Research and Reports

National Directives for Entrepreneur and Small Business Support

  • Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Strategy, 2003
  • The Integrated Small Business Development Strategy in South Africa (2004–2014), 2003
  • Cooperatives Development Policy for South Africa, 2004
  • Youth Enterprise Development Strategy (2013–2023), 2013

[Conference] National Youth Entrepreneurship Conference, IDC

High unemployment compounded by scarcity of critical skills among the youth is one of the challenges confronting our youth.

The National Youth Entrepreneurship Conference tackles the relatively slow uptake of entrepreneurial opportunities by SA's youth, while driving awareness of the IDC's unique offering for entrepreneurs between the ages of 18-36 years.

Supporting Youth in Entrepreneurship - Summary report of a policy development seminar organised by the OECD and the European Commission, Brussels, 22nd-23rd September 2014

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and European Commission organised a seminar on public policy support for youth entrepreneurship in Brussels on 22nd and 23rd September 2014. The seminar was intended for senior policy-makers, particularly those involved in dealing with the European Social Fund.

The seminar examined:

  • The importance of developing youth entrepreneurship policies.
  • The EU funding opportunities for youth entrepreneurship programmes.
  • The ways in which obstacles to youth entrepreneurship can be addressed using specific programmes, illustrated by a number of inspiring practices.
  • Key aspects of successful youth entrepreneurship programmes.

Five ways to strengthen youth entrepreneurship

Youth unemployment is one of today’s big global challenges. The World Bank estimates we need 600 million new jobs in the next 10 years just to keep global employment rates constant and according to the International Labor Organization, 73.3 million of the world’s unemployed are young people (about 36%). Add ‘under-employed’ youth to this and the number triples; over 169 million young people earn less than US$2 per day. The problem is even greater in rural communities where increasing migration to urban areas around the world means a higher concentration of rural poverty.

Enterprise development unpacked: A tool for prosperity

This report explains how, through enterprise development, people can earn a living and rise out of poverty. In turn over time they create jobs as well as empower other individuals and the communities in which they live. Market development, commercial business services and social enterprise are part and parcel of Enterprise Development. Moreover it encompasses finance, entrepreneurship development, investment and growth in Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs), including initiatives that range from enabling the start-up of small businesses to providing business skills development through training, mentoring, coaching.

A comparison of enterprise development models in South Africa using case studies

This study uses qualitative case studies to analyse the implementation of two distinct approaches to BBBEE ED by firms that specialise in ED and offer services to companies in assisting them with SME development. 

The dti Youth Enterprise Development Strategy 2013-2023

This document should be viewed as a strategic framework that guides all stakeholders within the enterprise development fraternity to integrate support programmes with a view of creating the calibre of youth-owned businesses that are sustainable and can contribute meaningfully to the development of the country.

Barriers to Enterprise Development: The Case of SMMES Operating in the South African Motor Body Repair Sector.

This research investigates percieved barriers faced by Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises operating in the South African motor body repair sector.

The Enterprise Development Report launched by Impact Amplifier and New York University’s Center for Global Affairs (July 2013)

This research was designed, in light of changes to the B-BBEE Codes, to begin exploring the essence of Enterprise Development: its transformational potential. Since no previous studies have been made publically available, the starting point was to frame the landscape of current Enterprise Development strategies and understand how these are decided and implemented.

Enterprise Development Programmes For Black Entrepreneurs

Enterprise development involves the growing of small and medium-sized black businesses through the provision of finance and support, assisting in their business development and sustainability. In creating a programme for enterprise development, budding entrepreneurs and all they hire will earn a living, which in turn uplifts their quality of life. These programmes could lead to long term economic growth for entrepreneurs, their families and friends and their entire communities.

This article provides comprehensive listings of enterprise development opportunities.

Business Incubation for Small Enterprise Development: South African Pathways

The objective in this paper is to highlight the different pathways of contemporary business incubation occurring in South Africa with particular attention to the divergent trajectories as well as common challenges faced by the unfolding network of state-supported incubators and of private sector incubators. 

Business incubators in developing countries: characteristics and performance

This paper outlines the distinguishing characteristics of incubators in selected developing countries. Based on recent experiences, good practices and the lessons (to be) learned are drawn. 

Tourism, business linkages and small enterprise development in South Africa

These findings are presented from over 60 detailed interviews conducted with key enterprises and entrepreneurs involved in tourism, outsourcing and small enterprise development in South Africa. The aim is to examine opportunities for outsourcing and business linkage development in South Africa's tourism economy

The contribution of business incubators and technology stations to small enterprise development in South Africa

This paper examines the contribution of small business incubators to the development and promotion of small medium and micro enterprises. 

Tracking SMME Development in South Africa: Issues of Finance, Training and the Regulatory Environment


The aim is to provide a synthesis of existing research in South Africa concerning the three important themes of: (1) finance; (2) training and skills acquisition; and (3) the regulatory environment for SMME development. Several research gaps are identified for further analysis.