Science and Technology Based Regional Entrepreneurship
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Science and Technology Based Regional Entrepreneurship

Global Experience in Policy and Program Development

Edited by Sarfraz A. Mian

Providing a global survey of public policies and programs for building national and regional ecosystems of science and technology based entrepreneurial development, this book offers a unique analysis of the advances, over the last several decades and in light of the experiential knowledge gained in various parts of the world, in the understanding of innovation systems in the pursuit of developing these economies. Presenting nineteen case studies of diverse developed and emerging economy nations and their regions, more than thirty expert authors describe an array of policy and program mechanisms that have been implemented over the years.
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Chapter 19: The South African Science, Technology and Innovation Environment and its Impact on Entrepreneurial Development

Gideon Maas and Sandra Musengi


Gideon Maas and Sandra Musengi INTRODUCTION The South African environment is characterized by various paradoxes. These include, among others, a positive economic growth of 2.8 per cent forecasted for 2010 on the one hand and official unemployment of more than 24.3 per cent on the other hand (The Economist, 2010); a well-developed business infrastructure versus areas of extreme poverty; three well-developed growth poles versus rural areas fighting for survival. Table 19.1 highlights these paradoxes in South Africa, which is affected by the needs of a relative young population within a country where a skills shortage exists. It has been consistently put forward that South Africa is characterized by diverse economic realities commonly referred to as the first, second and transformation economy, each of which necessitate different approaches. In such an environment, it is extremely difficult to provide a policy for science and technology (S&T) development that will satisfy the needs of all entrepreneurs. A policy focusing on the first economy (e.g. establishment of incubators focusing only on the development of high-tech products) would not be appropriate for the second economy given that the emphasis would most likely be on the development of technology that can support socioeconomic development in general compared to the development of high-tech products. It is indeed a challenging situation for a government in which lessons from developed countries cannot merely be replicated within the South African context. Promoting S&T in South Africa within such a challenging environment can be a daunting task. To create...

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