Entrepreneurship is innate in some and can be developed in others. However, a specific type of individual with drive can do it.
Delivering a speech at the DA’s economic freedom conference last year, economic analyst Moeletsi Mbeki said SA needs to forget about nationalisaton and focus on entrepreneurship instead.
With unemployment sitting at 25%, the benefit of entrepreneurship is obvious for the country as it reduces the burden on the economy to provide employment, says Mark Smith, Founder and coach of Wildcats Coaching and Training Specialists.
The benefits of entrepreneurships for entrepreneurs include a lot of freedom, the ability to be creative and to develop multiple income sources.
Tips for aspiring entrepreneurs
Smith offers the following guidelines:
- Be prepared to stay in it until you succeed by having financial planning and cash flow for the lean times before you start. Maybe an angel investor will take a share if your business idea is good enough.
- Do not enter partnerships where someone is taking a share and not investing other than their time (watch out for friends becoming business partners).
- Business means business and does not operate 9-5. You have to do what it takes to succeed. There are no set working hours for entrepreneurs.
- Create a pipeline of business to enable you to plan forward in terms of covering your costs like staff salaries or supplier invoices.
- Always pay your bills – people develop a bad reputation quickly and suppliers give good terms to reliable payers, which will help your cash flow down the line.
Entrepreneurship vs nationalisation
Smith agrees with Mbeki regarding creating more entrepreneurs instead of nationalising assets and implementing BEE. “In line with my support of entrepreneurship, it makes sense to me that those who know how to run a successful business do so for profit, and yet I have the view that profit-sharing should spread to everyone involved, in order to sustain growth and support as well as loyalty and commitment,” he says. The fat cats are the problem in the unions, government and business. If the big banks, mines and large conglomerates were to adopt a more decentralised, entrepreneurial approach where appropriate, employees would have more invested and therefore the whole entity would benefit.