Original Research

Investigating students’ perceptions of the University of KwaZulu-Natal inqubate-enspire programme in developing student entrepreneurs

Nomcebo N. Cele, Mervywn K. Williamson
The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management | Vol 14, No 1 | a522 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajesbm.v14i1.522 | © 2022 Nomcebo N. Cele, Mervywn K. Williamson | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 January 2022 | Published: 26 October 2022

About the author(s)

Nomcebo N. Cele, School of Management, Information Technology and Governance, College of Law and Management Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Mervywn K. Williamson, School of Management, Information Technology and Governance, College of Law and Management Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Universities and governments globally are now opting for and enforcing student entrepreneurship policies as a means to curb economic imbalances and address unemployment issues. The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) is no exception to this trend as it has now introduced entrepreneurship programmes through course offerings as well as a fully operational programme, known as the UKZN inqubate-enspire that caters for students’ entrepreneurship needs.

Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the perceptions of UKZN students of the role and effectiveness of the UKZN inqubate-enspire programme in developing student entrepreneurs as well as the role of the programme in assisting the university to become an entrepreneurial university.

Setting: This study was conducted at UKZN campuses in Durban, which included Howard College and Westville.

Methods: A qualitative case study design was embraced. Using a convenience sampling approach, a total of nine students who had participated in the UKZN inqubate-enspire programme were selected. Data were collected using face-to-face semi-structured interviews and analysed with the use of thematic analysis.

Results: Participants revealed that the programme has sparked an entrepreneurial mindset in them and that they have obtained many skills, which will assist them in their future endeavours. However, participants also encountered a number of challenges such as the inability to balance academic work and running their business and inconsistencies in the mentorship programme. Lastly, the participants perceived that this programme made a contribution towards UKZN becoming an entrepreneurial university; however, they averred that this programme still needs much improvement to achieve this.

Conclusion: It was discovered that although this programme is effective, there are shortcomings that need improvement to make this programme more effective and assist the university towards becoming an entrepreneurial university. The findings will make a significant contribution to entrepreneurship education theory and practice. This study will add to the entrepreneurship education literature and open doors for future studies on this programme or similar entrepreneurship education programmes.


Keywords

entrepreneurship; entrepreneurship education; business incubator; inqubate-enspire; student entrepreneurs; tertiary education

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Crossref Citations

1. A bibliometric analysis of the development of business incubation literature in South Africa
Knowledge Shumba, Patrick Ebewo
International Journal of Research in Business and Social Science (2147- 4478)  vol: 13  issue: 2  first page: 50  year: 2024  
doi: 10.20525/ijrbs.v13i2.3206