News & events


The Role of Skills and Education in Predicting Micro-enterprise Performance

15 September 2016
12:30 - 13:30

Mr Francois Steenkamp
Development Policy Research Unit, University of Cape Town

Dr Glenda Kruss,
Human Sciences Research Council

Date:        15 September 2016 

Time:       12:30  – 13:30

    VCRs, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban

In light of South Africa’s high levels of unemployment and relatively small informal sector, enabling and supporting growth of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in the informal sector is of developmental importance and policy priority. The associated benefits of SMME growth, such as employment creation, enhancement of economic growth and poverty alleviation, provide further motivation for the prioritisation of this sector.

This seminar provides policy guidance concerning skills development initiatives to the SMME sector, by examining the determinants of SMME performance in South Africa, and in particular, the role played by education and skills in driving firm performance. We do this by firstly: using direct and indirect measures of skills to generate a human capital profile of SMME owners across both the formal and informal sectors. And, secondly: by using econometric analysis to examine the factors determining firm performance along two dimensions: financial performance and the ability to access market opportunities.
Results show that formal education is a key factor driving SMME performance. Higher levels of education are associated with higher returns to self-employment. Previous experience, and marketing, accounting and IT skills positively affect firm performance. However, SMME performance is influenced by a wide range of factors and policy interventions regarding skills should form part of a wider policy initiative aimed at enabling and supporting SMME growth in South Africa.

The HSRC seminar series is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The views and opinions expressed therein as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of DST.

Kindly RSVP by 14 September 2016

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