Original Research

The effect of entrepreneurship education programmes on the development of self-efficacy, entrepreneurial intention and predictions for entrepreneurial activity

Sara Bux, Jurie van Vuuren
Acta Commercii | Vol 19, No 2 | a615 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v19i2.615 | © 2019 Sara Bux, Jurie van Vuuren | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 March 2018 | Published: 31 July 2019

About the author(s)

Sara Bux, Department of Business Management, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Jurie van Vuuren, Department of Business Management, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


Orientation: South Africa is currently facing a youth unemployment crisis. Confirmation of the problem was situated in our review of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey, Quarter 3, 2015. We found that the 15–24 years age group was most affected where many were neither in employment, education or training. We asked whether the promotion of entrepreneurship among youth could be a potential solution.

Research purpose: Our research sought to investigate whether there existed a correlation between exposure to entrepreneurship education (EE) and the development of self-efficacy in high school South African youth in the age group of 15–18 years. We also investigated if the programme duration would influence the degree to which self-efficacy was developed, and the correlation of self-efficacy with entrepreneurial and entrepreneurial intention as a predictor of entrepreneurial activity.

Motivation for the study: Our motivation stemmed from the belief that the youth unemployment crisis will not be solved by formal employment; that entrepreneurship education needed to be promoted at the school level to address skills mismatches between education and employment creation.

Research design, approach and method: We collected our data through a questionnaire from two samples of students taking the Junior Achievement programme. 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. We collected data around the participants’ perceptions of self-efficacy post-entrepreneurship education intervention. We used Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) and Structural Equation Model (SEM) to analyse our data. Our tests of reliability and validity by use of CFA and SEM confirmed that we were using a stable model.

Main findings: The research found positive correlations between the items comprising self-efficacy that can be developed through EE. Also, EE of a longer duration had stronger positive correlations with such items.

Practical/managerial implications: We make practical recommendations pertinent to the type of EE schools ought to introduce.

Contribution/value-add: Our research contributed to existing theory about the influence of EE on the development of self-efficacy.


entrepreneurial mindset; self-efficacy; entrepreneurship education; South African youth; entrepreneurial intention; entrepreneurial activity


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