Original Research

South African University students' intentions to establish social Enterprises

Suzette Viviers, Chanel Venter, Goosain Solomon
The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management | Vol 5, No 1 | a28 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajesbm.v5i1.28 | © 2015 The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management
Submitted: 17 July 2015 | Published: 31 December 2012

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Suzette Viviers, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Chanel Venter,
Goosain Solomon,

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Abstract

Stimulating social entrepreneurship in South Africa has the potential to address not only the high youth unemployment rate in the country, but also other pressing social and environmental challenges. This study was conducted as part of the 2011 Global University Entrepreneurial Spirit Students’ Survey and focused on South African university students’ intentions to start social enterprises. The findings, based on 673 responses to an online questionnaire, reveal that the majority of respondents had such an intention. However, less than half of this group mentioned the specific type of environmental or social mission that they would like to pursue. Despite more males than females being currently engaged in social entrepreneurship activities in South Africa, no statistically significant difference was found in this study between the intentions of male and female respondents in starting a social enterprise. African language speakers and students enrolled for qualifications in the social sciences were, however, statistically more likely to start social enterprises. Education is a critical factor in achieving increased levels of social entrepreneurship activity; however, fundamental interventions in the education system are required to achieve this objective.

KEYWORDS: Entrepreneurship education; Environmental challenges; Generation Y; HIV and AIDS; Social challenges; Social entrepreneurship; Social enterprises; South Africa; Youth unemployment

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