COVID-19 Considerations: The Relationship between Opportunity related Aspects and the Performance of Primary Co-operatives in South Africa
There is a history of business failure and vulnerability in the co-operative sector in South Africa, which economists anticipate will deteriorate with the advent of Covid-19. The aim of this paper is to investigate how primary co-operative entities can become more robust and sustainable under trying economic conditions- such as the current one triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. Accordingly, this study establishes whether there is a statistical correlation between industry, market, and entrepreneurial team opportunity-related aspects on the one hand and the business performance of primary co-operatives in South Africa on the other. In this paper, the literature is considered to examine whether such a correlation, or relationship, exists. Furthermore, the paper utilizes data and findings of a study that collated data from 830 primary co-operatives in the South African economy using two separate methodologies. Firstly, a structured interview was used to acquire information on the opportunity-related aspects. Secondly, basic financial statements were produced for each co-operative enabling a rating on business performance. The primary data was then analysed to investigate the strength of the relationship between opportunity-related aspects and business performance. The findings extracted from the study’s primary data reinforced certain facts within the body of knowledge as it relates to the relationship between opportunity- related aspects and business performance. However, there are also some interesting new insights that this paper presents, which are of particular interest in times of economic shock. These insights are highlighted, and recommendations are proposed to further a vibrant and meaningful co-operative sector.
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