Prized Innovation Features of a Business Environment for Graduates


  • Sithembiso Khumalo University of Johannesburg
  • Tanya du Plessis Du Plessis University of Johannesburg



business development, HEI graduates, business innovation, business leadership, Entrepreneurial higher educational institutions


Innovation has proved to be a credible source for business development for various organisations, many organisations rely on their ability to innovate to produce impactful and disruptive products and services. Organisations are increasingly focusing on employing candidates or graduates with the ability to be innovative and improve business development. Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) hold the responsibility to produce graduates with the capability to produce innovation and adapt to the innovative cultures and structures created by organisations. This aim of this paper is to determine the most prized innovation features of a business environment suitable for business development, this is to aid HEIs to be informed of the curriculum relevant to produce graduates capable of innovation and business development. The quantitative approach aspect of this research paper enabled the researcher to collect data using an online survey questionnaire from 69 innovation experts from the South African Business Innovation Community (Innovation Summit), and the Innovation, Sustainability and Visionary Leadership Group. The quantitative data was then analysed through inferential statistical analysis. Based on the findings from this research paper, business leadership is deemed the most prized feature of an innovative environment, along with explorative culture and brand identity. Findings from the commercialisation units further support the above findings, as they indicated that most graduates and young entrepreneurs lack leadership skills. In conclusion, entrepreneurial Higher Education Institutions should align their curriculum to industry needs, through understanding the various activities that graduates are expected to engage with in industry to contribute to business innovation and business development.