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EWET South African Youth Challenge

EWET South African Youth Challenge

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Published by Arie Bouwer
The South African challenge in terms of priorities in youth development in the context of entrepreneurship education.
The South African challenge in terms of priorities in youth development in the context of entrepreneurship education.

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Published by: Arie Bouwer on Feb 07, 2012
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02/07/2012

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Commentators suggest that developments within Egypt that is spreading, is driven by the affectedcountrys young populations with 60% that could be classified as youth  similar to South Africa whoalso has a large youth population caught-up in poverty and lack of access to opportunity. While themove to democracy is applauded, a high unemployment rate amongst the youth as well as lack of opportunity to engage meaningfully within their societies creates frustration that leads to instability.South African youth gave themselves poor ratings within the Personal Wellbeing Index. Littledoubt exist, as repeatedly confirmed by various recent research studies (Centre for Developmentand Enterprise, Human Science Research Council, South African Institute of Race Relations, to namea few) that red flags are waving for South Africa on the same challenge. The challenge is to engageyoung people within economic activity to develop shared ownership there-off as well as to engagethem within society. Entrepreneurship represents an approach that enables young people to helpthemselves.The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor found little over six out of every hundred South African adultsto be entrepreneurial, which put South Africa in the bottom twenty five percentage points of developing countries. Our country has a great shortage of entrepreneurs with education (accordingto the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor) as the key factor to change the status quo. Researchersidentified entrepreneurship education at school as a core solution to South Africas unemploymentproblem, high crime rate and low economic growth.South Africas youth are the hardest hit by lack of access to meaningful economic participation. TheDoor Knockers report found in 2005 that 2.6 million out of 4 million young people of employableage of between 16 and 25, to be unemployed. A recent finding from the University of North-Westindicated that an additional 1 million young people are added per annum to this number. Theseindicators combine with Guilen and Amits core finding towards a solution in that one of the mosteffective ways to reduce poverty is to encourage entrepreneurship as stated within the World Bankreport with the title Entrepreneurship and firm foundations across countries.With reference to Dr Mamphela Ramphele in an article in Sunday Times of 6 March 2011, a 70% to80% unemployment rate amongst the South African youth is suggested.The main
needs perceived by the youth
(identified through surveys and direct interviews) in relationto entrepreneurship development and small and micro-enterprise creation is the following:
y
 
need to stimulate the awareness of small business ownership as a viable career option in theenvironment of diminishing paid employment opportunities
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need to increase motivation and self-confidence to initiate a small business enterprise
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need to obtain necessary business management skills to be able to start and operatesuccessfully the enterprise
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need to obtain the startup capital in the situation of not owning assets and not being able tosecure a sizeable collateral to guarantee the loan
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need to get access to business information that will allow the business to expand theiroperations and use the existing and potential opportunities
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need to have technical assistance and moral support when the business enterprises areinitiated to be able to develop capacity to solve the emerging problems of doing business

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