Abstract or Introduction
The purpose of this research was to investigate how stakeholders in the Nelson Mandela Bay start-up ecosystem can enhance awareness of digital tools. Firstly, challenges that aspiring entrepreneurs in South Africa face in their early start-up activities were identified by the researcher. Secondly, barriers to using digital tools on their entrepreneurial journeys were discovered. Lastly, implications of these challenges and barriers for the efforts of relevant stakeholders in Nelson Mandela Bay were identified in order to propose strategies for effective and target-group-oriented start-up support.
The researcher used a case study approach and qualitative data was collected through a) focus group discussions with twelve incubatees from two business incubators in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and b) participant observations during a three-month research stay. Design Thinking workshops were facilitated to conduct further research and to come up with strategies that will help enhance awareness of digital tools in the regional start-up ecosystem. Data analysis methods included keyword cloud analysis, qualitative content analysis, and an in-depth target group analysis. Up until now, incubatees of business incubators in Nelson Mandela Bay have not been able to exploit opportunities presented through information and communication technologies and their needs in this area have, therefore, been largely neglected. This is due to a lack of communication and cooperation between relevant stakeholders in the Nelson Mandela Bay start-up ecosystem and the fact that the digital divide has not yet been fully recognised by existing business incubation programmes.
This study has proposed several strategies that can ultimately enhance awareness of digital tools. In order to create a better understanding of barriers to using digital tools amongst the target group, personas and empathy maps were created. Furthermore, the researcher developed a comprehensive overview of digital tools. The in-depth target group analysis revealed four types of aspiring entrepreneurs who could potentially represent the whole of South Africa. Early start-up activities, which can enable aspiring entrepreneurs to establish their business successfully in a dynamic market, were also identified. The Lean Startup and Design Thinking methodology enabled the researcher to generate practice- and goal-oriented results due to their potential of meeting the underlying needs of this study’s target group.
- Quote paper
- Mareike Hinrichs (Author), 2019, Enhancing Awareness of Digital Tools for Aspiring Entrepreneurs in South Africa, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/990575