Innovation and Risk-taking Propensity of Generation Y Students in South Africa

Habofanwe Andreas Koloba, Christopher May


Unemployment is a major problem in South Africa, especially among the Generation Y cohort. Many studies have been conducted not only in South Africa but across the world in an attempt to stem the tide of the continued rise in unemployment. Entrepreneurship, amongst other things, helps create jobs and generate wealth. The objective of this research study was to determine the perceptions of Generation Y students as regarding themselves as being innovative and risk-takers from an entrepreneurial perspective. Innovation and the willingness to take risk have been identified as important factors to become an entrepreneur. To collect the necessary data a convenience sampling method was employed where students were selected from two higher education institutions. A self-administered questionnaire was given to students to complete. The data were analysed using Principal Components Analysis to determine which items loaded on the two different constructs. T-tests were used to identify differences in responses from males and females as well as from designated racial groups. There were no significant differences found with regard to the innovative propensity construct between males and females, as well as between the two designated racial groups. While there were no significant differences the study showed that students had innovative characteristics. However, a number of significant differences were found with regard to the risk-taking propensity construct between the different groups as one designated racial group was more willing to take risks. It can be recommended that higher education institutions need to look at ways of how these entrepreneurial skills can be harnessed.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n21p19

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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