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Sowing the Seed of Success: Entrepreneurship in South Africa
BY Sisipho Mafusini
“Young people hold the key to South Africa’s future success and we must support them.”
– David Morobe, Business Partners Limited
There is no shortage of tenacity and entrepreneurial spirit among South African small business owners, and the majority are growing numerous enterprises without assistance. However, in 2023, access to capital and the effects of prolonged load shedding will be their two biggest obstacles to growth. These are the results of the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation (EO) South Africa chapter’s survey on the state of entrepreneurship in South Africa in 2023.
Many people in South Africa turn to entrepreneurship to assist them make a living because of the country’s high unemployment rate and challenging economic climate. Due to their high unemployment rate, young people have been particularly badly struck by economic uncertainties in the labour market. For young people aged 15 to 24 and between the ages of 25 and 34, the unemployment rate was 42.1%, according to Statistics South Africa’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the first quarter of 2022.
In contrast, only 2.5 million of South Africa’s more than 10 million youngsters aged 15 to 24 are currently employed, according to the country’s current unemployment rate of 34.5%. This is concerning because the nation’s youth population will only continue to increase quickly. Furthermore, if prompt action is not taken, this problem will further worsen youth unemployment. Many young people feel discouraged and like they have given up hope of finding meaningful employment that matches their interests, talents, and capacities as a result of the growing unemployment situation.
Young people simply can’t rely solely on the notion of being employed by someone else any longer, but by refocusing their efforts away from looking for traditional employment and toward entrepreneurship, they will be able to develop new marketable opportunities for themselves. Entrepreneurship will allow them to develop their career pathways, create their own opportunities, and achieve financial independence.
Young people must be equipped with the necessary information, assets, and instruments to succeed if entrepreneurship is to be a truly viable alternative to conventional career possibilities.
Entrepreneurship offers many underprivileged young people across the nation a way out of poverty—not just for themselves, but also for their families and communities. A dynamic workforce of individuals whose greatest assets are creativity, self-confidence, strong conviction, and belief in their talents can be formed if South Africa is successful in developing a greater proportion of young business leaders. Supporting young people is essential for South Africa’s future development.
When it comes to generating economic growth and employment, entrepreneurship is essential. It serves as the catalyst for innovation, the creation of new companies, and the introduction of novel goods and services to the marketplace. A business’s beginning and operation might be difficult. Entrepreneurs frequently struggle to obtain the requisite skills and knowledge, navigate complicated rules, and gain access to capital.
A variety of programs have been implemented by the South African government to help the nation’s business owners. These organizations include the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which provides money and assistance to entrepreneurs, and the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), which supports small firms. The government has also expedited the procedure for registering a firm and included a number of tax benefits for small businesses. Additionally, there are numerous grants and loans offered to businesses by various government organizations.
By facilitating access to training and mentoring, PAICTA is fostering the development of entrepreneurs in South Africa. It is well-known that ICT is evolving and that this trend seems to be continuing. The ICT sector is sweeping over vast industries as more and more businesses recognize its significance for the labour market. Thanks to ICT, more and more opportunities are being created in the sphere of entrepreneurship, particularly for younger people. At the same time, an increasing number of companies are concentrating on improving and modernizing ICT-based business procedures.
Nowadays, any type of entrepreneurial activity needs a functional ICT sector in order to operate. There are several characteristics of entrepreneurship. Innovation is one of them. Entrepreneurial endeavour must also be innovative.
ICT and innovation are inextricably intertwined. As a result, it is no coincidence that the majority of modern or brand-new businesses are being founded only on ICT, new software breakthroughs, new telecommunication systems, and new technological advancements that improve and speed up processes.
There are a few crucial issues that must be resolved if South Africa is to approach entrepreneurship differently. First, there needs to be more access to capital and assistance, especially for black women and female entrepreneurs. Second, there has to be more emphasis on skill development so that business owners may learn the abilities they need to manage their companies successfully. Third, in order to provide entrepreneurs, the tools they need to succeed, there needs to be increased cooperation between the public and private sectors and academic institutions. In order for young people to consider entrepreneurship as a realistic career option, there must also be a mentality shift.
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