The Need For Entrepreneurship

This is no secret: South Africa's economic environment is tough. As a country we've found ourselves in a junk status (I explained what this means on my previous article, do check it out for a refresher). The non- existent growth is causing a lack of job creations, wealth and economic opportunities that we as a country desperately need, which has led to an increased in poverty levels and unrest. Politically, in my opinion we are struggling. 

South Africa is faced with an overwhelming unemployment rate, thus we still have a long way to go towards providing decent jobs for our entire working population. Research has been done and it has shown that when converted to rand costs, highly skilled, skilled and unskilled labour cost less in South Africa when compared with other western countries. There is therefore a high demand for jobs creation. 

With that being said, one needs to start looking at other options besides finding a job to get income. Again, for some who are employed the salary might not be enough to pay off monthly expenses,  hence the need for other alternatives to supplement it. Entrepreneurship is that option. Let me clear a misconception, being an entrepreneur doesn't mean you need to start or organise a huge business venture, but It means that you need to look at the gaps within your society, work place or any other market, to identify what the people need and would be willing to pay for then plan on supplying that product to them. You therefore need to do a business study/ plan where you layout your plans, sales and marketing strategies as well as your financial planning. 

Let’s be honest, not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. But I’m convinced that anyone who makes up his/her mind to become one can definitely do it. Please note: someone should make up their mind and be willing to put extra effort to making their business succeed. Making up your mind requires that you decide on the business you want to start, learn to love it because passion is key to keeping a business strategy moving, take baby steps and learn from others. I once read an article by Nina Zipkin where she said “Business owners need three things to set then on their way when they are starting a new venture: 1 be a people’s person, 2 be disciplined and 3. Be passionate.”

Darren Lang , one of the founding members of Excel Academy was asked in an interview what is the best piece of advice he can give a young entrepreneur. He answered by saying

“First you need to have absolute belief in what you’re doing- your idea needs to be well though through- and you need to back yourself all the way because there will be naysayers at every turn. And these naysayers can be quite convincing and will create doubt. All you need is that one reason that knocks everything else out the bark and outweighs the risks.  Second be disciplined in your thinking, in your actions, in your time management. Time is the one thing you can’t control and you need to use it smartly. Third, work out what differentiates you, what your value-add is. And don’t be sensitive – you need to learn to handle rejection and to deal with speed bumps on the road so you need some fight in you”

The 2015/2016 Global Report from Global Entrepreneurship Monitor ranks South Africans’ perception about good opportunities to start a business, as well as their confidence in their skills and capabilities to successfully run a business, among the bottom half of the 62 countries surveyed. This viewpoint together with our general fear of failure has unfortunate effects on our levels of entrepreneurship. It does mean however there are gaps and opportunities in the market for those who are willing to take the plunge as opportunities are bigger in South Africa than in those entrepreneurially competitive countries.

Picture a typical entrepreneur. What springs to mind? Probably, Steve Jobs, Patrice Motsepe, Mark Shuttleworth or other millionaires doing something wonderful and posting it on social media at a trendy co-working space, or you might even be picturing that lady who is selling lipsticks and perfumes at the office. But what links them is their determination, passion and risk taking abilities. Do you have a business idea at the back of your mind? Act on it now. Do not procrastinate. Do it one step at a time.  And have fun doing it.