Entrepreneurship teacher training and materials


Training and equipping 20 educators from five under-resourced Eastern Cape primary schools to use the Business Ventures programme to fulfil the outcomes of the Economic and Management Sciences (EMS) curriculum will make a contribution towards building a new generation of South African entrepreneurs.


The SAIE has a focused mission of providing entrepreneurship education to the foundation and primary phase, as we believe that this is a critical time when children and youth are, in fact, at their most entrepreneurial. It is also when the school system can do the most harm to these qualities. We believe, therefore, that if we can expose learners to entrepreneurship from as early as possible, we will be able to lay a solid foundation which can be further cemented with entrepreneurship in the Further Education and Training / secondary school grades.

With Business Ventures, educators are empowered to take the role of a mentor or guide who sends learners to various learning resources, from which learners discover new ideas and ways of thinking by means of experiential, action learning. In this way, the educator is able to interact with learners to bring out and develop their natural talents and capacities for creative and critical thinking. Most importantly, by facilitating learning through doing, educators themselves finally understand the principles behind outcomes-based education.


Over the past decade the mission of the South African Institute for Entrepreneurship (SAIE) has been to develop an entrepreneurial culture and mindset in youth and adults, and to assist in the creation of entrepreneurs. SAIE develops innovative materials that use original, creative methodologies, and trains educators and trainers to convey business skills and uncover entrepreneurship qualities. For the last five years, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor study has identified education and training as the key factor limiting an improvement to South Africa's low rate of entrepreneurial activity compared with other developing countries. In the schools setting, an SAIE programme called Business Ventures offers learners from Grades 2 to 12 the opportunity to engage in activities that capture their attention, stimulate their imagination and interest in business, whilst assisting them to develop entrepreneurial attitudes, habits and skills.

This project aims to run the Business Ventures programme in five selected Eastern Cape primary schools where teachers experience a lack of training and resource materials, and struggle to implement the EMS curriculum in a meaningful way that builds effective entrepreneurial skills in learners. The aim of the project is to establish "Entrepreneurial Learning Centres of Excellence" in Grades 5 and 7 in the five schools by providing initial training for two teachers per grade, two follow-up workshops and on-site visits, and Business Ventures learning materials for the classes.


  • This project follows an example of good practice in enterprise development by supporting the teaching of entrepreneurship skills in schools through training teachers and providing support materials that allow for experiential learning. Studies in South Africa for the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor have identified education and training as the key factor limiting the growth of entrepreneurialism, including the fact that "schools are not providing adequate instruction in entrepreneurship and economic principles, nor encouraging creativity, self-sufficiency and personal initiative" (GEM Report, 2004).
  • Using creative simulation, the programme targets this need by enabling participants to discover the ideas within themselves.
  • The materials are designed to empower teachers to manage large classes of 40 or more divided into five or six groups, each interacting with its own work card, in a process of self-directed, experiential learning. The educator can facilitate learning while drawing on a wealth of learner resources, including work cards, posters, artificial money, puppets, research assignments, assessment forms and progress charts. The resources can be reused over a minimum of a three-year period, maximising the impact of the intervention.


An investment of R81 072.83 will provide the Business Ventures programme materials for Grades 5 and 7, and provide educator training to 20 educators in five primary schools in the Eastern Cape province. Expected life change:

  • 20 educators will receive accredited training that equips them to take learners through the Economic and Management Sciences curriculum in these grades with confidence, while teaching meaningful entrepreneurial skills.
  • Over a three-year period during which the Business Ventures resource kits remain in good condition, a total of 1 200 learners will benefit directly from the programme and be better equipped to start their own businesses one day.
  • Direct life change at R66.46 per person.
  • The project has the potential to make a lasting contribution to the development of entrepreneurialism amongst learners and eventually to the economic growth of the region.

The project has a broad impact because it reaches all the learners in these two grades at these five schools - 1 200 learners over a three-year period. Its depth is somewhat limited by the fact that the programme will not be available in all the grades, but SAIE has proposed the initial intervention in Grades 5 and 7 as these grades often represent possible school exit points, thus ensuring that at least some financial literacy training is achieved with all learners. The intensity of the intervention is high because the learners and teachers will use the programme for several school periods per week over a whole school year. For those learners who go on to start entrepreneurial ventures, the impact of the project will be permanent.


The Eastern Cape province has a high rate of unemployment, and school-leavers' chances of finding formal employment are limited. For this reason, there is a need to create in learners an entrepreneurial frame of mind characterised by opportunity-seeking rather than job-seeking. Young potential entrepreneurs who have the ideas, enthusiasm and ability to identify and capitalise on new business opportunities need practical skills, as well as motivation, encouragement and support. Although the new Economic and Management Sciences curriculum covers entrepreneurialism, many teachers in Eastern Cape schools feel ill-equipped to teach these skills effectively, and lack the necessary training, resources and ideas for creative methodologies.


The proposed strategy is to:

  • provide each class with the learning materials to conduct the full Business Ventures programme
  • run a two-day training session with the 20 educators from the five schools, equipping them to start the programme with their classes immediately
  • conduct monitoring and evaluation throughout the school year in order to assess educators' performance and the impact of the programme on learners
  • accredit successful educators with National Qualifications Framework certificates at the end of the period.



In the preparation phase, SAIE will select five schools who show potential to benefit from the project, and liaise with their principals. The principals will discuss the objectives and requirements of the project with their Economic and Management Sciences teachers and make sure they are fully prepared.


