On the whole, South African entrepreneurs perform better than their African peers, but tend to be more negative.
This is according to the Monitor Africa Entrepreneurship Benchmarking Survey 2012, which released early results ahead of Global Entrepreneurship Week.
This week marks the start of 2012’s GEW, and while entrepreneurship is important all year round, GEW is the perfect time to critically evaluate the state of entrepreneurship in South Africa, and discuss where opportunities lie.
The Monitor Group has entered into discussions with the IDC, Department of Economic Development and CIPC to discuss the state of entrepreneurship in South Africa and where policy can assist SME growth.
SA in favour of entrepreneurship
South African respondents to the Monitor survey were more positive than their international and African peer group in two spheres: They agreed that financial strategies give entrepreneurs alternatives to traditional debt and equity and that a culture that supports entrepreneurship is evident.
However, they were below the peer group in education, infrastructure and legislation. There was an overriding belief that education does not equip people to manage or work in entrepreneurial ventures, with the general feeling mirroring a respondent claiming that “At this point education is not preparing people to be anything, never mind entrepreneurs.”
Interestingly, while infrastructure in South Africa is actually better than peer states, respondents were negative, particularly about ICT issues, citing broadband as a serious bottleneck in the country.
Legislation was pegged as favouring large businesses that can absorb the costs of compliance. For example, one respondent answered that “The CPA is restrictive. All my products need a chemical analysis which is costly for me but for big business is a drop in the ocean.”
The role of big business
The relationship between big business and SMEs has multiple levels in South Africa. On the one hand, large, established firms are viewed as a significant barrier to market entry by many small business owners.
Respondents who agreed that new and growing firms can enter markets without being unfairly blocked by well-established firms were as low as 17% in South Africa (meaning over 80% believe large firms are a major barrier to entry).
However, these same firms play a critical role as anchor clients for SMEs. According to SBP’s SME growth index, 49% of small manufacturing and business services firms see big corporates as their main clients. This creates an interesting dynamic whereby big business might be viewed as a stumbling block for many SMEs, but is also its biggest client base.
There are a host of GEW events happening throughout the week:
Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship
Various events throughout the week. Visit http://www.bransoncentre.org/SouthAfrica/home.html for more information.
The Hub Johannesburg
Various events throughout the week. Visit http://johannesburg.the-hub.net/ for more information.
Get Your Entrepreneur On!
Joburg is a hive of activity this week, and it’s all aimed at promoting entrepreneurship.
There are a number of exciting activities and events taking place in Johannesburg during Global Entrepreneurship Week.
Critical Thinking Forum on financial inclusion
Nedbank, Old Mutual and the Mail & Guardian are hosting a Critical Thinking Forum at the SABC in Auckland Park that will address the question: “How can we include more South Africans in the financial mainstream?”
Present at the forum will be a panel of thought leaders that includes:
- Dr Mamphele Ramphela (medical doctor, director of companies and civic activis)
- Ingrid Goodspeed (National Treasury)
- Thami Bolani (National Consumer Forum)
- Lyndwill Clarke (Financial Services Board).
The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship
The Branson Centre in Johannesburg is hosting various events dealing with Global Entrepreneurship Week.
The Hub in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, is holding a series of workshops and events, including:
- Get yourself investor ready
- Opportunities in the green economy
- Thought leader dialogue
- Women & entrepreneurship
- Purpose and career opportunity
- Exclusive branding training
Gauteng Enterprise Propeller
The five-day One Corporate One Entrepreneur event, sponsored by the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP), takes place in Soweto.
During the week industry experts and professionals will share knowledge with entrepreneurs on personal branding, innovation and creativity, product development and sustainability entrepreneurship.
All participants will have an opportunity to refine their business ideas and concept before presenting them to the panel of judges for the business idea elevator pitch competition on the last day of the event.
The SAB KickStart panel discussion and exhibition at Gallagher Estate in Midrand will focus on successful and practical roles that must be played by different industry sectors to increase the rate of entrepreneurship in SA.
The Cultunet Foundation will be hosting numerous events including a discussion round the question “What is Entrepreneurship?”, the prelaunch of the Global Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders coffee table book, as well as various workshops in the townships.
Zazida Institute of Entrepreneurship
The Zazida Institute of Entrepreneurship, based in Parktown, Johannesburg, is Africa’s only accredited higher education institution dedicated solely to developing entrepreneurs in Africa.
