SABC News - South Africa has to promote entrepreneurship: Chamber:Wednesday 15 February 2017

South Africa has to promote entrepreneurship: Chamber

Wednesday 15 February 2017 18:13

Morafe Tabane

With the economy slowing down and the unemployment rate still stubbornly high, South Africans have been urged to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship, particularly among young people.(SME)

The National Small Business Chamber says South Africa has to promote entrepreneurship as a viable career option which will help lower the high unemployment rate in the country.

The organisation says creating jobs through entrepreneurship will also help the economy achieve higher growth rates.  

It is currently holding a summit at Gallagher Estate in Midrand aimed at supporting SMMEs as well as aspiring business people.  

Small, medium and macro enterprises are the backbone of the second economy.

With the economy slowing down and the unemployment rate still stubbornly high, South Africans have been urged to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship, particularly among young people.

The majority of the people currently unemployed are between the ages of 15 and 35.

Addressing some of the delegates at the National Small Business Chamber Summit, the Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber, Mike Anderson, said South Africa has to work as a collective to ensure that the mindset of young people is changed.    

“We, as a nation, have to work as a collective, as meaningful nation builders to promote entrepreneurship, as viable option, as a viable career option and to build these people. The biggest alleviator of unemployment is the creation of jobs and with creating jobs through small businesses, there is no better future. Small businesses are the mainstream of our economy.”

Anderson also says small businesses need to be supported to ensure that they grow exponentially.

“We also have to, as a nation, to support our small businesses, because if we can support these businesses, these small businesses can build infrastructure and they can hire more form their communities. Big business, government and the consumer, we have to come together with the spirit of entrepreneurship. This is what we have seen in the United States and other parts of the world as well, and that is true nation-building.”

More than 2 000 people are attending the summit. Some of them are established business owners while others are aspiring business owners.

One of the business people who started from nothing and is now successful is Raymond Cugnolio. He says patience and hardwork have helped him to run a successful business.

“I had lost a business and started off with nothing, just tuning pianos. My encouragement to you is that you can make it in business. Give it a good shot. So, we do anything to do with pianos. We hire pianos; we fix pianos; we take them to functions. I work even in Maputo, Zimbabwe and other parts of the continent including the DRC ... all over Africa almost.”

Meanwhile, Investment Officer at Business Partners, Nokubonga Zondi, says the organisation she is working for is here to assist delegates with information around access to funding, as well as mentoring.

“We fund small and medium entities. One of the greatest products that we are doing well in is 100% funding. So, if the business owner wants to be supported with funding for commercial property or funding for equipment we are able to assist with that.”

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