“It’s going to take the private sector, government, non-profit sectors but also those young entrepreneurs getting out there, being the role models and being leaders in their own communities, and spreading that message, [and] the media – we need to highlight this wherever we can to build this spirit collectively,” the Branson Center of Entrepreneurship’s chief executive, Tracey Webster, told CNBC Africa.
Global Entrepreneurship Week is a celebration of the entrepreneurial spirit. It aims to inspire a generation of pioneers and innovators to launch start-ups that not only bring ideas to life but also drive economic growth and create employment.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to highlight and showcase entrepreneurs in South Africa. So many people, specifically the youth, are expecting that their jobs are going to come from government or large corporates,” Webster explained.
“What we get to see every day is young, dynamic, tenacious entrepreneurs in communities that are starting up their own businesses, taking responsibility for creating their own jobs and more importantly, creating jobs for unemployed people in their own communities.”
Octavius Phukubye, head of enterprise development at the SAB Kickstart programme, believes that the time has passed for South Africans to be looking to government for job opportunities.
“The three devils that everybody talks about [are] unemployment, poverty and inequality. The creation of jobs, and that’s the role entrepreneurs play, there’s a close link to that. When somebody has a job created for them by an entrepreneur, their income levels change, they are able to feed more members of their family, they're able to increase the quality of their life, but that’s starts with entrepreneurs,” he said.
Dumi Jere, an associate chartered accountant said, “Entrepreneurs are saying government is not going to do it for us. Let’s take it into our hands and do it ourselves, with different platforms that are coming up to drive entrepreneurship”.
He maintained that with regards to entrepreneurship, one has to have the love for it and that the other players in the equation are simply there to make the environment conducive.
Phukubye concluded, “Running a business requires a lot of skills, it requires an understanding of what you’ve got to be focusing on to try and manage growth. When guys have the passion, they still need to understand the complexities – the key areas that are required to run a business”.