The institute will be hosting various events dealing with Global Entrepreneurship Week:
- Personal finance management workshop for entrepreneurs
- How to start a business with no cash
- Launch of Zazida Entrepreneur Support Club.
South African Innovation Network
The South African Innovation Network (SAINE) will be hosting a business breakfast in Sandton in partnership with the Department of Economic Development, Sasol Chemcity, Sanlam, African Entrepreneur, SEA Africa and HaveKnot.
Absa Enterprise Development
Absa Enterprise Development will be hosting the first ever Global Entrepreneurship Week event in Polokwane.
The event will be attended by various stakeholders:
- Emergent Africa
- the Polokwane Municipality
- Limpopo Economic Development, Environment and Tourism
- Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda)
- National Youth Development Agency (NYDA)
- Polokwane Chamber of Business (PCOB)
- Walkin 25 Management Services
- Limpopo Development Agency (LIMDEV).
Growthpoint Properties will be hosting a discussion by Herman Mashaba that will include his newly-released autobiography Black Like Me.
Mashaba was one of the country’s earliest black entrepreneurs who built a successful business during apartheid and today his investment company has a string of diverse holdings.
Celebrating Entrepreneurs Around the Globe
Global Entrepreneurship Week can be celebrated by anyone, anywhere and anytime.
There are a number of ways that SMEs can get involved in Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) in a variety of ways. There are thousands of activities happening around the world, not to mention on social networking websites.
Entrepreneurs are encouraged to mentor aspiring entrepreneurs and share their experiences at local activities.
Who is involved in promoting entrepreneurship?
Achieving a country’s full entrepreneurial potential requires every part of society to be involved.
- Entrepreneurs must act as role models for younger people by sharing their stories, mentoring and encouraging the next generation of entrepreneurs.
- Governments must support the promotion of entrepreneurship to young people.
- Education systems must equip young people with an entrepreneurial mindset from an early age.
- Businesses must offer opportunities for their employees to develop entrepreneurial skills.
- The media must be encouraged to celebrate entrepreneurship, and to inform the public about the economic and social contribution of entrepreneurs.
Why get involved in Global Entrepreneurship Week?
People and business need to create an environment that allows entrepreneurial behaviour to flourish.
Young people must believe in themselves and strive to make their ideas happen. The drive to nurture enterprising behavior needs business, education, government, voluntary organisations and the media to work together.
Global Entrepreneurship Week is an opportunity to show what thousands of companies do to foster a culture of innovation, imagination and creativity.
What type of events are happening?
It’s estimated that more than 30 000 events will occur around the world during GEW. But there are a number of featured events that demonstrate the global scope and scale of the initiative. Some of these featured events include:
- Global Cleantech Open Ideas Competition is being held in 22 countries
- Speednetwork the Globe is celebrated in 50 countries
- Startup Weekend in 15 cities around the world
- Global Student Entrepreneur Awards are held in 8 countries
- Creativity World Forum 12 Districts of Creativity is held in 12 countries
- EO 24 in 38 countries
- Opportunity recognition
- Problem solving
- Risk taking
- Passion for ideas
Countries participating in Global Entrepreneurship Week
Nearly 100 countries are officially participating in Global Entrepreneurship Week. A country is listed as ‘official’ when there is at least one organisation coordinating the campaign for that particular country. This includes recruiting partners, securing VIP participation and endorsements and broadly promoting the aims and objectives of GEW.
Each year, there are a number of countries where ad hoc GEW-related activities occur. These are considered ‘unofficial’ countries for metrics purposes.
Branson Centre Celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week
Entrepreneurs should go past the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship this week to pick up invaluable tips on how to better run their businesses.
The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in Braamfontein is celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week with a series of events targeted at entrepreneurs.
Between 12 and 18 November the world is taking time out to celebrate bold, tenacious people.
Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch start-ups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare.
Great business information available
The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in Braamfontein will be acknowledging and participating in this celebration by sharing valuable business tips, information and inspiration with entrepreneurs.
Daily events and activities
A series of talks, seminars and workshops will be held at the centre every day this week, including:
- An inspirational talk by Deshun Deysel, part of the first South African expedition to Mount Everest in 1996
- Financial advice for small business with Nedbank
- Innovation with Jayshree Naidoo
- Webinars, online tips, talks and advice
- Increase your online presence with Google including Google+ Hangout with Richard Branson.
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