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M.C. Cant



Business Plan Competitions are a powerful learning tool that can stimulate creativity but more importantly, prepares participants for the real world of entrepreneurship (Desplaces et al., 2008:926). It can be argued that such competitions reflect the imperative elements of any successful entrepreneurship program by fostering experiential learning, networking, mentoring, partnership with entrepreneurship organisations and community involvement (Desplaces et al., 2008:926). Globally, there has been an enormous growth in encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation as a means to foster economic health (Russell et al., 2008:123). As this is not the only concern within nations, these Business Plan Competitions are seen to provide a platform for emerging entrepreneurs to learn through actual participation. South Africa, as a developing country, has embraced this platform and has developed its own competitions. These competitions vary from industry to industry, and all have dissimilar aims and objectives.
The stated Business Plan Competition was meant to provide a platform from which aspiring entrepreneurs could receive exposure for their business ideas and developing entities. The investigation found that 59.2% of respondents had already started their businesses and 40.8% had not yet started their business. On both fronts, the competition would prove to be beneficial and the exposure worthwhile in nature. It was found that 10.7% of respondents started their businesses after the Business Plan Competition, and if this percentage were to be projected to the entire entree population, it can be estimated that 556 individuals were enabled to start their business. If the competition were to be repeated it is imperative that annual evaluation be conducted based on the objectives and aims set out by the host organisation for the Business Plan Competition itself. From the research results obtained, suggestions were derived indicating where the competition can be improved upon.

Keywords: Business Plan, Competition, SMME, SMME Development, Entrepreneurs, South Africa

How to cite this paper: Cant, M. C. (2016). Business competition: Does it contribute to the SMME development? Corporate Ownership & Control, 13(4-3), 431-440.