Exploring key drivers enabling skills based graduates and artisans to take up entrepreneurial initiatives in Namibia: A case study of Windhoek.
Nashandi, Elia Festus Tonata
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Over 8,000 skill based graduates and artisans were trained during 2011-2012 from various Vocational Education and Training (VET) Centres in Namibia. Despite the skills gained and government spending of more than N$270mill during the 2012 /13 financial year, graduates fail to start businesses. The overall objective of this research study was to establish which factors influence skills based graduates and artisans to start a business, by answering three questions. This study assessed thirteen factors based on four themes aligned to the metacognitive model of mind set and utilised quantitative research methods following a positivist approach. A pre-coded self-administered structured questionnaire was used to collect data from a sample of 118 skills based graduates and artisans operating SMEs from the City of Windhoek and Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) incubation centres and industrial stalls in Windhoek. Data was captured using MS Excel, analysed through SPSS, IBM 20, and One Way ANOVA test used to verify the significance of factors. The research found that four factors are critical drivers in influencing skills based graduates and artisans to take up entrepreneurial initiatives namely: Subject choices and initiation, access to funding, making the right decisions at crucial moments as a reason for business success and relevance of skills gained. The study concluded that entrepreneurial initiatives among the younger age group (18 to 25 years) is mainly dormant due to difficulties in accessing funding, lack of incentives and lack of programs to consciously inculcate entrepreneurial mind-sets. Continuous consultation and curricula review is essential to satisfy the skills requirements of the changing labour market.
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