Research Reports News South Africa

New report reveals massive revolution in entrepreneur education in SA

The Heavy Chef Foundation, a non-profit subsidiary of entrepreneur learning platform Heavy Chef, has released its sixth edition Heavy Chef Entrepreneur Education Report with this release focusing on future entrepreneurs. The report reveals a massive revolution currently taking place in entrepreneur education. It shows that the intended use of Web 3 technologies, investment in data science, and shifts in skill priorities are redefining the future landscape of entrepreneur education in South Africa.
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Data has become increasingly important to business leaders. There is a clear transition from passive content consumption to complete ownership and control of data. Sixty-nine percent of entrepreneurs surveyed are currently learning about data science, a fundamental skill for future entrepreneurs.

The report shows that advances in cloud services are poised to make many hard skills obsolete, redefine the skills entrepreneurs will need in the future and make entrepreneurial education equitable.

Louis Janse van Rensburg, CEO of the Heavy Chef Foundation explains:

“These learning habits are mapping onto long-expected shifts in technologies that have flown under the radar for some time, but are now speeding their way into the mainstream. This trend is quickly manifesting itself due to disconnected entrepreneurs who experience lack of access to learning opportunities offered by formal institutions of learning.”

Lukhanyo Neer, chairman of the non-profit adds: “By combining deep datasets of statistics with an intelligent analysis of the business leading "chefs" interviewed every week, this report takes a significant step forward to bring the future to the here-and-now.”

In addition, it reveals that entrepreneurs who understand how to navigate niche online communities could find themselves faced with countless new business opportunities.

“This report should spark much-needed hope for South African entrepreneurs as it reveals that the tools needed to make the long-strived-for bottom-up change, are ready and available for use,” says Fred Roed, CEO of

To compile the report, the Heavy Chef Foundation over the last four years researched the learning habits of 9,150 entrepreneurs in South Africa across 18 demographic segments, conducted 340 in-depth interviews, transcribed 1020 hours, and analysed 5100 bytes of data.

The foundation’s research programme into entrepreneur development is the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in South Africa.

Some key highlights from the report

The shift – Changes to the internet and web technologies influence how society functions, including how entrepreneurs are learning. Soon, entrepreneurs will design and direct their own development destinities.

The skills – South African entrepreneurs rate their leadership skills as top-class, followed by critical thinking and creative problem-solving abilities. However, financial management, IT and sales are skills that largely elude entrepreneurs, particularly in developing nations. These hardskills problems are expected to be solved due to new advancements in cloud services.

The industries – The constantly changing world presents entrepreneurs with new business opportunities, resulting in a mass movement towards unique categories of start-ups. Low barriers to entry and people’s growing preference for non-traditional learning create limitless business opportunities. Entrepreneurs with the right skills can leverage emerging technologies.

The culture – Millions of tiny online communities populate the internet. Built around hyper-specific interests, they are hotbeds of connection and learning. Future entrepreneurs will seek out intense learning opportunities within these communities using a well-defined culture of engagement. In this way, fringe communities are influencing where and how entrepreneurs of the future will learn.

The self – Entrepreneurs live in an era of almost limitless career and identity options. However, this freedom can give rise to a state of anxiety as people agonise over the implications of our choices. This means that future entrepreneurs will need to define themselves in society. Encouragingly, research is showing a trend towards entrepreneurs understanding the role they play in society, rather than the business they chose to start.

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