Women who want to start their own businesses have the potential to boost the South African economy by R175 billion, according to new research released today by Facebook. The study, conducted by Development Economics on behalf of Facebook* also reveals that if all the women who said they were ‘very likely’ to start a business (26%) did so, this would create 972,000 jobs within five years, and over 803,000 new businesses within four years.
Lack of access to finance is the cited as the main barrier to women setting up independently. Facebook’s research shows that among those likely to start a business, not sure of how to get started (37%), worries about risk or finance security (36%) and not feeling prepared or ready (32%), are the key reasons holding them back from taking this step. These impact women at every stage of their life – with women 55+ being less likely to start a business (13.5%), followed by those between 35-44 (20.5%).
The motivations for women wanting to set-up a business also varies, with financial gains amongst the highest (54%), followed by those wanting to work on their own terms (50%) and interestingly those wanting to turn their passion/hobby into a career (40%).
“We know that helping women to start and grow prosperous companies is a powerful way to transforming our society and creating equal opportunities for all. When women do better, economies do better – they are an important part of the South African economy. Women make effective business leaders and unbelievable entrepreneurs, and that’s why this Women’s Month we’re not only celebrating women who have built and run businesses, we’re also calling on all women to realise their potential and take that leap of faith,” said Nunu Ntshingila, regional director for Facebook in Africa.
The research also revealed:
Timing of business starts
- Overall, of those women who are very interested in setting up a business, slightly more than one-third appear to want to set up their business within 1 year. A further 35% anticipate establishing their business within 2 or 3 years, and close to 16% say they expect it would be more than 3 years in the future.
Types of businesses being planned by women
- Women are more likely to be interested in setting up businesses in food & drink (28%), tourism & leisure (12%) and lifestyle (10%)
Number of businesses set up by women over four years
- It is estimated that women aged between 25-34 will likely set up 293,000 businesses over the four years, followed by those aged 18-24 with 213,000 and 35-44 year olds setting up 131,000 businesses
The use of online tools
- Approximately 81% of females reported using online tools to help communicate with customers, which was significantly higher than the proportion of male small business managers saying they did this (72%).
*Calculations were made by Development Economics using data from the Future of Business survey commissioned by Facebook in South Africa, and surveys undertaken by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) in South Africa.
Entrepreneurs! Now Is The Time To Change Lives And Grow Revenues
All signs point to Africa as the most extraordinary place to be and do business in the future.
So, how are we going to do business?
This is the question posed by Musa Kalenga, the enthusiastic entrepreneur and strategist who was named one of the Top 200 young South Africans by Mail & Guardian, at a recent Entrepreneurship To The Point Session hosted by Property Point, the Growthpoint Properties initiative.
The answer to doing business that he offers entrepreneurs, even in this digital age, is humanity.
“Humanity is the new black; it is how we are going to be the next powerhouse of this globe,” says Kalenga. “Being human is the one thing that will enable us to survive in the age of augmentation.”
Kalenga is obsessed with using technology to empower the digitally invisible. “We can send people to the moon but we can’t feed people on earth? This is a problem,” he cautions, “because unless we’re making fundamental business model changes, we won’t have a market for the future.”
He took the Entrepreneurship To The Point audience on a journey, highlighting the sweet spot where technology and creativity merge.
Looking at how African entrepreneurs should respond to the age of augmentation, he uses the shocking November 2015 Paris attacks as an example. Facebook activated its Safety Check function, Uber alerted its drivers to take people to safety, and Airbnb operators took in anyone in need.
“While these are tech businesses at their core, they displayed decidedly human responses. They also didn’t have to redo their business model to respond in a more human way,” points out Kalenga. “The technology journey that communities and consumers have to go through must match ours as brand creators, value seekers and entrepreneurs.”
Doing this is simpler than you may think. Technology’s intersection with humanity is all about finding simple, meaningful solutions.
He points to the trend of impact investment – an approach taken by some of the world’s richest family businesses. Impact investment means finding opportunities that are solving human-centred problems and creating value for the humans that we seek to serve, and then figuring out how to make revenue as a business. Essentially, it puts doing good before making money. This is where humanity, technology and entrepreneurship are on course to meet and power the extraordinary future of business in Africa.
“Human beings are at the top of the food chain because we can understand a small and simple thing, then develop it for different purposes all the time. Also, because we can rally around common cause and purpose. Enhancing quality of life in the way people experience technology is key to continuing to solve problems, not only in Africa but across the globe,” concludes Kalenga
Futureproofing The Next Generation Of Entrepreneurs
Futureproof – a business built on purpose.
The South African labour market remains vulnerable, particularly in the youth employment sector. While there is a call for more entrepreneurs, further support for SMME’s and increased youth employment by government, the youth of today lack the skills, knowledge and opportunities to answer to the call.
Riddled by poverty and unemployment, South Africa remains a country in crisis. With more than 3.3 million* unemployed youths, entrepreneurship has been highlighted to eradicate our unemployment woes; here’s the catch though: a recent study on education depicted the effect that poor education has had on entrepreneurs, who are largely ill-equipped to run their own businesses as a result. (Businesslive.co.za (2017)).
