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Entrepreneurship report reveals how startups can drive growth in a disrupted world

USB News

Entrepreneurship report reveals how startups can drive growth in a disrupted world

  • JUNE 11
  • Tags Entrepreneurship, South Africa, GEM Report, startups, entrepreneurs, economy, growth, social change

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USB launches Global Entrepreneurship Monitor South Africa (GEM SA) report in partnership with GEM SA and Seda.

The economic and social upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic underlines the need for a collective, and robust national strategy to unlock entrepreneurship in South Africa.

Already before the pandemic, many aspects of the country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem needed a major overhaul. This is highlighted in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor South Africa (GEM SA) 2019/2020 report.

The University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB), the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) and the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) launched the report on Monday, 8 June 2020.

GEM’s research output is considered the world’s most authoritative annual report on the global state of entrepreneurship. USB is the new custodian of this research in South Africa. The study included a survey sample of 3 300 people, and the national expert survey involved the input of 36 experts from diverse fields.

Angus Bowmaker-Falconer and Mike Herrington co-authored the report. Bowmaker-Falconer is a research fellow at USB. Herrington, previously the executive director of the Global Entrepreneurship Research Association, established GEM SA in 2001.

The GEM SA report – titled Igniting startups for economic growth and social change – contains the hard facts, data and figures that highlight trends in entrepreneurship in South Africa. The results of the study reveal the fundamentals to consider when developing an informed response aimed at securing economic recovery.

Bowmaker-Falconer says: “The pandemic has intensified the country’s economic challenges. We know that earnings have been affected, that further job losses are likely, and that many small, medium and micro enterprises may not survive under these extraordinary high stakes.” Most local companies are small or medium-sized enterprises and many will battle to stay afloat after one to three months with no or limited trade and income. “Early-stage entrepreneurial startups (new ventures less than 3,5 years old) are likely to be ravaged,” he says.

The economic and social recovery could take several years. GEM’s research during the 2008/2009 global financial crash showed a significant dip in early-stage entrepreneurial activity across the globe. Entrepreneurial ecosystems took two to three years to reach pre-2008 levels after this event. The recovery curve was driven directly by country-specific economic policy and financial support responses.

Unpacking the results
Here are some key findings from the report:

  • 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.
  • 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 people 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 believe that they have the skills and capabilities to start a business. This number is relatively high compared to many other economies.
  • Yet fear of failure is high at 49.8% among South Africans. This factor – likely a deterrent for individuals to start a business venture – has increased significantly from 2017 to 2019.
  • Only 11.9% of respondents have entrepreneurial intentions. This means one in every eight South Africans are latent entrepreneurs who intend to start a business within the next three years.
  • 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 other participating African countries 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 a grassroots level – an encouraging sign of a collective will for future business sustainability.

Changing gears, moving forward
Moving from startup to scale requires the right support from the government and the private sector alike. The report calls for interventions in terms of government policies and initiatives, market openness, entrepreneurship education and training, and the availability of and access to finance to foster entrepreneurship.

Bowmaker-Falconer says: “Government is an enabler and fully supports and understands the importance of entrepreneurial development for inclusive economic growth and social cohesion.”

“The Department of Small Business Development (DBSD) announced significant new measures before this crisis related to access to funding. These measures include harmonising funding applications across all developmental finance institutions and introducing a blended financing model to reduce financing costs for entrepreneurs. Overall, the focus for the government should now be on achieving policy and support initiative alignment priorities.”

The government’s economic stimulus package to help bridge COVID-19 is significant, and the impact thereof for SMME’s needs to be evaluated and made public. “Big business needs to partner with the government and play their part in opening markets and value chain participation for smaller enterprises,” Bowmaker-Falconer says.

“Financiers, together with incubators and accelerators, need to help better prepare and educate entrepreneurs on how to pitch their business ideas, how to approach funders, and to navigate what kind of funding is most appropriate to their specific enterprise. What is very clear is that a cohesive and collective response is needed to ignite economic development and social cohesion potential beyond this crisis we are now in.”

An underlying key requirement for managing South Africa’s economic recovery is data. Integrated and public information is critical in understanding and planning how best to stimulate and support the entrepreneurial ecosystem going forward.

