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TitleThe contribution of mentorship as an entrepreneurial learning mechanism for South African entrepreneurs
AuthorJohnston, Kathryn
SubjectEntrepreneurial Learning
SubjectMentorship and Entrepreneurial Mentorship
TypeMaster Thesis
AbstractExisting research in the field of mentorship as a mechanism for entrepreneurial learning suggests a requirement for more studies. Previous empirical research in the field has predominantly focussed on the workplace context and not the entrepreneur. The current research available in the field of entrepreneurial mentorship and its contribution to the business success of entrepreneurs is even more limited in the South African context. The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the perceived contribution that mentorship makes as a vehicle for learning and development for South African entrepreneurs. In this mixed methods triangulation parallel design study, the qualitative component encompassed semi-structured interviews, presenting the narrative of twelve South African franchise principals who were entrepreneurs. The quantitative component consisted of an online survey which received responses from 35 business consultants. The surveys were created to capture perceptions of mentorship and what aspects were considered as important variables in the mentor-mentee match. Key findings of this research were that mentorship was perceived to contribute to entrepreneurs" personal and business success. The sample highlighted that the nature of the contribution of mentorship was related to business management support and/or psychosocial support. The study found that the entrepreneurs perceived the mentor"s experience and performance track as vital to the success of the mentor-mentee match and that it was critical that there was respect, trust and honesty in the relationship. This study contributes to the growing field of research in mentorship specifically in the context of entrepreneurial learning. This is critical in South Africa where there is an absolute need for an improved state of entrepreneurship and therefore efforts must be made to create the support to improve this current situation. The research also offers insight into variables that should be considered when matching a mentor and mentee to increase the likelihood of success of the mentorship. The results of this research could potentially be used in the construction of a mentorship network for entrepreneurs with a mentor-mentee matching system that takes these insights into account. Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial Learning, Mentorship and Entrepreneurial Mentorship
PublisherFaculty of Commerce
PublisherGraduate School of Business (GSB)