Getting youths to grips with entrepreneurship
By combining a background in education and entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial educationalist, speaker, radio presenter, mother of two and all-round go-getter, Lisa Illingworth co-founded Futureproof to educate youths from as young as primary school on real-life entrepreneurship.
As an ex-teacher, Lisa recognised a serious need for educating children on the practical application and art of entrepreneurship to create a generation of informed, thriving youths. “Young adults in the 21st century are entering the working world equipped with knowledge and skills that are irrelevant for the workplace,” explains Lisa.
Futureproof is built on an unwavering commitment to entrepreneurship as a mechanism for intervening in the poverty cycle that our youths are caught up in. “I don’t want to watch another generation driven by poor education standards, self-entitlement and helplessness”.
Lisa believes that entrepreneurs possess qualities that each of us can aspire to in order to take charge of our own futures: they identify a problem or a gap and create a service or a product to solve this problem and generate a flow of money. “Their tenacity is something that few can relate to. Entrepreneurs sacrifice short-term gain to deliver a long-term solution and derive an income from their efforts and passion. Nothing comes easy to an entrepreneur, so persistence is key” she emphasizes.
In a country where many simply admit defeat, Lisa and her team believes that possessing an entrepreneurial mindset can set our youths apart and accelerate them in the working world. “Futureproof exists with a massive transformative purpose to educate the future generation of entrepreneurs,” explains Lisa. “We aim to identify and grow the 5% of high impact entrepreneurs that will create the much-needed economic transformation that this country requires but organically, this process allows kids to learn how to create their own income opportunities” Lisa continues.
Futureproof – for purpose, for profit
Today, Futureproof is a “for purpose, for profit” business. We sacrifice neither. “This business is built on a model that was based on authentically practicing what we teach. Many social enterprises default to a charity and this business is unapologetically not a charity. We teach kids to build sustainable enterprises and we mirror this through the way we do business”.
Futureproof provides kids the opportunity to craft their own futures by applying the entrepreneurial skills gained in their real-life situations. “By instilling an entrepreneurial mindset, we look to cultivate a generation of hungry entrepreneurs who are able to identify and build-on opportunities. Our courses teach problem solving at the highest level to the youngest kids, and we have seen some amazing success stories come out of this in kids as young as eight years old”.
At its helm, Lisa says that Futureproof’s Board of Directors is made up of some of the country’s top business minds – a team driven by passion and purpose. “We attract incredible people in business and for this reason I am pleased to be surrounded by top women in their respective fields such as S’onqoba Maseko and Chairperson of our Board of Directors (previous head of innovation for FNB and now the COO of Future Nations Schools) and Masenyane Molefe – our Human Resources Specialist and HR Director of Hyundai South Africa.
For more information on Futureproof’s programmes and how to get involved, visit: www.futureproofsa.com
Nedbank Brings Silicon Valley’s Plug And Play To Africa In Disruption First For The Continent
Nedbank launches The Disruption Agenda to connect the best technology start-ups to major corporations and business leaders.
Nedbank announced today the expansion of their US partnership with Plug and Play, the world’s largest innovation platform, to include South Africa for the first time.
Together, the entities will connect 10 visionary entrepreneurs from around the world to business leaders at The Disruption Agenda to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa in September.
These startups are at the leading edge of digital transformation. They have been accelerated via the Plug and Play platform and identified as relevant disruptors to solving cross-sector business challenges at a corporate level within the local market.
“Nedbank recognises that building an innovation strategy at a corporate level can present a number of significant challenges. To help corporate leaders, we have structured The Disruption Agenda, a first of its kind event on the continent, to simplify how corporates connect to world-class start-ups,” shares Stuart van der Veen, Head of Disruption and Innovation at Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB).
“The problem is that innovative thinking is too often limited to finding new ways of doing old things, when what businesses really need to set themselves apart is to find completely new things to do. And that’s where the successful integration of disruptive technology can be an unparalleled source of comprehensive transformation for any business.”
Nedbank’s participation in Plug and Play’s FinTech accelerator programme abroad supports its commitment to source innovative digital enhancements to meet the changing needs of its clients. Nedbank has sponsored Play and Play’s Fintech initiative for close on two years and for each of the four batches that Nedbank has been involved in, the bank’s teams actively engaged with the start-ups to source new ideas and partnerships with the aim of delivering delightful client experiences and disruptive client value propositions.
“Our partnership with Nedbank has given our start-ups a successful route to expand their business to South Africa,” said Max Koenig, Director of Plug and Play FinTech, Silicon Valley. “The CIB group, responsible for innovation within Nedbank, has been instrumental in sourcing start-ups to digitally transform their company.”
The Disruption Agenda is a closed event structured for Nedbank’s clients, while a public event for broader access to Plug and Play is envisioned to take place later in the year. The success of these engagements will form the basis of Plug and Play’s decision to accelerate plans to establish a permanent presence in Africa.
“The opportunity in Africa as a whole is endless and we view this event in September as an integral first step for opening and developing an Innovation Hub in South Africa in 2019” noted Saeed Amidi, Founder & CEO of Plug and Play.
“We believe that successful disruptors are those organisations that are able to see through their traditional functions and create new realities for their clients and businesses. In the process of transforming innovation thinkers to disruption leaders, these organisations have real potential to transform the economic reality of entire communities,” shares Van der Veen.
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