Original Research

Soft skills on entrepreneurial readiness behaviours: Evidence from university students

Stefan A. Strampe, Patient Rambe
The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management | Vol 16, No 1 | a778 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajesbm.v16i1.778 | © 2024 Stefan Anton Strampe, Patient Rambe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 July 2023 | Published: 20 March 2024

About the author(s)

Stefan A. Strampe, Department of Business Support Studies, Faculty of Management Sciences, Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Patient Rambe, Office of the Dean, Faculty of Management Sciences, Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein, South Africa


Background: There is a growing body of literature on the contribution of hard skills to the enhancement of entrepreneurial behaviour. However, the role of acquiring soft skills in shaping entrepreneurial readiness is yet to be sufficiently comprehended.

Aim: This research sought to examine the significance of soft skills in shaping the entrepreneurial readiness behaviour of students at higher education institutions in South Africa. Specifically, the study investigated the effects of soft skills on the selected dimensions of entrepreneurial readiness behaviour namely venture creation, innovative financing and venture growth.

Setting: Students from the Central University of Technology (CUT) and the University of the Free State (UFS) participated in this study.

Methods: A descriptive, explorative cross-sectional design involving 300 students enrolled for entrepreneurship courses, was adopted. Cluster sampling was employed as the main sampling technique. The average variance extracted (AVE), linear regression and Cronbach’s alpha coefficient were used as indicators of reliability and validity in the statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) and Smart PLS software.

Results: The results suggest that soft skills exert a positive, and significant, effect on the entrepreneurial readiness behaviour of students.

Conclusion: This study provides critical insights into how entrepreneurial readiness behaviour can be explained through fostering soft skills, honing venture creation, innovative financing, venture growth and entrepreneurial activities of students.

Contribution: The study contributes to the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) by demonstrating how soft skills create a germane context for the stimulating, exhibiting and actioning specific entrepreneurial behaviours among nascent entrepreneurs in South Africa.


soft skills; entrepreneurial readiness behaviour; higher education institutions; venture creation; innovative financing; venture growth

JEL Codes

J24: Human Capital • Skills • Occupational Choice • Labor Productivity; L26: Entrepreneurship

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth


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