Research

GEMS report 2020

South Africa’s Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Report

The Steinhoff Saga Management review - University of Stellenbosch Business School

July – December 2019

South Africa’s Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Report

GEMS report 2020

  • Report by Angus Bowmaker-Falconer and Mike Herrington
  • JUNE 2020

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How does entrepreneurship in SA compare to entrepreneurship worldwide? 

The UK-based Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) has been carrying out research on entrepreneurship ecosystems around the world since 1999. GEM is a consortium of teams primarily associated with top academic institutions in various countries. This year, South Africa contributes to this research through the GEM report prepared by the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) and the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) as funder. South Africa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem was rated one of the most challenging in the sample of participating economies in 2019 and has exhibited little sign of improvement over the past few years. In 2019, South Africa ranked 49th out of 54 economies on GEM’s National Entrepreneurship Context Index, ahead of only Croatia, Guatemala, Paraguay, Puerto Rico and Iran. This index provides a single composite number that can express the average state and quality of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in a country, and be compared to those of other economies.

What did SA’s GEM report find?

Titled Igniting startups for economic growth and social change, South Africa’s GEM report provides answers to this question: How do we ensure that more entrepreneurs flourish in South Africa? Solutions range from strengthening , to aligning learning, mentorship and support for entrepreneurs. It also includes providing entrepreneurial education for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and the digital economy.

Why is insight on entrepreneurship so important?

Entrepreneurship is an engine of economic growth. It promotes the innovation needed to exploit new opportunities, promote productivity and create employment, while also addressing societal challenges, which now include the economic shock wave created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The promotion of entrepreneurship will be central to restoring the economy due to this pandemic.

Find South Africa’s GEM Report here. The report was written by UBS’s Angus Bowmaker-Falconer, a research fellow at USB, and Dr Mike Herrington, who established the GEM SA in 2001.

Here are some key findings from the GEM report:

  • Societal values regarding entrepreneurship show an upward trend from 2003 to 2019. Specifically, there has been an increase from 2017 to 2019 in the number of individuals who see entrepreneurship as a good career choice (from 69.4% to 78.8%) and one with high status (from 74.9% to 82.2%).
  • There has been a substantial increase (from 43.2% in 2017 to 60.4% in 2019) in the number of individuals who perceive that there are good entrepreneurial opportunities in South Africa and, importantly, believe that they possess the necessary skills and capabilities to start a business venture. This number is relatively high compared to other economies, especially those of countries in Latin America and Europe.
  • According to the 2019 findings, only 11.9% of respondents have entrepreneurial intentions. This means one in every eight South Africans may be considered latent entrepreneurs intending to start a business within the next three years. This is in stark contrast to the average of 40% in the rest of Africa.
  • There was a small increase in the total amount of early-stage entrepreneurial activity (TEA) in the country between 2016 and 2017. This momentum was not, however, carried through to 2019, which showed no real increase from 2017 at only 10.8%. This TEA rate was below the average of 12.1% for the African region in 2019.
  • South Africa’s business exit rate decreased from 6.0% in 2017 to 4.9% in 2019, but is still higher than the established business rate of 3.5%. This confirms that more businesses are being closed down, sold or otherwise discontinued than being started.
  • There is clear evidence of purpose-driven entrepreneurship taking hold at grassroots level – an encouraging sign of a collective will for future business sustainability.

About the report

The report was written by USB’s Angus Bowmaker-Falconer, a research fellow at USB, and Mike Herrington, who established the GEM SA in 2001.

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SABPP

The SABPP Women’s Report 2018: Women blue-collar workers

The Steinhoff Saga Management review - University of Stellenbosch Business School

January – June 2018

The SABPP Women’s Report 2018: Women blue-collar workers

SABPP

  • Prof Anita Bosch
  • JUL 2018
  • Tags Reports, Women

10 minutes to read

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What does the future hold for women blue-collar workers? This is the theme of the 2018 edition of the SABPP Women’s Report, with USB’s Prof Anita Bosch as editor published a collection of research papers on various aspects of fairness impacting women in the world of work.

