THE DEVELOPMENT OF ENTREPRENEURS AT UNIVERSITY IN AN EMERGING ECONOMY: A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

Keywords: South Africa, Higher education, Entrepreneurial development, Students, Entrepreneurship

Abstract

A conceptual framework is developed to postulate the process of developing entrepreneurs
at a university level as a panacea for mitigating high levels of graduate unemployment in
South Africa. The challenges are compounded by slow economic growth and the resultant
high unemployment levels. Despite the growing body of empirical research evidence on
the development of entrepreneurs in general, there is limited research on the development
of student entrepreneurship. Drawing on Azjen’s (1991) theory of planned behaviour, the
paper conceptualises on factors that potentially influence the intention of students within
the university to become entrepreneurs. Following Azen (1991), the paper interrogates the
influence of the following four factors, namely, attitude towards entrepreneurship, role models,
entrepreneurial leaders, and resources and opportunities. The conceptual framework proposes
a model that will assist in developing student entrepreneurship mindsets and aptitudes that
will equip them to embark on rather starting their own ventures upon graduation, than seeking
employment. The entrepreneurship development process will create opportunities for selfemployment,
as well as employment creation within the South African economy.

Published
2020-05-14