Furthermore, there is also a need for more intense entrepreneurial education to engage with the opportunities offered by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

As the sponsor of the study, Seda will now facilitate the implementation of the recommendations across the broader small enterprise development support system with its partners. One of the areas currently being pursued by Seda is identifying partners who can enhance its service offerings in research.

Bowmaker-Falconer concludes: “Entrepreneurship matters. Now, more than ever, startups, and specifically those driven by young entrepreneurs and women, need to deliver the innovation required to move us forward in a highly disruptive (and disrupted) world.”

Read the report here

About GEM
Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) is a consortium of national country teams, primarily associated with top academic institutions, that carries out survey-based research on entrepreneurship around the world. GEM is the only global research source that collects data on entrepreneurship directly from individual entrepreneurs. Visit www.gemconsortium.org for information.

About Seda
Seda is an agency of the Department of Small Business Development. It is mandated to implement the government’s small business strategy; design and implement a standard and common national delivery network for small-enterprise development; and integrate small-enterprise support agencies across all tiers of government. Visit www.seda.org.za for information.

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Transparency on pay could close the gap for women

Transparency on pay could close the gap for women

USB News

Transparency on pay could close the gap for women

(Source: Designed by Freepik)

  • MAY 26
  • Tags Gender Economic Equality, Gender Pay Gap, Pay Equality, Women, Normalise Pay Equality, Mind the Gap, Economic Empowerment, COVID-19, research, Women at Work

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Journal Article

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for progressive economic policies to address deep socio-economic inequalities in South Africa, including transparent pay reporting towards closing the persistent gender pay gap. Currently the gender pay gap sees South African women still earning up to 35% less¹ than men for doing the same work.

If South Africa is to dislodge its stagnant gender pay gap, mandatory pay transparency – making gender differences in pay known to employees, government and the public – can be the means to compel employers to remunerate fairly and equally, according to a new study by the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB).

Despite South Africa’s significant strides in preventing workplace discrimination, the gender pay gap has remained stubbornly stagnant for over two decades…

“Despite South Africa’s significant strides in preventing workplace discrimination, the gender pay gap has remained stubbornly stagnant for over two decades², and is well above the global average pay gap of 20% reported by the ILO³,” said the study’s lead author, Prof Anita Bosch, the USB Research Chair for Women at Work.

In the study published in the South African Journal of Science in March 2020, Bosch and USB Research Fellow Shimon Barit analysed global trends on enforcement of mandatory transparent pay reporting in order to give direction to strengthening South Africa’s mechanisms for achieving gender economic equality.

Their recommendations for greater transparency on pay include more detailed, gender pay-related information captured in existing reporting required from companies on employment and remuneration, mandatory pay audits and requiring pay information to be made available to unions and employees, as well as penalties for non-compliance.

While collective bargaining and the introduction of the national minimum wage have seen the gap narrowing for women in lower-earning jobs, Bosch said that for women in middle and upper pay levels the gap has actually widened and continues to do so.

Enforcing SA legislation and governance codes on equal pay and transparent reporting could strengthen the existing collective bargaining framework to demonstrate that SA sees gender equality as an achievable reality, not an improbable ideology.

The problem is greater in the private sector where pay is market-driven, since public sector pay are largely standardised, she added.

“Enforcing South African legislation and governance codes on equal pay and transparent reporting could strengthen the existing collective bargaining framework and provide the impetus to demonstrate that South Africa sees gender equality as an achievable reality, not an improbable ideology,” Prof Bosch said.

…female-headed households are approximately 40% poorer than those headed by men.

She said the importance of equal pay for equal work was highlighted by the fact that more than a third of South African households are headed by women⁴ and female-headed households are approximately 40% poorer than those headed by men⁵. Almost half of female-headed households support extended family, compared to just over 20% of male-headed households⁶.

“Since women support greater numbers of children and extended family members and are more likely to be employed in lower-paying occupations, their lack of pay equality has arguably a greater negative impact on the socio-economic wellbeing of families and communities.”

“This is all the more reason to amend and enforce policies on transparent pay reporting, with the end goal of closing the gender pay gap,” Prof Bosch said.

The research, analysed the impact of practices in 16 countries where employers are legally obliged to provide transparent reporting on pay and gender, as well as South Africa’s existing equality legislation and the King IV Code on corporate governance.

