Shaping The Country’s Entrepreneurship With Youth Cultural Values That Resonates With Them
The government needs to check the blind spot or adjust their pace to keep up with what the youth values.
South Africa stands as one of the entrepreneurial leaders in sub-Sahara Africa. As stated by the Global Entrepreneur Monitor (GEM) report 2016-2017, the business climate has become somewhat a hostile environment for entrepreneurs. In particular, within the two basic categories, those are start-up businesses and existing improvement based businesses.
In fact, only 43.17% of South Africans perceive the opportunity of starting a new business and 41.9% of improvement-driven entrepreneur perceives the opportunity to advance their businesses. Therefore, this poses a question, what is it that is happening and what do we need to realise for this below par performance?
The old going with the new
“10.1% of South Africans of working age intend starting their own business in the next three years, compared to 41.6% in the other African countries that were surveyed”
Supporting developing businesses is an issue affecting our entrepreneurial flair. South African consumers are not as responsive and easily persuaded by emerging local businesses. They don’t rush to spend their money on them unless they prove their worth for it, which seems sensible taking into consideration the state of our current economy.
In contrast, reflecting on government’s previous efforts of introducing an initiative such as Proudly South African in 2001, and what President Ramaphosa has recently proposed, I feel it is just another treadmill run for the country’s entrepreneurial development plan.
In his speech, President Ramaphosa said the government would honour its undertaking to set aside at least 30% of public procurement to SMMEs, co-operatives and township and rural enterprises and would continue to invest in small business incubation. “We encourage business to do the same,” he said.
This is good news; however, the government might be a little behind with understanding what is really happening and they might have lost the plot, although they believe they are on the right path with the YES –Youth Employment Services initiative listed in their plans.
A new economic agenda
Given that, today we find a wave of defiant young entrepreneurs striving to immerse their impact on various industries. In their own accord, they are driving large corporate companies into focusing their attention on them for inspiration and sustenance in the turbulent economy. Hence, we have witnessed a rise in business incubators established all over as a means of helping with the breakthrough within the disruptive change.
Consequently, in the driving seat is the South African youth. Tired of being too dependent on the delusions of a government that is struggling to deal with its own undertakings.
Looking closely this generation is now moving with a different agenda. They are realigning the position of power. Shifting their focus into ownership and pioneering trends for what they call ‘’The culture”. The motion is stirring an attitude of self-reliance, influencing a new economy of disruptive ideas that the government will take a while to keep up with.
‘’The ambiguous phrase is feeding an ambition to lead. It is synonymous with the hopeful youth of entrepreneurs who have decided to stand up for their own future’’
Understanding the culture as a youth phenomenon
As a result, we suggest the government must begin to speak to the youth’s interests. Invest in their values because, for them, it’s about joining forces with people who resonate with their livelihood. Corporate South Africa has taken a firm advantage in realising this. Granting, they are holding them ransom exploiting the opportunity. Nevertheless, this is a ticking time bomb that will soon have the youth rebel against them at any given moment.
At this moment, we need to take time and understand this leading force. Building towards a new economy of the free and independent. Moreover, credit them for inspiring the local business space and encouraging entrepreneurship progress in an unprecedented manner. Surely, it is for the culture!