The lack of education and training is seen as South African entrepreneursí most frequently mentioned weakness. Therefore, this study addresses the training of entrepreneurs and reveals that education and training are crucial for the development and creation of entrepreneurs. The purpose of this study is to measure the effectiveness of the Women Entrepreneurship Programme (WEP), which was introduced to promote and encourage women entrepreneurs in South Africa. Furthermore, the study will provide a framework for and discuss content of future entrepreneurship training programmes.
The literature revealed the need for an entrepreneurship training programme that focuses specifically on the training needs of women. The WEP focuses on areas that are normally neglected in other entrepreneurship programmes and includes topics such as networking and support, the use of role models, confidence-building, and post-care training in the form of mentors and counsellors. The extension of the experimental design by using a control group allowed the effects and benefits of the training intervention (WEP) on the participants to be measured against the control group, hence widening the debate surrounding the rationale for interventions of this nature. The Chi-square test, t-test for independent samples, t-test for paired samples, Mann-Whitney test, and Wilcoxon matched-pairs test were executed to present the statistically significant differences between the experimental and control groups. The Kruskal-Wallis One-Way ANOVA test was also executed to illustrate statistical differences between various groups within the experimental group.
The findings of this empirical study have helped to highlight the benefits derived by the WEP delegates and that they gained new entrepreneurial, as well as business, skills and knowledge relevant to running a business; increased their confidence in their entrepreneurial abilities, and improved their employability, turnover, productivity and profit. Furthermore it should be emphasised that it was statistically proven that the WEP, as a training intervention, is effective in training potential, start-up and established women entrepreneurs in South Africa.