The study makes recommendations to guide legislators, activists, board members, trade unions and organisational leaders in improving transparent pay reporting.

“The first is to strengthen the pay reports already required from employers by the Employment Equity Act (EEA) by including data on the total remuneration, including performance incentives, paid to men and to women at each level. This would highlight gender pay gaps, enabling accurate comparison at national level and identification of patterns, so that policies can be formulated and targets set to close gaps in specific areas and levels of work,” Prof Bosch said.

She advised that the JSE should “expand its interpretation” of the King IV Code requirement that listed companies remunerate fairly, responsibly and transparently, by including mandatory gender pay reporting in annual reports as part of its listing requirements.

South African legislation doesn’t require employers to share pay reports with employees and trade unions or employee representatives, and Prof Bosch said this should be considered.

The introduction of a right to query another employee’s pay could be difficult to achieve given South Africa’s constitutional right to privacy and privacy laws, but Prof Bosch said this should be pursued, as it would be critical for employees in proving a claim under the equal pay for equal work clause of the EEA.

Pay audits and equal gender pay should form part of collective bargaining…

Mandatory pay audits at the designated employer level (more than 50 employees) would enable analysis of pay differentials, identifying problem areas and developing measures to rectify gaps, she said.

Pay audits and equal gender pay should form part of collective bargaining, Prof Bosch said, recommending that “a soft law stipulating that these topics be discussed during collective bargaining be introduced into the King codes as a matter of good remuneration governance”.

“Diligent monitoring for non-compliance, along with enforcement of penalties, is essential for transparency mechanisms to be effective. It is recommended that a financial penalty be levied for unjustifiable and stagnant gender pay gaps among the employees of the same employer, one that is sufficient to act as a deterrent to non-compliance.

“Penalties should thus promote compliance with gender pay legislation and transparency mechanisms, and ultimately disincentivise discriminatory pay practices,” Prof Bosch said.

ABOUT THE RESEARCH

The full article can be downloaded from the SAJS website: Gender pay transparency mechanisms: Future directions for South Africa

Tables showing comparisons between 16 countries can be downloaded from here 

In addition to the study, USB has partnered with by WDB Investment Holdings (WDBIH) – the women-owned and -operated group focused on advancing the meaningful participation of women in the economy – to produce the The gender pay gap guide for the already converted as a means to aid responsible managers to implement fair pay practices.

About WDB Investment Holding (WDBIH)

WDB Investment Holdings (WDBIH) is women founded, women–led Investment Company and has been operating successfully since 1996. The main purpose of the company is to be a game changer in women advancement and empowerment in South Africa, impacting the African Continent. One of their key objectives is being a catalyst by influencing public opinions and legislation to create an environment that supports opportunities for women advancement.


References

¹Mosomi J. Distributional changes in the gender wage gap in the post-apartheid South African labour market [Internet]. Helsinki: UNU-WIDER; 2019. WIDER Working Paper 2019/17.

²Mosomi J. Distributional changes in the gender wage gap in the post-apartheid South African labour market [Internet]. Helsinki: UNU-WIDER; 2019. WIDER Working Paper 2019/17. Available from: https://www.wider.unu.edu/publication/distributional-changes-gender-wage-gap-post-apartheid-south-african-labour-market

³International Labour Organization. Global Wage Report 2018/19: What lies behind gender pay gaps [Internet]. Geneva: International Labour Organization; 2018 [cited 2019 Jul 6]. Available from: https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—dgreports/—dcomm/—publ/documents/publication/wcms_650553.pdf

⁴Statistics South Africa. General Household Survey 2018 [Internet]. Pretoria: Statistics South Africa; 2019. Statistical Release P0318 [cited 2019 Jul 16]. Available from: http://www.statssa.gov.za/publications/P0318/P03182018.pdf

⁵Statistics South Africa. Living conditions of households in South Africa: An analysis of household expenditure and income data using the LCS 2014/2015 [Internet]. Pretoria: Statistics South Africa; 2017. Statistical Release P0310 [cited 2019 Jul 16]. Available from: http://www.statssa.gov.za/publications/P0310/P03102014.pdf

