The Challenges/Barriers Preventing the South African Youth in Becoming Entrepreneurs: South African Overview

  • Thobile N Radebe University of Zululand,
Keywords: Youth, Entrepreneurship, challenges


Youth entrepreneurship is commonly measured as a significant determinant of poverty reduction, economic development and job creation but the participation of the youth in entrepreneurship is worrisome. Against this background, this study aims to evaluate the challenges that are preventing the youth in starting their own businesses. A qualitative research approach was adopted to enable the use of secondary data literature. The research methodology was undertaken by systematically reviewing and contextualizing the literature regarding the challenges preventing the youth from participating in entrepreneurship activities. The data was analyzed using thematic content analysis. The results showed that the lack of education, society’s attitude towards youth entrepreneurship, lack of access to finance and a poor entrepreneurship culture are the barriers that prevent youth from engaging in entrepreneurial activities. A policy implication arising from these findings is that there is a need for entrepreneurship education, better support from society and the provision in terms of the easy access to finance.


Download data is not yet available.


Boates, C. (2013). Too Many Obstacles Still Hindering SA’s Entrepreneurial Growth: The EOY team posted on June 4, 2013.
Ceptureanu, S. I. & Ceptureanu, E. G. (2015). Challenges and barriers of European young entrepreneurs. Management research and practice, 7(3), 34-58.
Chiloane-Tsoka, G. E. & Mmako, N. M. (2014). Effects of migration and immigration on SMMEs: the case study of Diepsloot informal settlement, South Africa. Problems and Perspectives in Management, 12(4), 377-383.
Chimucheka, T. (2012). The impact of entrepreneurship education on the performance of Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises in the Buffalo city metropolitan municipality. Published (masters.), University of Fort Hare.
Da Silva, M. C. (2013). South Africa Business Network.
Echezona, M. (2015). Entrepreneurship education as a strategy for the promotion of entrepreneurship culture and poverty reduction among university students. Published (Masters.), University of Fort Hare.
Egwu, I. L. (2014). Entrepreneurship development in Nigeria: A review.
Entrepreneur Magazine. (2015).
Fatoki, O. & Chindoga, L. (2011). An Investigation into the Obstacles to Youth Entrepreneurship in South Africa. International Business Research, 4(2), 161-169.
Garofoli, G. (1994). New Firm Formation and Regional Development: The Italian Case, Reg. Studies, 28, 381–393.
Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report. (2016). South African report. Is South Africa heading for an economic meltdown?
Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report. (2017). National Entrepreneurial Assessment for the United States of America.
Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report. (2018).
Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. (2017). South African report. Can small businesses survive in South Africa?
Gordon-Davis, L. & Cumberlege, P. (2007). Legal Issues for Entrepreneurs. Cape Town: Juta.
Gratton. & Jones. (2010). Research methods for sports studies. Routledge. Abingdon.
Gwija, S. A., Eresia-Eke, C. & Iwu, C. G. (2014). Challenges and prospects of youth entrepreneurship in a designated community in the Western Cape, South Africa. Journal of economics and behavioral studies, 6(1), 10-20.
Hsieh, H. F. & Shannon, S. E. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15(9), 1277-1288.
Isaacs, E., Visser, K., Friedrich, C. & Brijal, P. (2007). Entrepreneurship education and training at the Further Education and Training (FET) level in South Africa. South African Journal of Education, 27(4), 613–629.
James, W. (2012). Youth entrepreneurship is the key to future growth.
Junior Achievement South Africa. (2012).
Kaburi, S. N., Mobegi, V. O., Kombo, A., Omari, A. & Sewe, T. (2012). Entrepreneurship Challenges in Developing Economies: a case of Kenyan Economy. International Journal of Arts and Commerce, 1(4), 264-274.
