Entrepreneurship education in South Africa: a nationwide survey

Mary Jesselyn Co (The Business School, University of Greenwich, Greenwich, UK)
Bruce Mitchell (The Business School, University of Greenwich, Greenwich, UK)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Publication date: 1 June 2006



This paper aims to assess the state of development of entrepreneurship education, determine the importance of entrepreneurship in the South African higher education institutions (HEIs), and offer recommendations for improving preparations for the developing field.


An e‐mail survey has been conducted on South African HEIs. The respondents were academic staff members who are involved in teaching and researching entrepreneurship.


Results indicate that the entrepreneurship education in South Africa is in its developmental stage, although it is perceived as important in elevating the profile of any institution and there is increasing commitment from the institutions in academic, research and outreach offerings in entrepreneurship. The teaching and assessment methods follow traditional classroom delivery while research in entrepreneurship in South Africa is perceived as less rigorous than other management disciplines.

Research limitations/implications

Although all HEIs were requested to become respondents in this survey, some have decided not to participate. Also, some academics involved in entrepreneurship may have been excluded if they are not on the e‐mail list of the Academic Entrepreneurship Society (AcES) of South Africa.

Practical implications

The findings suggest recommendations geared towards curriculum development, evaluation of teaching and assessment methodologies as well as the creation of partnerships with local communities for opportunities in internships and worksite visits.


This is the first study conducted on entrepreneurship education in South Africa, based on a national study encompassing most HEIs in this country.



Jesselyn Co, M. and Mitchell, B. (2006), "Entrepreneurship education in South Africa: a nationwide survey", Education + Training, Vol. 48 No. 5, pp. 348-359. https://doi.org/10.1108/00400910610677054

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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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