⁶South African Institute of Race Relations. South Africa’s family fabric. Free Facts. 2018;5:1-5. Available at: https://irr.org.za/reports/freefacts/files/free-ff-2014-september-2018.pdf

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USB report unpacks how to improve women’s representation on corporate boards

USB News

USB report unpacks how to improve women’s representation on corporate boards

  • MAR 03
  • Tags Women on Boards, Gender Diversity, Female Representation, Anita Bosch, Corporate Governance, JSE, Business Women’s Association of South Africa

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Diversity in the boardroom makes for more effective and informed decision-making, corporate strategy and governance – but while half of the South African population and 45% of the employed workforce are female, only 20% of directors of JSE-listed companies are women.

Corporate boards are failing to take advantage of the value of female business leaders’ diverse perspectives and networks, despite a “vast, untapped pool of qualified and capable women”, says the newly-released report Women on South African boards: facts, fiction and forward thinking by the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB).

“According to the [Business Women’s Association of South Africa] BWASA Women in Leadership Census, from 2012 to 2017, only 26 JSE-listed companies consistently had a 25%+ female board, while approximately 45 of the 277 companies had no female directors at all, the report’s lead author Prof Anita Bosch, the USB Research Chair for Women at Work, said.

Corporate boards are failing to take advantage of the value of female business leaders’ diverse perspectives and networks, despite a ‘vast, untapped pool of qualified and capable women’.

“The pool of talented women suitable for board directorships is steadily increasing and gains have been made, but they are too erratic and too small to correct the gender imbalance,” she said.

The report recommends a voluntary target of 30% female board members as “reasonable and feasible”, with 40% as a stretch target.

South Africa has no legislation specifically requiring companies to include women on their boards of directors, and indirect measures – such as the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) listing requirements – are limited in scope, relevance, impact and enforceability, the report found.

“For instance, there have been no consequences for JSE-listed companies that have not complied with listing requirements related to the advancement of gender diversity at board level,” she said.

There have been no consequences for JSE-listed companies that have not complied with listing requirements related to the advancement of gender diversity at board level.

Contrary to popular belief, Prof Bosch said, there are more than enough talented women to serve on boards – “directors just need to look outside their normal, comfortable networks to find them”.

The report’s publication, sponsored by WDB Investment Holdings (WDBIH) – the women-owned and -operated group focused on advancing the meaningful participation of women in the economy – explores what is needed to strengthen women’s representation on boards and “what it takes for women directors to gain the power, influence and critical mass to be able to effect change”.

Contrary to popular belief, Prof Bosch said, there are more than enough talented women to serve on boards.

Voluntary targets, improved monitoring and reporting, enforcement and consequences for non-compliance, establishing shadow boards to grow the next generation of female directors, and lobbying, are among the recommendations of the report.

“In SA we can only do voluntary targets since quotas are regarded as unconstitutional. Voluntary targets, however, can be just as effective as quota systems. The trick lies in the enforcement of voluntary targets and penalties, even if only through social pressure, which could be associated with non-compliance to own targets.”

The lack of women in senior management is evident from BWASA statistics:  from the almost 600 female board members of JSE-listed companies in 2017, over 80% were non-executive directors.

Addressing the gender imbalance in the top tier of business leadership in South Africa will take strategic and concerted efforts by companies, directors, shareholder activists and institutional investors, she said.

The lack of women in senior management is evident from BWASA statistics: from the almost 600 female board members of JSE-listed companies in 2017, over 80% were non-executive directors.

“Indirect measures to encourage gender diversity on boards” include the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Act and codes of good practice, the Employment Equity Act, the King IV Report on Corporate Governance (application of these codes is voluntary except for JSE listed companies), and stock exchange listing requirements.

Co-author, Prof Kathleen van der Linde said, “these are all limited in scope, relevance, impact and enforceability”. And meanwhile, the 2013 Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill, which provided for equal representation of women on the boards of public and designated private bodies, was withdrawn for further consultation in 2014 and “appears to have since been abandoned”.

