Entrepreneurship and small business formation.
BA (Entrepreneurship); BA (Small Business Formation); BA (Management).
Owing to youth unemployment in sub-Saharan economies, youth entrepreneurship is now a major policy alternative across the subcontinent. It is also an immediate alternative for unemployed school drop-outs. Botswana is encouraging youth entrepreneurship through funding youth projects as an intervention. This case study presents decision alternatives considered by young adults when thinking about the future – to proceed with school or to start their own business. The other set of decision alternatives is which business idea to pursue – turning a hobby into a business opportunity or pursuing a new opportunity altogether. Mr Supang, owner of Swanscapes (Pty) Ltd, has to debate these decision alternatives with himself. Swanscape has to contend with a growing market but is unsure of where to get expansion finance. With expansion finance having been availed, managerial skills limitations will have to be dealt with. The company should focus on three other very important decisions: how to compete with large contractors currently dominant in the market and other small businesses that have recently entered the market in flower pot production; how to develop own skills and those of employees; and finally how to grow the business. Swanscapes remains hamstrung with the decision of which mode of growth strategy to adopt.
Expected learning outcomes
The goal of this case study is to illustrate the tough decision alternatives unemployed youth starting their own small businesses have to juggle with. The case also illustrates the hurdles novice entrepreneurs have to contend with in order to establish a brand for their product or service. It also illustrates the impact of inadequate managerial and technical skills on growth strategies an owner may have.
Supplementary learning materials
Teaching notes are available. Please consult your librarian for access.
The authors would like to acknowledge with gratitude sponsorship of this case study by Siemens Stiftung through the “Microenterprise and community linkage: case of Botswana” project.
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