Original Research

Business skills development for a successful fashion business in peri-urban communities, South Africa

Keshni Nana, Hanlie Van Staden, Nicolene Coetzee
The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management | Vol 13, No 1 | a401 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajesbm.v13i1.401 | © 2021 Keshni Nana, Hanlie van Staden, Nicolene Coetzee | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 February 2021 | Published: 03 December 2021

About the author(s)

Keshni Nana, Department of Visual Arts and Design, Faculty of Human Sciences, Vaal University of Technology, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa
Hanlie Van Staden, Department of Visual Arts and Design, Faculty of Human Sciences, Vaal University of Technology, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa
Nicolene Coetzee, Department of Visual Arts and Design, Faculty of Human Sciences, Vaal University of Technology, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Entrepreneurs from disadvantaged backgrounds often possess low levels of education, limited qualifications and training. This also applies to survivalist fashion entrepreneurs in the Sedibeng District Municipality (SDM), Gauteng. Over a third of these entrepreneurs are not formally educated in business skills and may not possess the adequate knowledge to operate their fashion business successfully.

Aim: The aim of this research was to investigate the uses and challenges pertaining to business skills amongst fashion entrepreneurs without formal, fashion-related education or training, in order to determine their business skills’ training needs.

Setting: The sample population included 105 black, adult fashion entrepreneurs, operating micro, survivalist fashion enterprises within peri-urban, resource-poor communities in the Emfuleni Local Municipality (ELM) of the Sedibeng district. Data for this study were collected from the respondents whilst shopping at fabric and haberdashery stores or from their home-business environments.

Methods: A quantitative study applying non-probability, purposive and snowball sampling was performed. Data were collected by means of interviewer-administered questionnaires by trained fieldworkers.

Results: The results indicated that the respondents lacked skills in developing business plans and possessed only moderate skills in finance and marketing. The respondents indicated training needs for fashion business skills in all areas of investigation, including developing a business plan, conducting basic bookkeeping, determining correct product pricing, drafting quotations and invoices, developing a budget, conducting basic market research and advertising their products and services.

Conclusion: Fashion business skill training programmes should be developed to target and train fashion entrepreneurs without formal fashion-related education or training, contributing to the long-term sustainability of local fashion businesses in South Africa (SA).


Keywords

fashion business skills; peri-urban communities; resource-poor; survivalist enterprise; training needs

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