How do I use my living and lived experience to influence creative economic independence in others?
Due to the high levels of unemployment in Durban South Africa, the New Venture Creation (NVC) groups I coached/mentored were seeking to become self-employed, to find social and economic independence. I have observed that many of the people in my NVC groups seemed to lack, self-confidence and self-esteem in the start-up process of their business. These lacunae pose a problem, as they are all necessary if one wants to create a viable, sustainable and profitable business. The reason that I coach these emerging entrepreneurs is to assist in building their self-confidence and self-esteem so that they have the courage to “go for it”. The problem I have sought to address in this research is: How do I influence emerging entrepreneurs to become sufficiently self-confident to be able to design, establish and sustain their own employment and employment for others? I work on the assumption that most people have the capacity to be self-employed. I have used autoethnography with action research to describe the interventions that I initiated, report on their implementation, as well as the evolution of new perceptions and understandings that developed as a result. By using my own and the participants visual data with still images and video with visual narrative I demonstrate the evidence of my living theory and self-study to influence creative economic independence in others and reflect critically on what has been done and achieved, and critically assess the way forward. I verbally explained the ethical issue of obtaining consent to use names and photographs in my study to the participants. My explanation was followed by obtaining written consent from the five key participants and others in the pictorial data.