Original Research

Focused training programmes for solving growth problems of very small businesses

S. Perks, E. E. Smith
Acta Commercii | Vol 8, No 1 | a77 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v8i1.77 | © 2008 S. Perks, E. E. Smith | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 December 2008 | Published: 05 December 2008

About the author(s)

S. Perks, Department of Business Management, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
E. E. Smith, Department of Business Management, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa

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Abstract

Purpose and objectives: The purpose of the study is to investigate the various types of focused training programmes that should be designed for eliminating or preventing small business growth problems. To help achieve this main objective, the following secondary goals are identified :
  • To highlight the role and nature of entrepreneurial training.
  • To identify possible focused training programmes for solving very small business problems.
  • To determine how training programmes should be structured to target very small business growth problems.
  • To explore which other method(s), besides training programmes could be uitilised for solving very small black business entrepreneurs' growth problems.
  • To provide trainers with guidelines in designing focused training programmes for solving very small business problems.


Problem investigated: South African entrepreneurs have a poor skills record, which inhibits small business growth. The needs of a business changes as the business grows, resulting in growing pains for the very small business entrepreneur. Successful entrepreneurs are not necessarily academically inclined and often learn in a more dynamic, non-linear environment, therefore various specific focused training programmes need to be designed that can assist very small business entrepreneurs in eliminating or preventing small business growth problems.

Methodology: A qualitative study was done, in which an empirical survey was conducted by means of a series of in-depth interviews with ten very small black business entrepreneurs.

Findings: The empirical results identified seven types of training programmes focusing on financial management computer training, operations management, people management, marketing management, management and investment management. Other training programmes indicated were stress management, time management and security management. Within each of these types of training programmes specific focus areas were identified.

Value of the research: The value of the research lies in the fact that specific focus areas were identified within the training programmes. Other studies have attempted to identify training programmes but the content thereof was not necessarily linked to the problems that very small businesses experienced, especially when attempting to grow. Time-, staff- and financial constraints regarding training programmes can be overcome.

Conclusions: Training programmes should focus on specific training areas, be after hours and be well publicised. Computer training should preferably be on site on a one-to-one basis. Training programmes should suit the skills level of the very small business entrepreneurs and be broken up into smaller sessions to ensure understanding and meeting time constraints.


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