The recommendations in brief

For companies

Prof Bosch said companies could play an active role in “effecting change from within” by identifying, training and promoting high-potential female employees and candidates to board positions – for example by:

  • Closing the gender wage gap between male and female, signalling to women that they are valued equally for their contribution.
  • Prioritising the search for female candidates for senior management and board positions. It all starts with the existing board members.
  • Looking outside of traditional networks and exploring avenues such as academia, professional bodies, government and non-profit organisations for new, female talent.
  • In the medium-term, sponsoring emerging talent in women senior managers to prepare them for future board positions.
  • Developing a “shadow board” where prospective future directors can shadow and learn about board protocol from existing board members.

Prof Bosch said companies could play an active role in ‘effecting change from within’ by identifying, training and promoting high-potential female employees and candidates to board positions.

For existing board members

The report recommends that current board members play a part in developing the next generation of women board members by:

  • Supporting initiatives such as shadow boards; and vouching for women in senior management to open up opportunities and prepare them for future board roles.
  • Using directorships in non-profits, unlisted companies and larger private companies to grow the pool of experienced women from which listed companies can make board appointments.
  • Supporting female executive directors to take on independent and non-executive directorships to gain experience.
  • Implementing family and other support mechanisms to enhance the opportunity for women in their child-bearing and -rearing years to serve on boards.
  • Engaging in questions of what the board is doing and what more could be done; and supporting research on board gender diversity in order to stimulate debate and critical conversation.

For shareholder activists

“Shareholder activists have the power to encourage change through applying pressure to regulatory and industry bodies, and within companies themselves,” Prof Bosch said.

She said recommended actions included:

  • Lobbying for more accurate reporting, such as the movement for the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) to report on board gender diversity and for licenced exchanges to enforce listing requirements on gender, age and race reporting.
  • Nominating strong women directors to the boards of companies they hold shares in, especially where a woman director is performing well on one company board and could add value to another company in which they hold shares.
  • Using their public voice, such as in the media, to stimulate public debate on board diversity.

‘Shareholder activists have the power to encourage change through applying pressure to regulatory and industry bodies, and within companies themselves,’ Prof Bosch said.

For institutional investors

Large institutional investors have a duty to look after the long-term value of investments made on behalf of their investors, and economic, social and governance considerations are interlinked with the long-term sustainability of a company. These institutions can use their voting and lobbying power to shape company strategy and influence the composition of boards, Prof Bosch said, by:

  • Encouraging the appointment of at least one additional woman to the boards of companies they invest in.
  • Giving preference to investing in companies that are making progress towards gender-balanced boards.
  • Making their votes count with a coordinated voting policy that prioritises gender diversity when voting on new board members.

On targets, monitoring and reporting

Since one in three listed companies already have at least 25% women directors according to the BWASA Women in Leadership Census, the report recommends a voluntary target of 30% for listed companies as “reasonable and feasible”, with 40% as a stretch target.

And, she said, since most board decisions are actually taken at committee level, listed companies should set specific targets for women directors’ representation on board committees and as committee chairs. They should also be required to show gender parity in nominations for board members and to document the reasons for selections to the short-list stage.

In terms of reporting, the report recommends that the Institute of Directors-South Africa (IoDSA) facilitate the enhancement of recommended practices in King IV by setting a voluntary target for gender diversity at board level, thus ensuring JSE-listed companies must report on their progress.

Prof Bosch said various government departments and agencies, as well as the IoDSA and listed exchanges, could play a role in monitoring progress and enforcing compliance.

The regular reporting mechanisms of organisations such as the Business Women’s Association of South Africa (BWASA) and the Institute of Direstors South Africa (IoDSA) should be used to keep board diversity on the national agenda.

The regular reporting mechanisms of organisations such as the Business Women’s Association of South Africa (BWASA, whose 2017 Women in Leadership Census provided much of the data for the USB report) and the IoDSA should be used to keep board diversity on the national agenda. Reporting information from the JSE and other stock exchanges could be used to produce lists of companies meeting, exceeding or not achieving gender targets, and to develop a national progress-monitoring index.

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About the report

Women on South African boards: facts, fiction and forward thinking is a publication of the Research Chair: Women at Work, at the University of Stellenbosch Business School, the publication of which was sponsored by WDB Investment Holdings (WDBIH) and published in March 2020 on the USB Management Review platform.

