Entrepreneurship Training through Open Distance and eLearning at the Institute of Distance Education, University of Eswatini
Prof Chandraiah Esampally, Prof Cosmas Maphosa, Dr. Khetsiwe Eunice Mthethwa-Kunene & Mr. Sibusiso Candric Shezi
Journal Title:Journal of Economics and Finance
Entrepreneurship training is the most powerful tool to change the economy of a country. FinScope Survey(2017) indicates that Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Sector in the Kingdom of Eswatini has been recognized as a significant contributor to livelihood, mass employment and economic growth. ‘The University of Eswatini, in line with its strategic plan and in collaboration with Commonwealth of Learning (COL), proposed to offer short-term integrated Micro, Small and Medium Entrepreneurship training programme to support for the disadvantaged young women, men and adults through Open Distance and eLearning Delivery (ODeL) mode at the University of Eswatini (UNESWA) from 2020/2021 academic year. It is proposed to run both Certificate and shortterm non-credit programmes. Field work for the core survey was undertaken between May and June 2019 and data was collected from 214 MSME Entrepreneurs from all four regions (Hhohho, Lubombo, Manzini and Shiselweni regions) of the country. The fieldwork was conducted by staff from the Institute of Distance Education at the University of Eswatini. An overall response rate of 100% was achieved. The main results of survey are: (i) about 98% of the MSME entrepreneurs are willing to acquire more skills to develop their businesses as majority of them indicated that they have developed experience on the job with little training; (ii) Majority of the entrepreneurs prefer short-term training programmes using ODeL as a delivery method; (iii) About 78% of the sampled entrepreneurs do not understand the taxation compliance requirements as well as existence of government development programmes.