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The influence of family background on entrepreneurial skill development

Image: South African entrepreneur and Anzisha fellow, Masello Mokhoro and her mother.

Family background plays a significant role in shaping the development of entrepreneurial skills among youth. The environment in which a person grows up greatly influences their mindset, values, and opportunities.  

We explore the various factors within a family that can influence attaining entrepreneurial skills. 

Parental Support 

One of the key factors in developing entrepreneurial skills is the support and encouragement provided by parents. When parents believe in their child’s potential and provide guidance, it instils confidence and a sense of purpose. Parents who foster a growth mindset and encourage risk-taking help their children develop resilience and problem-solving abilities, essential traits for entrepreneurship. 

Exposure to Entrepreneurial Role Models 

Being exposed to entrepreneurial role models within the family can have a profound impact on a person’s entrepreneurial aspirations. When individuals witness their family members successfully running businesses or pursuing innovative ideas, they are more likely to develop a similar mindset. Role models provide inspiration, guidance, and practical knowledge, which can significantly contribute to the development of entrepreneurial skills. 

Family Values 

The values instilled within a family can shape an individual’s entrepreneurial mindset. Families that prioritize creativity, independence, and problem-solving foster an environment conducive to entrepreneurship. When individuals grow up in an environment that values innovation and taking calculated risks, they are more likely to develop the necessary skills and mindset to become successful entrepreneurs. 


Growing up as an only child to a single mother who worked as a seasonal farmworker in the small town of Bultfontein, Free State, Masello Mokhoro (Anzisha Fellow 2021) adopted the mindset of an entrepreneur at a young age.

Image: SowetanLIVE 

From selling soap with her grandmother to sweets and snacks at primary school, she helped generate an income for her family. Today, her entrepreneurial spirit has led to the establishment of her own agri-business called Starlicious Enterprises which rears broiler chickens and pigs for meat production. Her deep passion for nature, community, and socioeconomic change is displayed by actively being engaged in her community. Holder of a National and Advanced Diploma in Agricultural Management, both Cum Laude, from the Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein, she has mentored first-year students studying Agricultural Management since 2019, and serves as Chairperson of the Agricultural Student Organisation, while also offering part-time practical lectures in Soil and Pasture Science for first-year students. Masello’s journey illustrates how academic training, passion, and family support can intersect to unlock entrepreneurial success. Learn more about Masello on

 Financial Resources and Access to Networks 

Supportive families often provide financial resources and access to networks that can greatly benefit aspiring entrepreneurs. Financial resources can help individuals pursue their entrepreneurial ventures without the burden of financial constraints. Additionally, supportive families can introduce individuals to valuable networks, such as mentors, investors, and potential business partners, which can open doors to opportunities and enhance their entrepreneurial journey. 

Recommendations for Cultivating an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem at Home 

To cultivate an entrepreneurial ecosystem at home, families can: 

  • Encourage open discussions about entrepreneurship and business ideas 
  • Provide opportunities for hands-on learning and experimentation 
  • Expose children to diverse entrepreneurial role models through books, videos, and real-life experiences 
  • Teach financial literacy and encourage saving and investment habits 
  • Support and celebrate entrepreneurial endeavors, even if they don’t always succeed 

In conclusion, family background plays a crucial role in shaping the development of entrepreneurial skills. By creating a supportive environment and providing opportunities for growth, families nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs. 

Lynn Brown
Lynn Brown
Lynn is a content marketer that focuses on brand storytelling through digital platforms. Skilled in a background of web development, search engine optimization and content production, Lynn is excited to utilize over 10 years’ experience in digital marketing to help grow the ecosystems that support Africa’s very young entrepreneurs to ensure their success.

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