Prof Anita Bosch, USB Research Chair: Women at Work

Prof Kathleen van der Linde, Professor of Mercantile Law, University of Johannesburg

Shimon Barit, USB Research Fellow

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In week USB

in-week @USB

18 – 22 November 2019

industry | insights | innovation | intellect | inspiration | inclusivity

Let’s think. Let’s connect. Let’s work.

industry | insights | innovation | intellect | inspiration | inclusivity

At USB, we go to great lengths to ensure that our research is accurate, relevant, and accessible and based on sound business practices. That’s why, from 18 – 22 November, we celebrate our research through a number of engaging events and activities on our campus in collaboration with industry representatives visiting USB throughout the week.

Research Events

Step into the Lion’s Den

20 November 2019 | 14:00 – 18:00 | USB campus

Lion’s Den, was created in 2018 to connect the impressive network of entrepreneurs and organisations surrounding USB. Lion’s Den is where USB students and alumni get the chance to pitch their business ideas to a panel of investors. The pitching segment at the event provides incredible insight into the pitch structure and what investors look for. Prizes are valued between R15 000 – R100 000. If you are interested in entrepreneurship, this event is for you.

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MORE INFO

Let’s engage at USB’s Research Meets Industry

22 November 2019 | 10:30 – 14:00 | USB campus

Our annual Research Meets Industry (RMI) engagement is one of the most anticipated events on our calendar and a major highlight of the MBA. It is the ideal opportunity to build industry contacts and scout talent that can solve relevant business problems.

RMI puts our elite selection of top MBA students on the center stage, where they will present their USB-approved scientific research. Each presentation is organised according to a theme, with streams ranging from innovative new technological challenges and cutting-edge research in marketing to some of the latest insights from the Leadership domain. Look out for the exciting programme – coming soon.

RSVP NOWprogramme

USB Leader’s Angle: Creating futures by solving unemployment

22 November 2019 | 07:30 – 10:00 | USB campus

Unemployment in South Africa is the worst it’s been since 2008. At this Leader’s Angle discussion our panel of thought leaders explore the possibilities for solving our country’s complex unemployment problem. Our distinguished speakers include South African trade unionist Tony Ehrenreich, and renowned entrepreneur Miles Khubeka.

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“Nothing is as practical as a good theory” – Kurt Lewin, German-American psychologist

#USBInWeek presents

20 November 2019

22 November 2019

22 November 2019

Access our research

InWeek News

What to expect from SA’s banking sector towards 2035

In comparison to 2018 the South African banking industry landscape will look vastly different towards 2035. South Africa’s banking will be characterised by digital banking solutions unimaginable today due to the continued influence of key factors and trends in future.

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Your office toilet uses 90% of your company’s water

The humble office toilet could hold the key to cutting companies’ water bills, lightening the load on municipalities’ strained water infrastructure and reducing demand for water in water-scarce South Africa. The 30th driest country in the world, 98% of South Africa’s water resources are already allocated, and lower than average rainfall together with increasing demand has placed the country in a serious water crisis.

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Research Methods Workshop

USB News

Research Methods Workshop

Workshop on Research Methods, Co-Organized by: African Centre for Development Finance at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB-ACDF) with Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina, Sonoco International Business Department, U.S.A.

The Objective of the workshop:
A common obstacle to these outcomes for all scholars is limited experience in sourcing, preparing, and analysing high quality data. This workshop will combine instructive tutorials with hands-on experience in writing code in statistical analysis packages (e.g. STATA, R, etc.). Participants are encouraged (but not necessarily required) to bring datasets they are already working with and through the workshop develop code capable of helping them execute their analysis.

What the course will cover:
The course will focus on presenting a cutting edge research methods tailored to high impact African context through a hands-on, intensive one-week curriculum covering the following topics: Collecting high quality data in an environment where publicly available data is often unavailable or unreliable, Cleaning and preparing data for analysis, Conducting analysis through econometric models and descriptive statistics, Presenting results and developing a personalized library of software code useful to all of the above.

Who should attend:
Postgraduate, Master’s and Doctoral Candidates, Post-Doctoral Fellows and current Doctoral fellows and other academics working in this domain will be given more priority.

Course provider:
African Centre for Development Finance at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB-ACDF) with Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina, Sonoco International Business Department, U.S.A.

