Entrepreneurs rising, research shows 72% of African students consider starting a company

By Ben White on November 20, 2012

The Association of Business Executives (ABE) is a British qualifications body, which provides a range of business management qualifications to more than 50,000 students worldwide every year. ABE was interested to find out about attitudes to entrepreneurship to tie in with its new Diploma in Entrepreneurship and so undertook a survey of more than 12,000 of its students in Africa. Here are a few highlights:

1 Would you rather be employed or self-employed?

72% would rather be self-employed compared to 28% who would rather be employed. There was a slight difference between men and women in that 74% of men would rather be self- employed as opposed to 69% of women. Similarly for younger students (up to 29 years old), 73% would rather be self-employed compared to 69% of older students (30 years old and above).

2 Would you like to be the boss of other people?

93% would like to be the boss of other people. There was no difference between men and women and younger and older students in the answers to this question.

3 Do you see yourself setting up your own business?

Nineteen in every twenty students (95%) see themselves setting up their own business. This figure was consistent between both male and female and young and old.

4 If yes, over what time frame will you start your business?

One fifth (21%) of respondents plan to start in two years. 10% The numbers planning to start in 1, 3 and 5 years were 5% broadly similar (15%), but 14% plan to start within a year.

5 If yes, what do you envisage as your place of work?

6 Which business person do you admire most?

There were some interesting differences in responses across the gender and age demographics. Both sexes admired Bill Gates equally (37%), but Steve Jobs was more popular with females (19%) than males (15%) and Richard Branson was more popular with males (11%) than females (9%). When split by age, Bill Gates was more admired by older students (41%) than younger (34%), whereas Steve Jobs was more admired by younger students (19%) than older (13%).

7 What are the most important qualities necessary for an entrepreneur?

See the full report with results. And do you have research you would like to share with the VC4Africa community? Please contact me at ben@vc4africa.biz.

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