In the implementation phase, an SAIE training officer will provide initial training for two Grade 5 and two Grade 7 teachers in each of the schools. The training officer will conduct two one-day follow-up support workshops, and will visit each class twice over the year. The project will provide the schools with full Business Ventures resource kits - which include a variety of resources which together provide the educator with the necessary content, logistics and methodology:

  • curriculum charts for managing the curriculum
  • learners' materials for managing classes with many learners
  • progress charts for managing the progress of learners through the outcomes
  • assessment forms for assessing learners efficiently and objectively.


Monitoring and evaluation will occur throughout the year of implementation in order to assess educators' performance and the impact of the programme against set performance criteria, established by both SAIE and its external evaluators. Questionnaires will be administered quarterly with educators and learners, and again at the end of the year. The educators can use progress charts to track the progress of each group of learners as they complete each work card. Absent learners and those who are struggling with particular concepts are able to form an ad hoc group to complete or revise certain work cards. The educator training is accredited in terms of the National Qualifications Framework, and each educator receives 14 credits towards their life-long learning.


Key Strengths

  • Concept: The SAIE training course directly addresses the need to build entrepreneurial skills whilst learners are still at school, to maximise their potential to become opportunity entrepreneurs once they leave school.
  • Design: SAIE has spent over 15 years developing the materials that most successfully facilitate this process of discovery learning - with results internationally demonstrating the effectiveness of the materials and the impact of the programme. The Business Venture programme is efficient for schools since no further textbooks are required to cover the Economic and Management Sciences curriculum. Educators are empowered to take the role of a mentor or guide, and by gaining experience in facilitating learning through doing, many will improve their understanding of the principles behind outcomes-based education.
  • Capability: SAIE training officers have extensive experience in training educators and implementing the Business Ventures programme in schools around the country.
  • Control: SAIE is a well established and sophisticated non profit organisation with very sound systems in place for administration and financial control.
  • Sustainability: If the educators carry on using the approach learnt through Business Ventures over the years, the project has the potential to make a sustained and lasting contribution to the development of entrepreneurialism amongst learners in these schools, eventually contributing to the region's economic growth.

Key Risks

  • Concept: Even when all learners are exposed to this kind of entrepreneurial training, there is a risk that only a small proportion will actually start their own businesses; since it is known that education is not the only determining factor in this regard.
  • Design: SAIE feel that the ideal way to learn entrepreneurial skills is to go through this programme every year from Grade 2 onwards - but by being limited to two grades, this project does not maximise the impact of repeated exposure.
  • Capability: The initial training may be too brief to ensure that all the educators have sufficient skill and commitment to follow through on the programme successfully, though this is mitigated by the follow-up sessions.
  • Sustainability: Once the lifespan of the resource materials is exhausted, there is a risk that the educators may stop using the approaches learnt through the project.

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Project Profile




South African Institute for Entrepreneurship


Eastern Cape


Small Business Development


12 months


ZAR 81 050





Project Location

Project Risk

Organisation Rating

Project Budget

Business Ventures licence and materialsR28 000
Training18 350
Follow-up session I10 500
Follow-up session II10 500
Administration8 419

Total required:75 769
SASIX administration5281

TOTAL project budget:R81 050

Small Business Development

With South Africa's unemployment rate as high as 40 percent in terms of a broad definition, the accelerated creation of sustainable small and micro enterprises is essential both to economic growth and to future socio-political stability. Township and rural-based enterprises, in particular, have the potential to create jobs and alleviate poverty by channelling resources into disadvantaged communities.

Research shows that our country has a low rate of entrepreneurial activity compared with other developing countries, with entrepreneurs contributing only 35% of GDP, compared with 60% in countries like India and Brazil. In addition, only 80% of all new SA businesses survive past the first two years - a low rate when compared with other developing countries. According to the annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor study, the key factor influencing entrepreneurial activity in South Africa is the lack of effective education and training in entrepreneurial skills and basic financial literacy.

The large majority of new small businesses are operated out of necessity - people eeking out a living through informal trading and service provision because there is no alternative. These necessity entrepreneurs frequently have little or no access to computers, telephones, transport, banks and government services, and lack the financial literacy and business administration skills to sustain and expand their businesses.

Opportunities exist to invest in educating informal traders and community members in business administration and financial literacy, and in supporting the expansion of entrepreneurship education in schools and colleges. There is a need to invest in the extension of services that advise and support start-up businesses to previously marginalised areas, and to support initiatives to create community investment trusts and co-operatives that undertake productive activity. There are also exciting opportunities to help dynamic entrepreneurs in poor communities to purchase new equipment or set up business premises, creating employment in their communities.


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Trades in this project

  • Cadiz Financial Strategists (1556 shares)
  • OMAM (10 shares)
  • Futuregrowth Asset Management (10 shares)
  • Pallavi Ambekar (10 shares)
  • Semadi Motau (5 shares)
  • Franz Kies (20 shares)
  • Ian Couper (10 shares)

Understanding risk

We use a comprehensive selection and evaluation process to assess SASIX projects. When evaluating an organisation's overall risk profile we look at:

Concept - the project's approach to addressing the need.

Design - the use of effective and proven methods.

Capability - the organisation's leadership depth and expertise.

Control - transparency, governance and financial management.

Sustainability - lasting impact.

External - factors outside of the organisation's control.