Entrepreneurship has been proven to contribute to employment creation and economic development in both developed and developing countries. It is increasingly being recognised as a vehicle for bringing about transformation to production methods and processes through innovation, and it is also believed to result in greater efficiency to the agriculture and other extraction industries. Researchers have demonstrated that entrepreneurship can be enhanced if an enabling environment that promotes entrepreneurial activities is fostered. It has also been acknowledged that research in agricultural entrepreneurship has not progressed as much as in other spheres of social science. To date, there are no scientifically published models focusing on entrepreneurial performance in an agricultural context. Such a model is needed in order to promote entrepreneurially oriented agricultural practices, potentially providing a solution to the challenges in the agriculture sector.
This study aims to fill this gap by developing an agricultural-entrepreneurial development model that provides a basis for enhancing entrepreneurial performance in the agriculture sector. Drawing on literature in the fields of entrepreneurship and agriculture, the study identifies and uses relevant constructs to develop the conceptual model and statistical model, with the aim of measuring entrepreneurial performance. In this context, it is necessary to establish whether the identified constructs, individually and collectively, measure entrepreneurial performance.
In the empirical section of the study, a cross-sectional research design is used to collect data from farmers targeted by the land reform programme in Namibia. The data collection instrument is a structured questionnaire which is informed by validated scales with a bearing on the constructs of this model. The sample is drawn from farmers benefiting from the National Resettlement Programme (NRP), and the Affirmative Action Loan Scheme (AALS), administered by the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement, and Agribank, respectively. The study employs the Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) statistical technique, specifically Partial Least Squares (PLS-SEM), to examine the relationships between the exogenous constructs (supportive environment, cooperative environment, entrepreneurial orientation, entrepreneurial competencies, agricultural sustainability) and the endogenous constructs (entrepreneurial performance and entrepreneurial outcomes).
The results reveal that supportive environment, entrepreneurial orientation and agricultural sustainability, have a positive impact on entrepreneurial performance, and that cooperative environment and entrepreneurial competencies do not influence entrepreneurial performance. The results also reveal that entrepreneurial performance in an agricultural context leads to agricultural productivity and increased incomes for farmers, but it does not improve their livelihoods.
The study, whilst serving as a useful framework in policy formulation for agricultural entrepreneurial performance, and therefore agricultural growth, highlights areas where further research is required in order to solidify the field of entrepreneurship with a lens on agriculture. It is hoped that it will spur other scholars to advance research in the discipline of entrepreneurship, particularly agricultural entrepreneurship.