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Entrepreneurial Failure and South Africa's Performance in the World Trading Environment


  • Mitchell Kellman

    (New York City College)

  • Trevor Roxo

    (University of Transkei)

  • Yochanan Shachmurove

    (New York City College)


In the past four decades, Sub Sahara Africa has been notable in its relative development-performance failure. There exists a growing literature emphasizing the role of the entrepreneur as an essential element in economic development. We argue that the relatively sluggish growth observed in South Africa may be attributed, at least in part, to entrepreneurial failure. Emerging from its Apartheid era with a concomitant embargo on its trade, South Africa has been actively liberalizing its economy, positioning it for integration into the world trading system since the early 1990s. Following several decades of import-substituting efforts, this signals a clear shift toward a liberalizing, export-promoting development strategy on the part of its government. Despite these efforts it has failed to translate its great potential to actual performance. We evaluate the role of entrepreneurial flexibility in South Africa's trade performance in three major and, to South Africa, critical export markets, those of the United States, Europe and Japan.

Suggested Citation

  • Mitchell Kellman & Trevor Roxo & Yochanan Shachmurove, 2003. "Entrepreneurial Failure and South Africa's Performance in the World Trading Environment," Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance, Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management, vol. 8(3), pages 1-15, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:pep:journl:v:8:y:2003:i:3:p:1-15

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Zuliu F. Hu & Mohsin S. Khan, 1997. "Why Is China Growing So Fast?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(1), pages 103-131, March.
    2. Honig, Benson, 1998. "What determines success? examining the human, financial, and social capital of jamaican microentrepreneurs," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 13(5), pages 371-394, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yochanan Shachmurove, 2009. "Economic Geography, Venture Capital and Focal Points of Entrepreneurial Activity," PIER Working Paper Archive 09-032, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    2. Yochanan Shachmurove, 2007. "Geography and Industry Meets Venture Capital," PIER Working Paper Archive 07-015, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.

    More about this item


    Firm Failure; World Trade; International Trade; South Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups


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