’ trainers including
academia, foundations and formal
and informal networks. South Africa
experiences a common problem here,
however, namely that of access and
location. There is, perhaps, a natural
emphasis on activity within the urban
environment and this could be to
the disadvantage of the more rural
population. While there are clearly
initiatives in place to counterbalance
this reality, it must be acknowledged
that location and access play a key
role in uptake, and therefore in
impact. Indeed, this is a broader issue
and one that is raised in the Findings
section of this report on pages 32 to

Research Methodology
Approach                                  activity takes place within the            Surveys
                                          national landscape, rather than at
With a view to supporting the                                                        The survey was created with the
                                          an institution-specific level. The
development of a national policy                                                     help of the team at EDHE; the
                                          data received, while valuable, was
framework, it was essential to                                                       British Council; Ms Charleen
                                          inevitably incomplete and therefore
understand existing activity,                                                        Duncan (Director: UWC Centre for
                                          a direct case-by-case based analysis
institutional capacity and appetite                                                  Entrepreneurship and Innovation,
                                          would yield inconsistencies, driven by
for engagement, and was important                                                    University of the Western Cape);
                                          data, rather than by actual practice.
to capture activity within institutions                                              and Dr Poppet Pillay (Director,
and perception around the delivery of     This research fully acknowledges the       Centre for Social Entrepreneurship,
entrepreneurship development.             diversity and unique nature of higher      Durban University of Technology)
                                          education in South Africa and has          who serve as the Conveners of the
A mixed methods approach
                                          adapted its approach accordingly.          EDHE Community of Practice for
(quantitative and qualitative)
                                          With an array of different types of        Entrepreneurial Universities. The
assessed the scale and scope of
                                          institutions, including research-          survey was distributed to a list of over
entrepreneurship activities within the
public higher education institutions.     intensive organisations, universities      700 people, compiled by Professor
This resulted in a map, on a              of technology, as well as recently         Susan Steinman in her initial research,
widespread scale, of types of activity,   established universities, the South        incorporating additional details from
levels of engagement and strategic        African higher education landscape         the EDHE database. Participants were
importance of entrepreneurship            provides learning opportunities            given the option of completing the
education at each university. The         to cater for its diverse population.       surveys electronically or on paper.
use of mixed methods allowed              Entrepreneurship development
                                                                                     The survey email requests were
information to be analysed in multiple    is diverse in its objectives and
                                                                                     staggered, starting in mid-July
ways. This approach allowed the           methodology. This means that it
                                                                                     2019 with follow-up emails sent
ability to support the data collected     could be very different in different
                                                                                     throughout August 2019 and into
through interviews, desktop research      universities, because practical work
                                                                                     September 2019. The survey initially
and focus groups in order to generate     methods may vary considerably
                                                                                     closed in early September 2019 with
a foundation for layered analysis and     depending on the aims of the
                                                                                     136 respondents from all 26 public
critical recommendations.                 programme, course or support
                                                                                     universities. Low initial response
                                          measures (Zaring, Gifford and
                                                                                     numbers meant there was a need for
Data collection                           McKelvey, 2019). Given each of the
                                                                                     a further push and extension of the
                                          universities’ respective approaches,
The combination of the multiple data                                                 response deadline. Acknowledging
                                          mandate and impact, often measured
points (quantitative and qualitative)                                                both the nature of online data
                                          by history, reputation and location
enabled triangulation of results                                                     collection and the decentralised
                                          (institutions operate within their local
and depth of explanatory meaning.                                                    nature of the stakeholder base, data
                                          context primarily, while being driven
Data collected was provided in a                                                     was cleaned to remove duplicate or
                                          by an overarching sector agenda),
visual summary of key findings from                                                  defunct email addresses, reducing
                                          this method was the most effective
across the country. The research                                                     the initial list from 700 to 547. The
                                          way of looking at the data presented
team conducted a thorough analysis                                                   survey was then reopened, yielding
                                          to meet the overall aims of the
of the varying data components                                                       an additional 64 responses before
                                          baseline research project, which, in
and used this analysis to inform the                                                 finally closing at the start of October
                                          turn, naturally ensures a diversity of
recommendations in this report.                                                      2019. With a total of 200 completed
                                          response and approach to issues and
                                                                                     responses out of a potential 547, this
The decision to use aggregated data       agendas such as entrepreneurship.
                                                                                     reflects a 36% response rate, which
and report and analyse more broadly       This report reflects this; it accounts
                                                                                     is within the expected boundaries of
was chosen over the case study            for the varied approaches and
                                                                                     research of this nature.
approach in order to demonstrate          encapsulates them within the series of
the extent to which entrepreneurship      recommendations.

