Date of Conferral
Economic development is seen as the best means of accomplishing the goal of eradicating extreme poverty, and at the heart of this development are for-profit companies, especially multinational corporations. The specific problem examined in this study was whether levels of poverty in South Africa had been significantly impacted by the activities of multinational corporations and the level of entrepreneurship in its 9 provinces. To build upon empirical research on the sources of poverty alleviation and the impact of large global enterprises, the purpose of this study was to examine the impact of entrepreneurship and multinational corporation presence on the change in poverty levels in the 9 provinces of South Africa. The theoretical framework of the study was based on the theories of economic development and market-based solutions to poverty alleviation that are created through entrepreneurship and the engagement of multinational firms. This quantitative longitudinal study used mixed method linear regression and trend analysis to assess the impact of multinational corporation presence, and the number of new businesses started in the regions of South Africa between 2002 and 2015 on poverty. A significant inverse relationship between poverty and entrepreneurship was identified. As new business registrations increased, poverty declined. There was not a consistently significant relationship for the impact of multinational corporation locations on poverty. Trends in the data were identified that supported economic development as an element in poverty reduction. Those provinces with lower poverty levels had more new businesses and multinational corporation locations. This study may promote positive social change by supporting economic development and market-based solutions in conjunction with other social welfare elements to engage multinational corporations and reduce poverty.