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The research programme of the Chair centres on entrepreneurship and Small -, Medium – and Micro Enterprise (SMME) education, training, development and related issues, such as policies, the regulatory environment, programmes and support affecting entrepreneurs. The primary focus is on entrepreneurship development in South Africa but this will be supported by research on international best practice in entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial framework conditions.

The programme of the Chair is centred around three interlinked and overlapping elements: research, entrepreneurship education and training and capacity-building.


The research programme constitutes the central activity of the Chair. Research are undertaken primarily by the holder of the Chair, and by others linked to and funded through the Chair, as well as in collaboration with other researchers at UJ, including from the Departments in the College of Business and Economics, at other South African and international universities and research institutions.

The research programme focuses on at least the following four focus areas within the broad field of entrepreneurship development:

  • Post School Entrepreneurship education and training
  • Entrepreneurial framework conditions
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Corporate entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship and high growth ventures

1. Post School Entrepreneurship education and training

Relevant topics of interest in this focus area are

  • Best practice in entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurship curricula.
  • Identification of training and education needs, levels and content of programmes for different types of entrepreneurs
  • Types of entrepreneurs including Start-up, Gazelles or high growth entrepreneurial businesses, franchisors and franchisees, family business, female entrepreneurs, technopreneurs, manufacturing entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs and student entrepreneurs.
  • Business interventions, mentors, advisors
  • Decolonising the entrepreneurship curriculum
  • Entrepreneurship and SMME growth in a Pan-African context
  • Issues related to youth entrepreneurship including entrepreneurial intent and orientation and the transformative role of youth entrepreneurship

2. Entrepreneurial framework conditions.

Entrepreneurial framework conditions that includes post school education are very important for the support of entrepreneurship. Despite various qualifications and modules offered at a number of South African universities and exposure to many students at post school level there seems to be a reluctance for South Africans to start their own businesses. This can be attributed to the South African entrepreneurial framework conditions that are not conducive for entrepreneurship and SMMEs. Through an in-depth analysis of the entrepreneurial framework conditions of not only South Africa but also of other counties recommendations for policy, support and other changes can be made.

Relevant topics in this focus area include but are not limited to

  • Analysis of the South African entrepreneurial framework conditions and recommendations for improvements
  • Benchmarking and identification of international best practice in the entrepreneurial framework conditions
  • Entrepreneurial institutions
  • SMME financial and non-financial support
  • Corporate social investment in entrepreneurship development

3. Entrepreneurship and innovation

These two topics are closely linked. Successful entrepreneurs are usually innovative as they introduce products and services that are new to some or all customers, and that are offered by few or no competitors. Relevant topics in this focus area include but are not limited to

  • Radical and incremental innovation, inventions, commercialisation, sustainability and related concepts and processes and its relevance to entrepreneurship
  • The role of the 4th (and 5th) Industrial Revolution in entrepreneurial innovation
  • Using Entrepreneurial Orientation to promote a culture of entrepreneurial innovation

4. Corporate entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship and high growth ventures.

Relevant topics in this focus area include but are not limited to

  • Determining frameworks to promote high-growth ventures
  • Corporate Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship in an emerging market context
  • Linking entrepreneurial education to the promotion of high-growth ventures


Capacity building is an additional key priority and postgraduate students and other academics associated with the Chair carry out research within the research focus areas of the Chair. Through the Chair’s funding, students have access to bursaries for qualifications that will equip them for positions in academia, their own businesses or in other organisations. Postgraduate students are not be limited to those funded through grant holder-linked bursaries but include staff and other students.

Increasing output of Doctoral and Master students specialising in entrepreneurship is important as there is a limited number of people qualified at postgraduate level in the field of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education.

Capacity-building by the Chair are measured by the number of postgraduate students who graduate per annum, the number of graduating students from designated groups, the number of Masters students continuing to doctoral studies, the number of postdoctoral fellowships and their acquired research skills and research output, and training and skills development through short courses that the Chair will offer. The longer-term influence of the Chair’s capacity building will be determined by the way graduated students use and develop their research knowledge and their continued research related to entrepreneurship. Their involvement in supervision of other postgraduate students will also contribute to capacity building.