Prof Elmarie Venter and Prof Shelley Farrington from the Nelson Mandela University Family Business Unit, and Mr Alan Barr of KPMG South Africa, presented a paper at the annual International Family Enterprise Research Academy (IFERA) 2021 Conference.

The title of their presentation was: ‘Exploring the nature of entrepreneurial orientation in African family businesses: Implications for future research’. The Conference was hosted online from 14-25 June, by Santander (Spain).

Using a survey method and cross-sectional research design, the research examined five dimensions of EO amongst 122 family businesses from 9 African countries. The results revealed that African family businesses demonstrate strong Innovativeness, Proactiveness and Autonomy, while the Risk-taking and Competitive aggressive dimensions were much weaker. The economic perspectives of respondents post Covid-19 were positively correlated with Innovativeness, Autonomy and ProactivenessAutonomy and Proactiveness were found to be significant predictors of Turnover. Significant differences in the average score of the EO dimensions according to country were obtained for the Overall EO, Innovation, Proactiveness and Competitive aggressiveness, illustrating that heterogeneity exists amongst African family businesses.

Whilst the immediate future is uncertain, African family businesses are focused on the future and are looking to diversify their businesses to continue growing in this rapidly changing global and African business environment.

Contact information
Prof Shelley Farrington
Professor in Business Management
Tel: 041 504 2203

Prof Elmarie Venter
Professor in Business Management
Tel: 041 504 2204