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Student Attitude towards Entrepreneurship: A South African and Dutch Comparison

Authors: Natanya Meyer, Johann Landsberg


Unemployment among the youth is a significant problem in South Africa. Large corporations and the public sector simply cannot create enough jobs. Too many youths in South Africa currently do not consider entrepreneurship as an option in order to become independent. Unlike the youth of the Netherlands, South African youth prefer to find employment in the public or private sector. The Netherlands has a much lower unemployment rate than South Africa and the Dutch are generally very entrepreneurial. From early on, entrepreneurship is considered a desirable career option in the Netherlands. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is a difference in the perceptions of some Dutch and South African students in terms of unemployment and entrepreneurship. Questionnaires were distributed to students at the North West University's Vaal Triangle campus in Vanderbijlpark in Gauteng, South Africa and the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands. A descriptive statistical analysis approach was followed and the means for the independent questions were calculated. The results demonstrate that the Dutch students are not as concerned about unemployment after completion of their studies as this is not as significant a problem as it is in South Africa. Both groups had positive responses towards the posed questions, but the South African group felt more strongly about the issues. Both groups of students felt that there was a need for more practical entrepreneurship training. The South African education system should focus on practical entrepreneurship training from a young age.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship Development, Unemployment, South Africa, entrepreneurship intention, Netherlands, entrepreneurship development programmes

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