A research paper by Professor Darma Mahadea, Associate Professor in the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance, was selected as the best at an international conference in the United States.

Mahadea’s paper titled: “Prospects of Entrepreneurship to the Challenge of Job Creation in South Africa,” earned him the John Jack Award which was sponsored by the Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship.

He made the presentation in the International Developing Countries category during the 26th Annual Conference of the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) held from 12 – 15 January in New Orleans, Louisiana.

 In his paper he highlighted that a significant proportion of labour in South Africa could not find employment despite positive economic growth rates since the demise of apartheid. The formal sector was unable to provide adequate employment although the government had responded with various strategies.

Mahadea argued that entrepreneurship could make a difference in absorbing more labour, however, entrepreneurial capacity was a constraint in South Africa. Regression results indicated that the growth elasticity of employment had been very low over the 1994-2010 period.

His paper identified some constraints to employment creation against the entrepreneurial environmental conditions in South Africa and examined how entrepreneurship could make a difference to employment creation.

Professor Matthew Marvel, Competitive Papers Chair of the USASBE 2012, congratulated Mahadea on this noteworthy award and said: ‘This is an achievement since the paper first underwent a rigorous review process where only 40 percent of the submissions were chosen for presentation at the conference.’

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