An Investigation into the Obstacles to Youth Entrepreneurship in Botswana
Youth entrepreneurship has been argued to create a number of benefits, among others, an option to create employment for the youth; young entrepreneurs are more likely to hire fellow youths; and that young entrepreneurs are particularly responsive to new economic opportunities and trends (GEM global report, 2012). The main objective of this research is to identify obstacles to youth entrepreneurship in Botswana, using standardised data. We adopted a nationwide 2013 Adult Population Survey (APS) data provided by GEM to develop this study. A total of 2204 respondents we surveyed, 1272 among them youth (18-35 years) and the results showed that youth entrepreneurship is low in Botswana, with more than half of youth (52%) stating that it is difficult to start a new business in Botswana. Though 76% of youth revealed that owning a business is a better way of earning a living, quiet disturbing is that youth strongly agreed that those who started their own business where they live did so because they could not find jobs. Still with regard to where they live, youth strongly rated top two challenges as the difficulty in starting new businesses and lack of business knowledge. Overall, the top two barriers decried by youth are inappropriate funding (38%) and lack of business skills (25%). It is against this backdrop that we are calling for government and other policy makers to motivate youth to start new businesses as vocations and not out of frastration and also to improve on the existing funding models for youth over and above the current youth programmes such as Youth Development Fund. Futhermore, this can be doneÂ by ensuring that youth undergo more rigorous business awareness, Â incubation and training to boost their already lacking business skills. This initiative will enhance functionsÂ performed by such government organs as Local Entreprise Authority(LEA).
Key words: youth entrepreneurship, challenges, barriers, GEM methodology, Botswana
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