South Africa is currently experiencing a youth unemployment crisis. Xavier, Kelley, Kew, Herrington and Vorderwulbecke (2012) suggest that of greater concern is the inability of South Africa's formal sector to create jobs at the required rate to address issues of poverty reduction and job creation. An unemployment analysis and a segmentation of the general unemployment statistics indicated this to be a specific problem for the 15-24 age cohort not in employment, education or training (NEETs). Moreover, it is concerning to note that one in 12 young people have given up looking for work (QLFS 3: 2015).
As South Africa is a developing nation, it has a high rate of unemployment, resulting in many discouraged young job seekers. This issue has triggered the South African government's efforts to transform the country's youth unemployment crisis through the promotion of entrepreneurship. The critical question, however, is: How does South Africa change the mind-sets of its youth to venture into start-up business rather than to remain job seekers?
This research will build on that perspective by examining the systematic effort of developing entrepreneurial mind-set through the promotion of entrepreneurship education. This research will posit that there is value to systematising entrepreneurship education within the FET band of basic education provision as a means to developing the entrepreneurial mind-set which could potentially result in a shift in South African youth's perceptions of career aspirations.
To answer the three main research questions and the five primary and thirty secondary research hypotheses, the research aimed at a primary and secondary objective. The primary aim of this study was to conduct an assessment of entrepreneurship education programmes on participants in the grades 10 to 12, in the normative age group of 15 to 18. The primary objective was to describe the participants' experience of the entrepreneurship education programme (moderated by the programme duration) in the referred group in terms of their perceptions of self-efficacy, inner locus of control and need for achievement.
The secondary aim of this study was to conduct an assessment of entrepreneurship education programmes on participants in the grades 10 to 12, in the normative age group of 15 to 18. The secondary objective was to describe the participants' experience of the entrepreneurship education programmes in the referred group and the effect on their perceptions of self-efficacy, inner locus of control, need for achievement, entrepreneurial intentions and predictions of entrepreneurial activity.
The study adopted a quantitative approach and adopted the use of a Likert scale questionnaire. Of the 1 200 questionnaires distributed, 637 were usable for the short entrepreneurship education programme and 381 were usable for the long entrepreneurship education programme. The purposive sampling technique was adopted.
Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to test the goodness-to-fit and the hypotheses developed for the study. The proposed model was modified and led to a competing model. Structural equation modelling (SEM), using AMOS, was adopted to analyse the data. The research adopted descriptive statistics to describe the demographic profile of the participants. Inferential statistics were used as well.
The research provided findings and conclusions on the participants' profile, the comparison of the short and long programme entrepreneurship education programmes and an overview of the hypotheses testing. Support was found for four of the five primary hypotheses and twenty-eight of the thirty secondary hypotheses.
The findings and conclusions would have contributed to theory and knowledge about the entrepreneurial mind-set of South African youth and to the body of knowledge on entrepreneurship education in South African high schools. The research also proposed recommendations and suggestions for further research in exploration of entrepreneurship education, the entrepreneurial mind-set and entrepreneurial intention in South Africa.