Prerequisite:
Participants are expected to have intermediate level microeconomic theory at the undergraduate level. Basic knowledge on mathematical economics, econometrics, linear programming and applications is desirable but not compulsory. STATA and R will be employed. Prior knowledge of at least one of the software will be an added advantage.

Course Material:
The course pack will be prepared and made available to participants during registration. The materials required for pre-course reading will be sent directly to the participants via email or via the course website.

Presenters

Dr Christopher B. Yenkey is an assistant professor in the Sonoco International Business Department at the Darla Moore School of International Business. He earned his Ph.D. in Sociology at Cornell University, Yenkey served as a visiting scholar at the Institute for Economic Affairs in Nairobi, Kenya. Yenkey received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Texas, Austin, in 2001 and served as a research associate in the Department of Economic Research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City from 2001 to 2003. He is an associate director of the Center for the Study of Economy and Society at Cornell University from 2010 to 2011.

Dr Nyankomo Marwa is senior lecturer in Development Finance and Econometrics at the University of Stellenbosch Business School, South Africa. He holds a PhD in Development Finance from the University of Stellenbosch Business School; an MSc Agricultural Economics from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, USA; an MSc Applied Statistics and Biostatistics from Hasselt University, Belgium; and a BSc Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness from Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania. He holds visiting research positions at the School of Management Sciences of the University of Quebec Montreal, Canada, and the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

Registration Procedure

The workshop fee is $250 (R3 500) per participants.

Applications close 30 November 2018 for South African students only

For more details on logistics and other enquiries, please contact the International office:
international@usb.ac.za | +27 21 918 4196

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USB Management review

USB launches new online business knowledge platform

USB News

USB launches new online business knowledge platform

  • USB
  • JUL 30 2018
  • Tags Research, Management Review

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The University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) recently launched its new online platform, USB Management Review, which features business knowledge articles based on the research conducted by faculty, students, and research centres.

The platform also provides access to thought-provoking opinion pieces, topical reports, and valuable insight into the research process itself. The topics are aligned with USB’s key areas of expertise – leadership, finance, futures studies, coaching, and strategic management.

Prof Piet Naudé, director of USB, says: “Academic research is important but there is also a need for knowledge that could be applied directly (or at least quite smoothly) to actual business problems.

“This requires a translation of theory into practice; it requires a different genre than pure academic language to ensure wider accessibility. This is what USB Management Review is about.”

Editorial director of USB Management Review and head of research at USB , Prof Mias de Klerk, says with this online platform they want USB research to make an impact in the world of business. “The core focus of our first edition is leadership integrity. What happens within organisations is largely an outcome, or lack of, the integrity of leadership.

“Leadership integrity is one of many constructs that form part of responsible leadership, which is core to USB’s research focus. Responsible leadership describes a generic quality of all leadership that aims to respond to stakeholders’ concerns in a morally responsible manner,” he says.

USB Management Review will be published in June and October each year to ensure visibility among relevant interest and stakeholder groups. It can be accessed via the research tab from the USB homepage. To read the articles that appeared in the first edition, click here.

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One in four employees suffer from depression

USB News

One in four employees suffer from depression

  • MAY 23
  • Tags Mental health, Employees

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One in four employees has been diagnosed with depression, and the country’s economic contributors aged 25 to 44 are most affected, taking more than 18 days off work due to the condition. These are the findings from a recent study conducted by The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) in partnership with Hexor, with the support of Lundbeck.

Dr Renata Schoeman, leadership lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) and psychiatrist, says more than 40% of all work-related illness is due to work-related stress, major depression, burnout and anxiety disorders.

“Undiagnosed and untreated mental health conditions directly impacts a workplace through increased absenteeism and presenteeism, reduces productivity and increases costs.”

Presenting at a Corporate Mental Health Awareness seminar at USB, she urged companies to realise the significance their company structure, expectations of employees and management style has on the company’s annual turn-over, overall productivity and the risk of employees developing health problems that could prevent them temporarily or permanently reentering the workforce.

She highlighted that the 2016 study revealed that non-disclosure of depression as a reason for sick leave was predominantly due to stigma and fear of not being able to secure their employment.