Chapter 1, written by futurist Dr Lize Barclay, is titled Rise of the machines: Friend of foe for female blue-collar workers? Artificial intelligence is developing at a rate that had several of the world’s leading technology thinkers create a charter for ethical development of AI. But how will the Fourth Industrial Revolution and automation affect women blue-collar workers? Over and above upskilling, there is the artisanal niche with a growing demand for ethical, responsible and sustainable homemade products and handmade goods. Technology as the support system for female blue-collar workers could boost sales, enhance accuracy, limit downtime, and open up possibilities for more customers and products. Blue-collar workers should be made comfortable with technology. They should be assured that they are not destined only for pink-collar positions, but for a world of well-paid artisan jobs available to them.

Blue-collar workers should be made comfortable with technology.

In Chapter 2, Dr Tessa Wright from the Queen Mary University of London takes a look at how to increase women’s representation in the construction sector based on a project in the UK. The Women in Construction (WiC) project was established in 2008 to provide opportunities for women to work on the construction of London’s Olympic Park, and, due to its success, has continued to support women into construction employment. This chapter focuses on the lessons from the WiC project that could be adopted more widely by employers and other stakeholders who wish to increase women’s participation in the sector. Today, the WiC project offers a model for how women can be assisted to gain employment in the notoriously male-dominated construction sector.

The WiC project offers a model for how women can be assisted to gain employment in the notoriously male-dominated construction sector.

In Chapter 3, Nthabiseng Moleko, a lecturer at USB, says technical vocations offer a way forward for blue-collar workers. It is clear that we need to increase women’s economic participation as women are currently the highest recipients of social welfare. The employment of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) sectors is lower than that of men. However, entry into STEM positions requires education, skills and training. Technical and vocational education is typically offered by the former technikons, now referred to as Universities of Technology, Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) colleges, and universities. The level of participation by women in these sectors remains low, with only 35% representation at management and professionally qualified levels. TVET colleges remain under-utilised in driving broader national economic priorities, and it is crucial to strengthen linkages between labour market entrants from TVET colleges and employment opportunities in these sectors, particularly for women. It is also important to retain women in these sectors to promote diversity and limit their exit due to adverse conditions. It is about recognising the full humanity of women and removing the barriers that prevent us from making our best unique contribution to the development of our country.

TVET colleges remain under-utilised in driving broader national economic priorities…

In Chapter 4, USB’s Dr Babita Mathur-Helm explores the lack of HR management interventions for women blue-collar workers. Compared to men, women blue-collar workers are consigned to low wages, unmotivating job terms, and unpleasant employment conditions. These inequalities adversely affect human resources practices relating to women, for example policies, decision-making, job enactment, hiring, training, pay and promotion. This chapter therefore aimed to identify the conditions under which women blue-collar workers do their jobs and receive rewards that may or may not motivate them. Among others, it was found that paid leave is a significant motivator for women blue-collar workers. Money is not the main motivator for women blue-collar workers, but they do desire security in the form of retirement plans and health benefits. In South Africa today, women workers continue to face challenges such as higher unemployment, lower income, and less access to assets. Poor HR practices related to women blue-collar workers are causing a lack of motivation, dissatisfaction, disengagement, and health problems, which affect their performance. HR practitioners need to understand the choice of rewards that are real motivators of job performance for women blue-collar workers, who prefer job security over monetary rewards.

Money is not the main motivator for women blue-collar workers, but they do desire security in the form of retirement plans and health benefits.

In Chapter 5, Prof Hugo Pienaar, Prinoleen Naidoo and Lerato Malope look at labour law and the trial and tribulations of women blue-collar workers. Women in blue-collar industries still experience significant discrimination and victimisation. The root cause of these injustices is employers’ failure to distinguish equality from equity. This is in direct contrast to the values of the South African Constitution and the non-sexist agenda of the labour movement. Employers are encouraged to adopt a proactive approach in dealing with these systemic problems, as dealing with them on a case-by-case basis is not only a financial risk, but also undermines their constitutional duties.

Women in blue-collar industries still experience significant discrimination and victimisation. The root cause of these injustices is employers’ failure to distinguish equality from equity.

Prof Anita Bosch lectures in Women at Work, Human Capital Management and Leadership at the University of Stellenbosch Business School.

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