Khin, S. & Khan, D. (2017). Perspectives of start-up entrepreneurs on challenges, support services and entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Kimando, L. N., Njogu, G. W. & Kihoro, J. M. (2012). Factors Affecting the Success of Youth Enterprise Development Funded Projects in Kenya; A Survey of Kigumo District Muranga County. International Journal of Business and Commerce, 1(10), 61-81.
Mahadea, D., Ramroop, S. & Zewohir, T. (2011). Assessing Entrepreneurship Perceptions of High School Learners in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal, 14(1), 66-79. Masanta, F. (2017, January 01). Future at risk, Retrieved from:
Mazwai, E. T. (2010). The effectiveness of local business service centers in small business development: A case study of Gauteng province South Africa, Pretoria University of Pretoria.
Moraa new hope foundation. (2015). Challenges facing Kenyan youths.
Musengi-Ajulu, S. (2010). What do we know about the entrepreneurial intentions of the youth in South Africa? Preliminary results of a pilot study.
Mwangi, I. W. & Shem, A. O. (2012). Social capital and access to credit in Kenya, American Journal of Social and Management Sciences.
Nafukho, F. M. & Muyia, M. A. H. (2010). Entrepreneurship & Socioeconomic development in Africa: A reality or myth? Journal of European Industrial Training, 34(2), 96-109.
Nani, G. V. (2016). Entrepreneurial education in the school curriculum: in search of positioning in Zimbabwe. Problems and Perspectives in Management, 14(3), 85-90.
National Youth Development Agency Report. (2011). National Youth Development Agency, Annual Report.
Njongeri, W. (2015). Influence of entrepreneurship education in developing entrepreneurs in Kenya: The case study of Jomo. Kenyatta University of agriculture and technology.
Njoroge, C. W. & Gathungu, J. M. (2013). The effect of entrepreneurial education and training on development of small and medium size enterprises in githunguri district – Kenya. International Journal of Education and Research, 1(8). Okeke, M. I. (2014). Challenges facing entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Singaporean Journal of Business, Economics and Management Studies, 51(1812), 1-17.
Olawale, F. & Garwe, D. (2010). Obstacles to the growth of new SMEs in South Africa: A Principal component analysis approach. African Journal of Business Management, 4(5), 729-738.
Osunde, C. (2014). Entrepreneurship in developing countries: the Nigerian experience centers.
Sagwe, J., Gicharu, S. & Mahea, T. (2011). A Study on Youth and Women Entrepreneurs’ Preparedness in Kenya: A Case Study of the Kenya Youth Enterprise Development Fund.
Sambo, W. (2016). Factors affecting youth entrepreneurship development within Kibera, Kenya: the perspective of entrepreneurship education. Problems and Perspectives in Management, 14(2-2), 331-338.
Sandrock, J. (2011). National Report into the state of entrepreneurship. Economic Growth = Growing Entrepreneurship.
Sekaran, U. & Bougie, R. (2013). Research Method for Business: A Skill Building Approach. 6th ed. United Kingdom: Wiley
Seuring, S. & Gold, S. (2012). Conducting content-analysis based literature reviews in supply chain management.
SME Growth Index. (2013). Effect of Red Tape on small firms in South Africa.
Statistics South Africa. (2019). Quarterly labour force survey.
Turton, N. & Herrington, M. (2012). Global Entrepreneurship Monitor: 2012 South Africa Report. Cape Town: University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business.
Udu, C. S. & Amadi, U. P. N. (2013). Integrating Basic Entrepreneurship Studies into Primary Education Curriculum: Platform for Sustainable National Development. Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 2(5).
Valerio, A., Parton, B. & Robb, A. (2014). Entrepreneurship Education and Training Programs around the World: Dimensions for Success. World Bank, Washington DC.
Varblane, U. & Mets, T. (2010). Entrepreneurship education in the higher education institution of post-communist European countries. Journal of enterprising communities: people and place in the global economy, 4(3), 204-219.
How to Cite
Thobile N Radebe. (2019). The Challenges/Barriers Preventing the South African Youth in Becoming Entrepreneurs: South African Overview. Journal of Economics and Behavioral Studies, 11(4(J), 61-70.
Research Paper