2019 Graduation ceremony for the College of Humanities at UKZN Westville, 5 April 2019.

Doctoral Graduate Explores Ways to Assist Young Entrepreneurs Start Their Own Businesses

Research on how to enable more young South Africans to start their own businesses was carried out by Doctorate in Management, Mr John Nyamunda.

Nyamunda said it has been a long and hard road to get his doctorate but the journey was made bearable by his supervisor Dr Thea van der Westhuizen who was there to challenge him when he was slacking and open doors for him when things got frustrating.’

‘Many students pursue entrepreneurship with the aim of one day starting their own businesses and yet the education system seems to keep producing entrepreneurship graduates who also join the long unemployment queues looking for jobs. This is mainly because they feel ill equipped to launch out on their own,’ he said.

‘South Africa’s unemployment rate is among the highest in the world, consistently measuring above 25%, and about 50% of the youth is unemployed. This is a national crisis that feeds three of the country’s big socio-economic challenges: poverty, inequality and crime.’

Nyamunda was driven by the unemployment figures and his research focused on how to transform young folk from a non-entrepreneurial background into being entrepreneurs.

The father of three, with his eldest being a third-year Engineering student, has worked hard and realised his dream of graduating with a PhD, partly to show his children that lots of things are possible with hard work.

‘Being awarded my doctorate is a dream come true. What matters is keeping your eye on the goal and developing habits which lead to success,’ he said.

Nyamunda is keen to work with people who want to realise better outcomes for entrepreneurs.

Words: Lungile Ngubelanga
Photograph: Rogan Ward