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Rural entrepreneurship and transformation: the role of learnerships

Rural entrepreneurship and transformation: the role of learnerships The purpose of this paper is to investigate the lessons that could be learnt from the first year of implementing the Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority’s Rural Development Programme.Design/methodology/approachThis exploratory, qualitative study involved unemployed people from a rural location in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. A focus group and in-depth interviews were held with the current learners, the programme manager, the skills training providers, and the royal custodian of the locality.FindingsWhile highlighting the factors that enhance success as well as those that impede development, the study found that the learnership contributed significantly to social transformation through rural entrepreneurship. It empowers disadvantaged women and youths to gain access and skills which, if the recommended measures to sustain the programme are implemented, could enable them to grow bigger businesses.Research limitations/implicationsSince this was an exploratory, qualitative study, the limitations of a small, convenience sample need to be overcome by a larger, quantitative study, and a more complete collection of accurate secondary data.Originality/valueDespite the obvious limitations, this study has contributed to the literature on both rural entrepreneurship and transformation in South Africa. Both are under-researched topics, despite transformation being a socio-political imperative and entrepreneurship, especially in rural areas, being a key to overcoming South Africa’s high unemployment rate. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research Emerald Publishing

Rural entrepreneurship and transformation: the role of learnerships

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1355-2554
DOI
10.1108/ijebr-07-2016-0207
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the lessons that could be learnt from the first year of implementing the Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority’s Rural Development Programme.Design/methodology/approachThis exploratory, qualitative study involved unemployed people from a rural location in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. A focus group and in-depth interviews were held with the current learners, the programme manager, the skills training providers, and the royal custodian of the locality.FindingsWhile highlighting the factors that enhance success as well as those that impede development, the study found that the learnership contributed significantly to social transformation through rural entrepreneurship. It empowers disadvantaged women and youths to gain access and skills which, if the recommended measures to sustain the programme are implemented, could enable them to grow bigger businesses.Research limitations/implicationsSince this was an exploratory, qualitative study, the limitations of a small, convenience sample need to be overcome by a larger, quantitative study, and a more complete collection of accurate secondary data.Originality/valueDespite the obvious limitations, this study has contributed to the literature on both rural entrepreneurship and transformation in South Africa. Both are under-researched topics, despite transformation being a socio-political imperative and entrepreneurship, especially in rural areas, being a key to overcoming South Africa’s high unemployment rate.

Journal

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & ResearchEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 26, 2017

Keywords: Rural; Entrepreneurship; Retail; Social change; Transformation; Learnership

References