Opinions on entrepreneurship development: ensuring maximum return on investment.

23 January 2012

As a developing country with an unacceptably high unemployment rate, mass migration from rural areas to cities and increasing impoverishment of rural communities, South Africa is in dire need to develop entrepreneurs, especially for small, micro and medium enterprises (SMME’s). Funding for entrepreneurship development is readily available from government agencies as well as from overseas donors. However, available funds often remain unspent, or when utilised, offer little in the way of creating jobs and alleviating poverty. When the Graduate School of Business of the North West University (Mafikeng campus) was offered funds for running an entrepreneurship development project in the rural areas of the North West Province, the Executive Director of the Business School was determined that the project should be well planned, soundly implemented and that strict control would be exercised. Now, three years since the start of the project, considerable success can be reported, but perhaps more important than the successful completion of the project are the valuable experiences and insights gained during the management of the project. These experiences and insights may serve as guidelines to those who embark on similar projects in order to ensure that they too get maximum return on their investment.