The Impact of Business Acumen and Startup Skills on Entrepreneurial Development
Lifuo Makhele and Brian Barnard

A business' performance is influenced by multiple variables such as the entrepreneur's characteristics, behavior and other environmental influences. However, the literature allocates minimal focus on the basics of entrepreneurship such as business acumen and startup skills. The present paper examines the impact of business acumen and startup skills on entrepreneurial development and success by exploring how much of business acumen is required to affect success and how entrepreneurs can develop business acumen. Furthermore, the paper explores the factors that influence startup skills and how entrepreneurs can develop startup skills. Entrepreneurs from various industries with more than two years of entrepreneurial experience were studied. A qualitative research approach was utilized for this study. Open-ended questions were constructed and interviews were carried out with experienced entrepreneurs. Although business acumen is perceived as a basic skill, this study discovered that entrepreneurs face challenges during the startup phase that are attributed to lack of or poor business acumen. Poor market intelligence, financial management and business administration leading to less or no profit generation are some of the challenges entrepreneurs face. This study further identified that entrepreneurs need a sufficient level of business acumen for their businesses to be successful, and that it may take up to a period of five years for one to acquire adequate levels of business acumen. It was also identified that there are numerous learning channels for acquiring the skill such as reading, formal education and mentorship. More...

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The Future Scenario of Entrepreneurship Responsible for Significant GDP Growth
Afua Rita Buanyomi and Brian Barnard

The study comprises future studies and scenario analysis and aims to investigate the future scenario of entrepreneurship responsible for significant GDP growth (greater than 10%) in South Africa. Focusing on aspects such as social and cultural factors, leadership, management, organization, labor and skills, economics, trade, politics, markets, technology, infrastructure and environment, it investigates and reflects on whether Successful Entrepreneurship (SE) is indeed possible; what needs to change to attain SE, what is overlooked when it comes to business development, and what is obstructing SE. The research was conducted using qualitative research methods focusing on professionals close to entrepreneurship. Rather than focus groups or Delphi studies, the insights of entrepreneurship professionals were gathered using semi-structured interviews. The study found that a majority of respondents believe that SE is indeed possible, but it would require a concerted and collaborative effort from all stakeholders, primarily the public and private sectors and entrepreneurial experts to ensure that the right focus is provided, critical issues and challenges are realistically elevated to everyone's attention, and practical, simple solutions are created and aligned with the backing of the right technology, policies and regulations. More...

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