Critical assessment of risk-taking behavior and economic performance of male entrepreneurs in the Centurion central business district in South Africa

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According to Zinkhan and Karande (1990), risk is encountered when an individual’s action produces social and economic consequences that cannot be projected with certainty. Zinkhan and Karande (1990) also see risk averseness as the propensity to avoid taking risks and are generally conceived as a personality variable. Levitt (1990) argues that the ways in which business managers handle risk can markedly affect economic performance and the standard of living in various societies. It was, thus, imperative that this study coupled risk-taking ability with economic performance amongst male entrepreneurs in Centurion. The entrepreneurial phenomenon remains a widely researched topic. Extensive research with regards to the attributes of entrepreneurs has been done in the recent past. It has, thus, become important to better understand South African entrepreneurial behavior, as not many local studies has been done on the topic. The purpose of this study is to establish whether the identified factors affect the risk taking behavior of male entrepreneurs within the Centurion CBD. The risk-taking behavior of male entrepreneurs versus their economic performance was also investigated. By gaining an understanding of the risk taking behavior of the population, recommendations for future studies could be made. This study is based on a deductive approach to establish possible factors which might affect the risk-taking behavior of male entrepreneurs within the Centurion central business district. It also investigates the relationship between their risk-taking behavior and their economic performance. The researcher established possible factors from the literature and adopted and modified the DOSPERT scale developed by Weber, Blais and Betz (2002). Quantitative data were obtained within the population of 161 respondents. The results indicate a strong correlation between the factors identified and the risk-taking behavior of the entrepreneurs, except for the factor ethnic background. It was also found that a strong relationship exists between risk-taking behavior and economic performance

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