Abstract: Renier van Rooyen and Pep Stores, Limited: The Genesis of a South African Entrepreneur and Retail Empire

Anton Ehlers


Renier van Rooyen established Pep Stores, a South African retail clothing company, in Upington, South Africa, in 1965. My focus in this paper is the genesis of Renier van Rooyen as entrepreneur during the period leading up to the founding of Pep Stores, Limited. I attempt to situate these developments within the broader local, regional, and national context of the time and identify the factors, circumstances, or influences that had an impact on van Rooyen's early entrepreneurial development and the fortunes of his business ventures. The van Rooyen case suggests a wide range of factors, from childhood poverty, personal and family networks, and the influence of the local and national business community, to the socio-economic and political context. These are, however, secondary to the agency of the prime mover, van Rooyen, who commands center stage in his early entrepreneurial development and the eventual success of his business.

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