Youth Entrepreneurship in South Africa and Uganda

Investigation of the Influence of Mental Triggers


  • Dr. Ignatius Odongo


Youth entrepreneurship has remained a challenge for young people, communities, and governments alike, although it has been touted as a panacea for poverty alleviation and job creation. In South Africa and Uganda, the contribution of youth- owned enterprises to the gross domestic product remains small. South African youth are said to have limited skills, doubt their entrepreneurial potential, prefer employment, and ultimately lack a clear sense of entrepreneurial identity. In Uganda, less than one-half of the youth see themselves as having the skills to run their own business. Most of the youth operate low-margin businesses, with little differentiation amongst them, only able to take care of their daily needs.

The present summary condenses the findings of the doctoral research submitted to Monarch Business School Switzerland on Youth Entrepreneurship in South Africa and Uganda: An Investigation of the Influence of Mental Triggers. The background of the problem, concept of entrepreneurship in general, youth entrepreneurship in particular, including the relevant theoretical domains are discussed.

The methodology explored the research design, the rationale for the chosen method, and how it was applied in the research. The data chapter profiled the respondents and presented the data collected under nine thematic codes. The synthesis draws attention to how the data relates to the issues under investigation and presents the research contribution to new knowledge and how it fits within the theory praxis nexus. The summary and conclusion reiterated the key emerging issues and possible areas for further research.

The research investigated the influence of mental triggers with the aim of determining how they can be used to promote and develop youth entreprenuerhsip in South Africa and Uganda. The phenomenon of youth entrepreneurship is further defined along with methodological adaptation by using journey mapping to arrive at a new conceptual model that highlights factors related to mental triggers relevant to the promotion and development of youth entrepreneurship. The new conceptual model, which can also be construed as a youth entrepreneurship competency framework may impact aspiring youth entrepreneurs and their businesses and improve the effectiveness of youth entrepreneurship programmes within South Africa and Uganda.

Author Biography

Dr. Ignatius Odongo


[email protected]

Dr. Ignatius Odongo is a graduate of a Doctor of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship program at Monarch Business School Switzerland where he also holds a Master of Practicing Management. Dr. Odongo also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Strategic Marketing Management from the Chartered Institute of Marketing-CIM, UK. Dr. Odongo is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing with the designation FCIM. Recently, he was appointed a mentor of CIM’s global mentoring programme. Dr. Odongo’s research interests are in socio economic development, public health, microenterprise development, public policy and governance.

Dr. Odongo is the managing director of Entrepreneurship Journey (PTY) Ltd, Johannesburg, South Africa, a company specialising in helping people translate their ideas into viable business solutions. Dr. Odongo also works as a Director of Strategic Information at Strategic Analytics & Management PTY Ltd, a Pretoria-based public health strategic information firm. Dr Odongo has over 27 years of management and technical expertise. Since 2003, he has worked as a consultant, successfully implementing over 120 projects in Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. He has worked for over 70 organisations, including Mott McDonald, Unilever, Crown Beverages (PepsiCo franchisee), Central Bank of Uganda, East African Community, World Bank, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), German Development Corporation (GIZ), United Nations Agencies (UNICEF, UNESCO, UNFPA, and UNAIDS), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Belgian Technical Cooperation, Centers for Disease Control (CDC, USA), and South African Departments of Health, Social Development, Basic Education, Women, Youth and People with Disabilities, among others.

Dr. Odongo has been involved in several research projects sponsored by the Institute of Development Studies of the University of Sussex (UK), University Research Co. LLC (URC) Center for Human Services (USA), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health (Centre for Communication Programs), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Oxfam Great Britain, White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, World Vision International, ZOA Refugee Care and Save the Children. He has been involved in several research partnerships with the University of the Witwatersrand, University of Kwazulu Natal, Nelson Mandela University, and the Stellenbosch University in South Africa.

Youth Entrepreneurship and the Influence of Mental Triggers






Dissertation Summaries