THE IMPACT OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT SUPPORT TRAINING ON YOUTH ENTREPRENEURSHIP SUCCESS IN SOUTH AFRICA: A CASE STUDY OF THE GAUTENG PROVINCE
Keywords:South Africa, Youth, Gauteng province, Entrepreneurship, Business development, Training
The development of youth-owned businesses is one of the key drivers of economic growth, innovation and job creation in developing countries. Business Development Support (BDS) is one vehicle that has been used in South Africa to achieve this by capacitating entrepreneurs with the necessary skills and knowledge for venture creation. This study investigates the impact of BDS training on the success of youth entrepreneurship success and the level of adequacy of the training youth receives from BDS providers. The quantitative cross-sectional design study used a survey to collect data from 494 young entrepreneurs enrolled on the BDS programme in the Gauteng province, South Africa. The study's findings showed that BDS training positively impacts entrepreneurship success through financial and non-financial training programmes such as marketing, innovation, risk-taking and management skills. However, it was interesting to note that non-financial training had a more significant impact than a financial training programme on the entrepreneurship success for youth entrepreneurs. Moreover, entrepreneurs viewed the adequacy of training received from BDS differently when analysed across demographics. The study concludes that BDS providers should focus more on providing the youth with non-financial training, which seems to have a bigger impact. It is evident that non-financial training will enhance their innovation, marketing, risk-taking and management skills seeing that this is how non-financial training was operationalised. This study recommends that when designing programs for the youth consideration should be taken on the level of education, management and owner experience, and the age of the business, as the needs seem to be according to these demographics.