Christoff Oosthuysen reviews Entrepreneurship – A South African Perspective (third edition), edited by Gideon Nieman and
Cecile Nievwenhuizen, published by Van Schaik Publishers (2014).
Some books are not for everybody. This, I was reminded about again, when taking in hand Entrepreneurship edited by two South African academics.
Gideon Nieman and Cecile Nievwenhuizen are not just academics – they have and are also running their own businesses.
There actual experiences as entrepreneurs, one would expect, would lead them into editing a book about entrepreneurship that is more suitable for entrepreneurs.
This is, however, not necessarily the case with this book.
Entrepreneurship is not a book that most entrepreneurs will find compelling. In fact, it is not likely to be picked up by most business owners or start-up entrepreneurs who are looking for better ways of doing business.
This book is, seemingly, aimed at students who enroll for academic programmes. It is a handbook for teaching entrepreneurship at an educational institution – for which purpose, I am sure, the book is most suitable.
However, the average reader of Small Business Connect will not find this book a compelling read. Or would they?
If students enrolling for academic programmes learn the theory of entrepreneurial business through the content presented here, can business owners not do the same?
The answer, of course, is yes, but it will take some focused attention to look up what you want to learn about.
And there is, indeed, lots on offer to learn about in the pages of the book… from understanding innovation and seeing the “window of opportunity”, to buying a franchise or managing a buy-out.
Of course, a good chunk of the book is dedicated to managing growth, specifically looking at strategic option, making use of international opportunities and entering e-commerce.
Since the content is taught in the classroom, it has to be up-to-date.
This is perhaps one of the most important features of the book, which may push the book onto your reading list. Here, you can get insights into much more than age-old advice – you also get reminded of the changing environment we operate in.
So, this may very well be the right book for you if you are seeking out some deeper understanding of the environment you operate in and how you can grow your business.
It will, however, not deliver the inspiration and fresh ideas many entrepreneurs look for when they pause in front of the bookshelves.