LMIP-HSRC Seminar Series: The role of skills and education in predicting micro-enterprise performance

Event date: 
Thursday, 15 September 2016 -
12:30pm to 1:30pm

Human Sciences Research Council - Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town (HSRC Video Conferencing Rooms VCRs)


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


Dr Glenda Kruss - Human Sciences Research Council

About this seminar: 

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.

Venues and contacts:

Cape Town: HSRC, 12th Floor, Plein Park Building (Opposite Revenue Office), Plein Street, Cape Town. Contact Jean Witten: Tel (021) 4668004 Email [email protected]

Durban: HSRC, The Atrium, 5th Floor, 430 Peter Mokaba Ridge, Berea, 4001, Contact Ridhwaan Khan: Tel (031) 242 5400 Cell 083 788 2786 Email [email protected]

Pretoria: HSRC, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Contact Arlene Grossberg: Tel (012) 302 2811 Email [email protected]

Please RSVP by 14 September 2016