Testing the Application of the Integral AQAL Model in Entrepreneurial Coaching in South African Business Incubators
Objective: Despite significant investment in entrepreneurial coaching in South Africa, the failure rate of small businesses remains high. This empirical study addresses this issue by creating an effective entrepreneurial coaching framework with the help of business incubators, entrepreneurs, coaches, and industry experts. Research Design & Methods: The study used a quantitative cross-sectional design, with a questionnaire distributed to 296 entrepreneurs and statistical analysis performed using SPSS and STATA software. Findings: The findings support the AQAL model of Ken Wilber in how the entrepreneurial outcomes relate to each other. The findings also align with the literature's emphasis on relationship building as a key factor for business growth, with relationship building emerging as the only statistically significant predictor of business growth. Implications and Recommendations: Relationship building should be prioritised over other coaching outcomes, such as self-efficacy, entrepreneurial resilience, and visionary skills, by entrepreneur development practitioners. Contribution & Value Added: These findings have implications for entrepreneurial coaches, policymakers, and professional bodies, urging them to understand entrepreneurs' contexts, take a systemic approach to entrepreneurial coaching, and provide guidance on industry developments and best practices. It is expected that by implementing these recommendations, the proposed entrepreneurial coaching framework will contribute to better outcomes for entrepreneurs and their incubated businesses.
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