Uses, challenges and training needs regarding business skills for fashion entrepreneurs in the Emfuleni Local Municipality

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Nana, Keshni
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Vaal University of Technology
Fashion entrepreneurs with no formal fashion-related education or training are hereafter referred to by the acronym FEWFFET (fashion entrepreneurs without formal fashion-related education or training). Entrepreneurship provides a feasible means of employment in a country where national unemployment rates are alarmingly high. To succeed, entrepreneurs require business knowledge and skill to operate profitable and sustainable businesses. However, entrepreneurs who were previously disadvantaged often possess only low levels of education, limited qualifications and training. This applies to survivalist fashion entrepreneurs in the Sedibeng District Municipality (SDM) who produce various items of apparel and clothing. Over a third of these entrepreneurs are not formally educated in business management and may not possess the adequate knowledge to operate their fashion business successfully. The research aim was to investigate the uses and challenges pertaining to business skills amongst FEWFFET to determine their business skills training needs. The sample population included 105 black fashion entrepreneurs, operating micro, survivalist enterprises within peri-urban, resource-poor communities in the Emfuleni Local Municipality (ELM) of Sedibeng, Gauteng. A quantitative study using non-probability purposive sampling and snowball sampling was performed. Interviewer-administered questionnaires were conducted with respondents at fabric and haberdashery stores or within their home-business environments. The results indicated that respondents lacked business plan development skills and showed only moderate skills in finance and marketing. Respondents indicated business skills training needs for developing a business plan, conducting basic bookkeeping, determining correct product pricing, drafting quotations and invoices, developing a budget, conducting basic market research and advertising their products and services.
M. Tech. (Department of Visual Arts and Design, Faculty of Human Sciences), Vaal University of Technology.
Business skills, Entrepreneur, Fashion entrepreneur, Peri-urban, Small, medium and micro enterprise (SMME), Survivalist, Training needs