In the hope of addressing the e-skills shortage in the country, a collaborative project between
government and tertiary institutions was launched. A need for improving multi-sectorial issues, such
as e-skilling was identified in order to uplift the people of South Africa in an attempt to decrease certain
social issues, such as unemployment and crime; unemployment is one of the biggest concerns relating
to South Africa’s economic growth. The need for collaboration between various stakeholders was
identified as this is the only way to address a skills and specifically an e-skills shortage and transform
a country into an ICT powerhouse. E-skills are regarded as the food of the future that will assist the
participants in a country’s economy as well as its residents to survive in this ever-changing world of
technology. Small medium enterprises (SMEs) are seen as the driving force behind a country’s
economy. Entrepreneurs who do not raise their e-skills level will be left behind on platform “shortage”.
The strong relationship formed between government and tertiary institutions creates the opportunity to
develop interventions that are relevant and applicable to the current environment. As many countries
are realising the importance of entrepreneurs and small firms in relation to their contribution to the
economy, it is not surprising that one of the focus areas identified by the South African government is
entrepreneurs, or more specifically micro enterprises and their capability to adopt information
communication technology (ICT) innovatively.
This thesis focuses on the current ICT levels of the survivalist entrepreneurs, in other words “what I
make today puts bread on the table tonight” entrepreneurs. By following an interpretive approach, using
both questionnaires and interviews, the researcher firstly set out to understand these entrepreneurs
and how they are currently using ICT. Secondly, the training provided as part of the government initiative
was investigated to see if ICT and specifically e-skill training has changed the success of these
entrepreneurs, to ensure it was not only been implemented but also effectively used over time. The first
model used to determine the ICT adoption is the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology
(UTAUT) developed by Venkatesh, Morris, Davis and Davis in 2003. To determine the training of
entrepreneurs the “Content model for entrepreneurship education” (E/P) by Van Vuuren and Nieman
was investigated; this model is used as part of the government project to train entrepreneurs.
This thesis contributes to the body of knowledge in that it firstly provides an ICT profile of the
entrepreneur, explaining how entrepreneurs are currently engaging in ICT. Secondly this thesis
determined that for entrepreneurs to become successful, they have to work with fellow entrepreneurs
in their communities in not only taking on projects together but also assisting in referrals of their fellow
entrepreneurs. This thesis also makes a contribution to theory by incorporating ICT training into the
content model of entrepreneurship training as part of the business skills training of the model. The last
contribution, related to the previous one, is the actual ICT training program for these entrepreneurs. .
This thesis also expands the ICT literature by introducing the E/P model into ICT literature. And lastly,
the thesis includes a list of technologies that can assist an entrepreneur in improving his/her business.