Small business opportunities within the

Show simple item record Swanepoel, Ezánne 2011-06-22T08:20:31Z 2011-06-22T08:20:31Z 2011-06-22
dc.description MBA - WBS en_US
dc.description.abstract The field of biotechnology is diverse and the industry is immature in comparison to other sectors. Biotechnology represents the convergence of biology, computer science, chemistry, physics, and engineering, working in synergy (Cardinal & Opler, 1995). This industry is a starting point for utilising the continent's indigenous resources to strengthen South Africa, and Africa, economically. By broadening the scope to include innovation, business can increase opportunities in the industry. This research aimed to provide insight into four key elements relating to the development of small business opportunities in the biotechnology industry of South Africa i.e. the factors influencing small business opportunities; the promoters for and shortcomings to successful development of small business opportunities; and the varying stakeholder perceptions with respect to the first three sub-problems. The research outcome was as follows: The majority of stakeholders agreed that the factors that have to be considered in order to create or develop small business opportunities within the biotechnology industry of South Africa are training, industry structure, funding, barriers to entry and regulatory environment. One of the biggest challenges for professionals within the biotechnology industry is that they have no business or entrepreneurial training in their formal degree structure, and therefore they are not adequately equipped with the knowledge and expertise to seek out small business opportunities. Further the current industry does not allow for incubation or implementation of scientific business ideas from the laboratory level to market level, primarily due to lack of appropriate funding and the regulatory environment. The various stakeholder groups reached a broad consensus in terms of the type of shortcomings that the biotechnology industry faces in developing small business opportunities in South Africa. Business leadership, funding and brain drain were the most commonly cited shortcomings by the different stakeholders. Due to lack of business training within the scientific curriculum, most stakeholders were of the opinion that there should be business leadership in place to assist scientists in making entrepreneurial/business decisions during product development. Further, due to changes in the educational system, lack of personal incentives within the working environment, political pressure and a limited resource capacity many top 3 professionals within the South African system have been lost due to better opportunities in other countries (brain drain). Other shortcomings pertaining to the biotechnology industry were high barriers to entry (national and international), a regulatory environment that does not protect national products, resources or individuals from international competition, as well as, a fragmented industry (very powerful private sector that taps the governmental and academic system), which sometimes led to power play/lack of trust between the stakeholders. The various stakeholder groups reached a broad consensus in terms of the type of promoters that the biotechnology industry can use to developing small business opportunities in South Africa. Business training, funding and weakening barriers to entry were the top three cited promoters, and all the stakeholders cited weakening of barriers to entry. Respondents believed that by focusing on these issues, the chances for a successful implementation process would be enhanced. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Biotechnology industry en_US
dc.subject Small businesses en_US
dc.title Small business opportunities within the en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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