The IUP Journal of Entrepreneurship Development
The Impact of Business Acumen and Startup Skills on Entrepreneurial Development

Article Details
Pub. Date : March, 2020
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Entrepreneurship Development
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJED10320
Author Name :Lifuo Makhele, Brian Barnard
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Management Journals
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 34



A business' performance is influenced by multiple variables such as the entrepreneur's characteristics, behavior and other environmental influences. However, the literature allocates minimal focus on the basics of entrepreneurship such as business acumen and startup skills. The present paper examines the impact of business acumen and startup skills on entrepreneurial development and success by exploring how much of business acumen is required to affect success and how entrepreneurs can develop business acumen. Furthermore, the paper explores the factors that influence startup skills and how entrepreneurs can develop startup skills. Entrepreneurs from various industries with more than two years of entrepreneurial experience were studied. A qualitative research approach was utilized for this study. Open-ended questions were constructed and interviews were carried out with experienced entrepreneurs. Although business acumen is perceived as a basic skill, this study discovered that entrepreneurs face challenges during the startup phase that are attributed to lack of or poor business acumen. Poor market intelligence, financial management and business administration leading to less or no profit generation are some of the challenges entrepreneurs face. This study further identified that entrepreneurs need a sufficient level of business acumen for their businesses to be successful, and that it may take up to a period of five years for one to acquire adequate levels of business acumen. It was also identified that there are numerous learning channels for acquiring the skill such as reading, formal education and mentorship.


Entrepreneurship is vital for economic growth and social development of any country. The process of entrepreneurship leads to job creation which in turn has a direct positive effect on the economy. Furthermore, entrepreneurship is necessary for any emerging market to move forward and to integrate into the global economy. The growth engine for economies worldwide is entrepreneurship (Le Roux and Steyn, 2013). The challenge faced by governments and schools has been to encourage entrepreneurship among the general population. There are not enough successful growing businesses in South Africa and not nearly enough successful entrepreneurs for the sustained economic development needed by the country (Le Roux and Steyn, 2013).


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