Original Research

The influence of entrepreneurial bricolage and design thinking on opportunity development

Lindie Schuld, Cornelia M. Joynt, Alex J. Antonites
The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management | Vol 15, No 1 | a631 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajesbm.v15i1.631 | © 2023 Lindie Schuld, Cornelia M. Joynt, Alex J. Antonites | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 October 2022 | Published: 16 August 2023

About the author(s)

Lindie Schuld, Gordon Institute of Business Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Cornelia M. Joynt, Department of Accounting, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Alex J. Antonites, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


Background: Entrepreneurial activity in an efficiency-driven economy is fundamental to economic growth, yet its sustainability and opportunities are concerning. Both entrepreneurial bricolage and design thinking could enhance opportunity development, but their effectiveness and incorporation into an integrated approach to opportunity advancement require further investigation.

Aim: This study explores design thinking and entrepreneurial bricolage as facilitating constructs for entrepreneurial opportunity development, employing the design-centred entrepreneurship perspective and the conceptual framework offered by various authors; it investigates the effectiveness of the theoretical frameworks mentioned; and lastly it explores the potential of amalgamating these frameworks into a more comprehensive structure for entrepreneurial opportunity development.

Setting: The sample consisted of entrepreneurs in South Africa.

Methods: Fourteen semi-structured interviews with founders of small and medium entrepreneurial ventures in various South African industry sectors were conducted.

Results: Current frameworks pertaining to bricolage and design thinking proficiencies were appropriate for opportunity development and could be effectively integrated. However, some contributory factors should be included, such as organisational culture, business partners and a non-linear rather than a methodical approach.

Conclusion: Entrepreneurial bricolage has a significant influence on developing and establishing opportunities. The value of design thinking was confirmed with a specific focus on a human-centred approach, creativity and innovation. However, contradictory to design thinking authors, entrepreneurs described the design thinking process as non-linear and disordered.

Contribution: This study provides empirical evidence to enrich the understanding of the elusive entrepreneurial opportunity development process by integrating the design-centred entrepreneurship framework with the entrepreneurial bricolage perspective into a single, more comprehensive framework.



design thinking; design model; creativity; problem solving; innovation; opportunity development; bricolage.

JEL Codes

L20: General; L26: Entrepreneurship; L29: Other

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure


Total abstract views: 1018
Total article views: 1153

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.