Educational Research (ISSN:2141-5161) Vol. 2(4), pp. 1043-1050 April 2011         
Copyright © 2011 International Research Journals



Entrepreneurship- the role of Higher Education in South Africa

Angelo Nicolaides

Angelo Vaal University of Technology. Email:

Received 05 April, 2011; Accepted 09 May, 2011



Entrepreneurship continues to assume a vital role in the South African economy as well as the economies of many developing nations across the globe. The creation of new business activities has become a major driver in the economy and these greatly affect economic growth, job creation and general prosperity and, to an extent, enhance the national competitiveness of the nation in the global business arena. Although South Africa is trying to intensify the amount of entrepreneurial activity there are still a wide variety of challenges. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) research shows that a low level of overall education and training is still the biggest challenge facing the nation. Consequently a critical performance area must be to improve the level of overall education and training whilst promoting the notion of entrepreneurship as a viable option. This paper strives to answer some important questions relating to entrepreneurship. First and foremost, why is entrepreneurship necessary and who, precisely, are entrepreneurs and where may they be found? What can government do to promote entrepreneurship and what is it that Higher Education can do to develop a greater entrepreneurial awareness in South Africa given that there is ambivalence as to the degree to which entrepreneurship can be taught? Are South African universities able to develop cross-functional thinkers who are innovative and have entrepreneurial skills that are needed in the local economy? To what extent do the local universities encourage entrepreneurship by making use of innovative programme designs and are there specialist post-graduate programmes in entrepreneurship or is it simply regarded as an area business students must be aware of with no explicit academic entrepreneurship bias? The answers to these questions and their implications for the nation are discussed in this paper.


Keywords: Higher Education, entrepreneurship, government role.