“Undiagnosed and untreated mental health conditions directly impacts a workplace through increased absenteeism and presenteeism (attending work while unwell), reduces productivity and increases costs. Most employers tend to completely underestimate the financial impact of mental illness on their bottom line.”

She says that depression costs South Africa more than R232 billion or 5.7% of the country’s GDP due to lost productivity either due to absence from work or attending work whilst unwell, according to the IDEA study of the London School of Economics and Political Science 2016.

“The cognitive symptoms of depression, such as difficulties in concentrating, making decisions and remembering, are present 94% of the time during an episode of depression. Since leaders find themselves in roles of decision-making and responsibility, they are more prone to presenteeism. They would be less able to cope with the demands of their position and as a leader their condition whilst at work would have a major impact on inter-office relationships, decision-making and their ability to manage their teams.

“It’s imperative that companies come to understand the leading role they play in alleviating and eradicating possible stressors at work. They should foster a healthy educational environment with pro-active mental health awareness programmes, stress management training, access to services which nurture help-seeking behaviour, implement a coaching or counseling programme, identify people in need of care and offer them resources to ensure they receive proper treatment. But most importantly they need to break the negative association with depression, burnout and anxiety.”

Dr Schoeman says that although policies and guidelines are necessary it alone will not make a difference but requires a supportive culture of understanding and acceptance.

“Stigma, born out of ignorance, prejudice or fear, is a major problem in the work place creating a situation where employees choose to rather suffer in silence. One can understand their reluctance to seek support or report their condition, especially in the current economic climate where they might fear losing their job. As a result mental health problems often go undiagnosed and untreated, not only to the detriment of the individual’s career and health but also directly impacting the workplace’s bottom line.”

She says mental health awareness in the work place will ensure early identification and treatment of disorders, prevent recurrence and long-term complications. By implementing employee assistance programmes the quality of life of employees and the longevity of the company will see a lesser loss to the country’s GDP and prevent disorders turning into permanent disability.

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USB Elite capture of land distribution alarming, says PLAAS researcher

Elite capture of land distribution alarming, says PLAAS researcher

USB News

Elite capture of land distribution alarming, says PLAAS researcher

USB Elite capture of land distribution alarming, says PLAAS researcher

  • MAY 21
  • Tags Land reform, Leader’s Angle

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Worrisome patterns of elite capture and the lack of public oversight and accountability in land distribution are concerning issues, says Professor Ruth Hall from the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS).

“Who is getting the land now that it is not exclusively a programme for the poor? The state can buy farms and allocate a R20 million farm to an individual. It can buy a R500 000 farm and allocate it to a group of 20 farm workers,” she says. “We are seeing very worrying patterns of elite capture in land distribution and there is no public oversight and accountability around how public resources are being used.”

She was one of the speakers at a Leader’s Angle event on Land Reform, alongside advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, Landbank’s Dr Litha Magingxa and Dr Aninka Claassen, director of the Land & Accountability Research Centre (LARC) that was hosted by the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) at the FNB Portside Building in the Cape Town City Centre.

“In addition to small-scale farmers and farm workers getting land, what we see is a pattern of urban-based business men getting access to farms, despite the fact that only 23% of beneficiaries are women.
“We also see a very concerning trend which started in restitution and is now evident in redistribution where farms are being acquired and allocated to strategic partnerships with agribusiness companies. These companies often have downstream operations and they want to control primary production by signing up farm workers as shareholders but without effective control and actual dividend that is paid out,” she says.

“When the land redistribution process started, the idea was to redistribute in open as well as rural areas. But that has disappeared off the radar. The idea that land reform is an exclusively rural and agricultural process has emerged but in our current debate this is changing. People are putting up their hands and saying, ‘We want access to land; we don’t want to wait on a housing list for decades’.”

She says one of the key issues holding back land redistribution is that the land reform budget has never been more than 1% of the national budget. “Currently the redistribution budget is sitting at 0, 4 %. In terms of actual resource allocation it doesn’t like it has ever been a political priority.”

“Three reasons why access to housing and land reform is important: Because of history, to acquire skills and to contribute to the economy.”
– Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi

“Does mining have to be at the expense of poor rural black people property rights?”
– Dr Aninka Claassen

“We must redefine the end goal of redistribution and look at the possible development of a new land reform model.”
– Dr Litha Magingxa

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