Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University
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Abstract Details

Entrepreneurship as a Career Option for African Youths
Vol. Volume 16 Number 1 March/2011

Beem H. Beeka Mike Rimmington
This paper presents findings from a pilot study of four African entrepreneurs new to established, all who started their business as young people. Their narratives, enhanced by the inclusion of significant events derived by the use of the critical incident technique, provided useful oral insights into their entrepreneurial heuristics and behavior. These reveal key influences and critical issues that affect the young African's decision to start a business and also perspectives into the nature of entrepreneurship in Africa. This paper concludes that the dichotomy between push and pull entrepreneurship is oversimplified, and social structures such as class, education and family background impact on ideas, opportunities, resources, skills and motivation. But most importantly, entrepreneurship can survive in an environment with many constraints, because career choices are influenced by the youth entrepreneur's perception, decision-making abilities and experiences. Implications are drawn for the development of young entrepreneurs in Africa.

Keywords: Young African, critical incidents, heuristics, opportunity recognition, entrepreneurship