Applying project risk management principles to manage business start-up risk : a proposed training tool
Generally, it is accepted that small businesses are becoming increasingly important in terms of employment, wealth creation, and the development of innovation in the global economy. Unfortunately, many small businesses fail before reaching maturity, mainly due to inadequate entrepreneurial skills to establish and grow their businesses. It is, therefore, vital to understand the management abilities that are required to enable start-up businesses to survive. This study's main aim is to propose a risk management training tool to assist business start-ups to mitigate their risks. This is expected to allow for increased business start-up success rates. The aim of the proposed risk mitigation tool will be to provide training to allow small business owners to deal with challenges they face. The tool should assist with minimising the risk of failure and therefore support increased growth and survival of small businesses. The research questions aimed at achieving the primary objective deal with: *The typical risks per start-up phase for small businesses *How to mitigate the risk per business start-up phase *How best to teach entrepreneurs to identify and manage business start-up risk per phase. The research was conducted by means of a literature and empirical study. The literature study reviewed business start-up phases, challenges facing start-up businesses, project life cycle phases, critical factors leading to project failure, project risk management, and principles of serious games design. The challenges facing start-up businesses were tested empirically in practice by means of a measurement instrument, and subsequently evaluated. The size of the sample used was 58 entrepreneurs from start-up businesses. The results from this study show a need for improvements in the following skills for start-up owners/managers: risk management skills, entrepreneurial skills, people management skill, business management skill, and financial management skill. This study proposed a tool to teach entrepreneurs to identify and manage start-up risks per phase. The tool is proposed to be a blended model tool. Thus, the tool consists of the workshop part; whereby, the facilitator is face-to-face with the trainee, and post-training application-based support.
- Engineering