Young South African Entrepreneurs Seek Mentors

Young South African Entrepreneurs Seek Mentors


The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship’s first national ‘Young Upstarts Report’, a research study into SA youth and their attitudes towards entrepreneurship revealed that many are keen to start their own businesses, but they lack relevant local role models and mentors to give them practical guidance on being their own boss.

The majority of respondents (52%) did not identify any entrepreneur role models, however, among the 48% who did, the top-10 included:

  1. Bill Gates – American business magnate, philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder
  2. Richard Branson – British entrepreneur who founded the Virgin Group
  3. Patrice Motsepe – South African mining magnate
  4. Oprah Winfrey – American TV host and broadcaster
  5. Mzoli Ngcawuzele – Owner of Cape Town-based restaurant/butchery
  6. Donald Trump – New York-based real estate tycoon
  7. Tokyo Sexwale – Politician and former business person
  8. Richard Maponya – South African entrepreneur and property developer
  9. Raymond Ackerman – Founder of local supermarket chain Pick n Pay
  10. Maphindi’s – a Nyanga-based restaurant/butchery started by Patrick Nongalaza.

When asked directly if they would ever consider running their own business, the response from South African youth was varied:

  • 8% planned ‘to start a business within the next year’
  • 19% revealed that they ‘have a business idea, but have not yet done anything about it’.
  • 38% saying ‘perhaps when I’m older and more experienced’,
  • Almost one third (28%) said ‘never’ and 3% said ‘never again’, having tried to start a business and failed.

After finance; skills development and mentorship are paramount to entrepreneurial success in the eyes of youth.

Applications open

Entrepreneurs who’d like to join the next Branson Centre development program are to apply at before 27 June 2011.

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  • joe johnston

    None of these so-called “giving-back” entrepreneurship things ever help anyone. Let’s solve my subjective comment in an objective manner. Hypothesis: Name just one South African successful start-up with the aid of these entrepreneurship centres that has garnered enough market-share to generate revenue of 0,5% of Branson’s net worth ?

    • JudiSandrock

      Dear Joe,
      You are very right – we opened in August last year, so will you give us a chance? Also, come and visit us and we can share with you what we do and you can meet some of our emergent entrepreneurs who we are assisting. I would love nothing more than in 20 years to see one of our current entrepreneurs being a global billionaire.
      Judi Sandrock