                                                     NATIONAL UNIVERSITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP ECOSYSTEM BASELINE REPORT            9
Table 2: Survey responses by institution

                        3                             3                6    9

                       11                            10                7    3

                       24                             3                1    7

                        6                             5                10   3

                        8                             3                15   5

                       14                             5                17

                        5                            11                6

Number of Completed Responses by Institution

Sample size and respondents                 22 institutions being engaged in
Respondents were directed in one            qualitative data collection. The focus
of two ways to the survey. Of the           groups were invaluable in providing
total respondents, 99 identified as         further and more in-depth detail to
academics (professor, lecturer, training    accompany the survey data. The
delivery, dean) while 73 respondents        qualitative data gathered highlighted
identified as support professionals         issues that were shared across a
(administrator, manager, director).         number of institutions and added
The remaining 28 respondents self-          context to the survey responses, also
identified in various ways and were         allowing participants to learn more
directed to respond to the questions        about what was going on in their
set for support professionals. There        regions and in some cases within their
were some respondents who (by               own university environment.
virtue of their job titles) misidentified
their job type, which led them to           Challenges of the approach
respond to the questions designed           There are inherent challenges in
for support professionals. Some             using a mixed methods approach.
respondents were both in academic           One such issue was the presence of
and support professional roles.             discrepancies in the interpretation of
                                            the findings, which were often unclear.
Interviews and focus groups                 Responses by individuals within the
Initially, it was suggested that focus      same institution varied within and
groups be held concurrently with            between identified job types. This
the regional rounds of the National         was highlighted in disparities between
Entrepreneurship Intervarsity               what was reported externally by some
Competition. The first attempt at this      institutions and what was reported in
at the Eastern Cape regional round          the focus groups and interviews.
proved ineffective, as participants         As the responsibility for
were often required elsewhere during        entrepreneurship development in
the event, making it difficult to fully     most universities is shared across
complete the focus group in the time        a number of individuals (some of
allotted. The remaining questions           whom deliver content and others
were asked by email, phone and              who support entrepreneurship
interview. While only a small and           development), there were
manageable number of people                 ambiguities, conflicts, discrepancies
attended each of the focus groups,          and overlaps in the self-recorded
it was a highly effective method            responses and qualitative data
of collecting qualitative data and          gathered in focus groups, interviews
building the connections between            and from desktop research. This
participants and their fundamental          was highly indicative of (and heavily
understanding of key issues. Much of        reflected in) the siloed model of
what was said in the group meetings         entrepreneurship development within
corresponds with the responses seen         these higher education institutions.
in the initial review of the survey data.   This underlined two major findings,
The evaluation team conducted               firstly a lack of coordination regarding
focus groups in the Eastern Cape (7         entrepreneurship development
participants), Pretoria (3 participants),   within universities and secondly
Johannesburg (3 participants),              that individuals delivering these
KwaZulu-Natal (5 participants) and          programmes or activities were siloed
Western Cape (7 participants). These        and not privy to the full picture within
focus groups represented 14 of the          their institutions. There was, however,
26 institutions. Where focus groups         one institution where this was not the
were not able to take place, phone          case, owing perhaps to the fact that it
interviews were conducted with 10           is a new university and was still in the
participants, leading to a total of         process of coordinating its offering.

                                                       NATIONAL UNIVERSITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP ECOSYSTEM BASELINE REPORT   11
Interpretation of Data
and Research Outcomes
As previously mentioned, data was        The project team reviewed and
collected using both quantitative        critically analysed the qualitative and
and qualitative approaches. The          quantitative data against the initial
quantitative data was used to form       project aims, with a view to providing
the baseline and foundation for a        explanations for the development
mapping exercise which identified        of recommendations. The purpose
activity, processes and the relevance    of this research was not only to map
and implementation of strategies         current levels of entrepreneurship
within the institutions. Where           activity, but to ground these within
questions solicited a personal           context, expectations and capacity. In
response, these were reported based      this regard, the project was guided by
on self-selected job types, namely       the following key questions and areas
academic staff (professor, dean,         of interest:
lecturer, trainer/service provider) or
professional services (administrator
or manager) within the survey. This
data was presented in aggregate,          Types of activity already in place
both to protect the anonymity of          (what is taking place; where does it
the individual institutions, at their     sit within the institutional structure?)
request in some cases, and to provide
sufficient data to develop patterns
and understanding. The raw data was
provided in the form of appendices                 The mechanisms/processes by which entrepreneurship
for full transparency and more                     is delivered at institutions (illustrating instances of good
detailed reference and was made                    practice and providing information around opportunities
available to the contracting entities.             and challenges; role of stakeholders and their level of
                                                   engagement with higher education institutions)

                                                The extent to which entrepreneurship activity features
                                                in institutional strategic plans, policies and regulations
                                                (thereby highlighting levels of commitment;
                                                transparency; communication)

                                                        How entrepreneurship activity is coordinated
                                                        internally across institutions (indicating a locus of
                                                        control with potential implications for strategy)

                                          Effectiveness of entrepreneurship activities (education
                                          and training) delivery (understanding of measurement
                                          tools in place to record and determine impact and
                                          success; exploration of the challenges/barriers in place)

                                                  Institutional culture of support (how are students
                                                  encouraged to engage, what internal processes
                                                  are in place and are they student focused?)

You can also read