THE GIFT OF AN ASPIRING YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR: 18 July.
“It is in your hands to make the world a better place.” Challenge:
Less than one out of every ten. This
is the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s finding on the prevalence of entrepreneurs amongst SouthAfricans. Comparatively, our country has one of the lowest entrepreneurial rates in the world. “Sowhat?” you may ask.
Well, the absence of a culture of entrepreneurship has some serious implications. More than 90% of South African youth (16 to 25 year olds) are waiting for government or for someone else to dosomething for them to be employed. Less than 10% are engaging in self-initiated income generationactivities to take care of themselves. The result is that fewer than one out of every two young people
are employed and therefore active economic citizens of our country. Given that “youth” represents a
very large proportion of the South African population, you are talking of hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of young people. Is this a ticking time bomb?!So, being typically not-entrepreneurial about this challenge - we blame! Instead of us acceptingresponsibility (entrepreneurial) we cannot stop talking about the inefficiencies of the state! We lookat these young people and shake our heads for their lack of ambition. The real question is this: did Iever talk to my children or to another young person about the option to create a job for her orhimself?!Did I ever do something with a young person that enabled her or him to experience the magic of self-generated income through something other than being employed by me or by someone else?! If we are honest, more tha
n 90% of us will reply “no” to both questions. You see, very few of us adults
are entrepreneurial either!
Over the years we “mystified” the word “entrepreneur.” True, it is not that simple! The word“entrepreneur” will be defined with different emphasis
depending on the context. When you talk
“entrepreneur” within a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) class, you will look at different
aspects as apposed to when you talk to 16 year olds.You see, a lot had been achieved if your engagement with a young person leads simply for the boy or
girl to state “I’ll consider entrepreneurship as a career choice.” Just that! We’ll talk more about this
during a later conversation.
So, let us explore what we mean by “entrepreneur.” Jeffrey Timmons, a pioneer in th
is field definedentrepreneur within a youth context as follows: An entrepreneur is someone who:* is able to create and build a business or organisation from practically nothing;* make things happen for him or herself by accepting responsibility;* turns a set-back into an opportunity;* sees a gap;* senses an opportunity;* maintains effort until objective had been achieved;* builds a founding team of talents and expertise around him or her to complement his or herabilities in areas where he or she is less knowledgeable or skilled;* initiates and does;* has the know-how to find, marshal and controls resources (often owned by others) and to makesure he or she never runs out of money when most needed;* takes calculated risks, both personal and financial - to then do everything he or she possibly can toturn the odds in his or her favour.