Every third young person is asking me for a job and I thought it was just because they perhaps want to work for Marvin, but when I spoke to other entrepreneurs, I found out that this is very common; South Africa has a youth unemployment issue and it’s bad. While the government decreases the numbers of jobs to be created you realize that they are also struggling with this issue of creating jobs. I think small businesses are the answer to this national problem.
It’s difficult to run a successful business anywhere in the world, so when you have been able to pass the 2-3 years mark of existence it’s a celebration. That means that you are doing something right and you can sustain yourself from your business, which I believe is a real milestone. The next step is being able to hire other people and let the company grow. Small businesses are very important because they are the ones pushing innovation and depend on new technology to survive. Small businesses should be there as an entry for young people into the job market and therefore they need all the support that’s available to them.
The vital importance and positive contribution of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial culture in economic and social development cannot be overstated. Entrepreneurship should be encouraged and developed as entrepreneurs create and bring to life new technologies, products and services and create new markets and jobs along the way. In fact, economic growth is the result of the efforts taken by entrepreneurs and small businesses. I pray that there are more institutions and organizations that give young entrepreneurs a chance to follow their dreams in mentorship and also in funds because without funds business becomes hard to achieve.
For your business to grow you need the right team by your side, you need young people who have new ideas and they can push your business forward. If you give young people the opportunity to find purpose within your business, they tend to give you even more than what is expected from them. Read books about entrepreneurship and listen to podcasts that have honest conversations about entrepreneurship. Reach out to people you look up to and take them out for coffee if you can. Attend awards ceremonies in your industry because that’s where you will meet people you wouldn’t have met at your office or in your circle. Be kind and be honest, people tend to appreciate that. Take care of your body because if you are healthy, you are in a better position to make better decisions that will benefit your business.
Through the Startupper Challenge, Total South Africa encourages the development of young entrepreneurs. The Challenge supports entrepreneurs, good ideas and projects that help address a widespread problem affecting communities in our country. South Africa has an exceptional pool of entrepreneurs with ideas that need the energy to grow. With almost 500 validated applications and the process of shortlisting the entries submitted to the 2018-2019 Startupper of the Year by Total Challenge in South Africa has been completed. A shortlist of candidates will be pitching their projects on the 7th and 8th of February to the jury and the winners will be announced the first week of March.