There are few people in South Africa who may want to take the risk of starting a business. Being very passionate about solving a problem or meeting a real need, can be an excellent reason to start a business.
Contrary to popular belief, there are never enough companies that offer services or products that do this. One of the major reasons that I started The Hope Factory was that I saw the effects of high levels of unemployment and a lack of skills and thought of a solution for this – starting a business.
Gone are the days when people can just sit and wait for government to fix everything. There are many opportunities all around us to be part of the solution for our nation, and your business could do just that.
An eye for opportunity
I believe that innate problem solving abilities are invaluable for any entrepreneur. Not only is one more likely to excel in the marketplace when you can tackle problems in advance; but you will also be able to offer the customer real value through making their lives easier.
Solving some of the world’s greatest annoyances can be major opportunities for entrepreneurship.
For example, offering the ability to access a service online, from the comfort of your home solves the annoyance of standing in a line for it. Let’s face it: no one enjoys a queue! In order to create the demand for your product or service, selling how it directly fixes a problem is often the best marketing strategy to use.
Once an entrepreneur can define this well, they are that much closer to making a good idea into a good product which will sell.
Start Small and Grow
More than twelve years ago I started The Hope Factory with the vision to solve a problem that I could see. My vision then was to teach 50 ladies to sew and make products they could sell in order to make a living and feed their families.
We have grown quite a bit since then, each time facing and solving various problems along the way. Since then we have had over 1 000 people come through The Hope Factory doors, with 700 of them who are still financially sustainable today.
Looking back, having started a business to meet a real need has been a very satisfying and exciting entrepreneurial journey.