Addressing employability and fostering entrepreneurship among university students in South Africa : an analysis of the 'junior enterprise concept'.
Govender, Kruschen Deenadayalan.
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Higher education is instrumental in the economic development of any country, as a resource of skilled personnel and knowledge production. In South Africa there is a need for higher education institutions (HEIs) to develop innovative responses to address graduate employability and entrepreneurship education. Moreover, there is a need to catalyse entrepreneurship activity among students in order to cultivate skilled opportunity-orientated entrepreneurs. This study explores the application the ‘Junior Enterprise (JE) concept’ (an international best practice) as a mechanism of improving employability and fostering entrepreneurship. To discern if this practice is appropriate for South African students, the research investigates students’ perceptions. Overall the findings suggest that there is relevant student demand for this type of experiential and cooperative learning practice. However, conflicting studies infer that the widespread implementation of this type of learning practice will face implicit challenges in the indigenous context. To further examine the feasibility of applying the JE-concept in South African HEIs, it is essential to design, implement and evaluate a pilot project.