• Thato Mathebula


“Entrepreneurship is not for everyone” a statement that has often been made in the debate of whether entrepreneurs are born or made. This debate however is a very complicated topic of conversation in South Africa based on the condition of its entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Every individual on the planet is born with unique personality and aptitude traits. There is evidence to suggest that it is impossible or extremely rare to find cases where these traits were enough to shape an individual into the master of their craft.

These traits had to be correctly applied and nurtured for full potential to be realised. This may have come in the form of a mentor who identified the potential and knew exactly what was required for one to apply themselves unconditionally and direct natural capabilities in a productive manner.

Ultimately this demonstrates that for entrepreneurship to be successful one needs to be in tune with their natural inclination and receive the correct mentorship. Whether this concludes that entrepreneurs are born and made is debatable and probably divides opinion.

One thing is certain, South Africa needs leaders to lead and provide mentorship for young entrepreneurs for entrepreneurship to grow and have a positive impact on it’s struggling economy.

Youth unemployment is at an all-time high, students are graduating from University with no idea what the future holds for them. The right to a good education is something that people laid their lives down for in this country and the fact that being educated provides no guarantee of a bright future is a mockery to the sacrifices that have been made for education to be accessible to all who live in South Africa.

The sluggish nature of SA’s entrepreneurial ecosystem needs to be seriously prioritised so that young entrepreneurs can positively impact their communities and make SA globally competitive.

Young entrepreneurs are struggling to identify their strengths, generate funding, find mentors, and navigate unpredictable business conditions. Often small businesses have already failed before they have even become operational.

Improving mentorship and support is key to young entrepreneurs developing their business planning, knowledge about access to support services and how to present new market opportunities.

The sooner this can be made possible the sooner the economy will improve, unemployment will be reduced and there can be less of a reliance on government to cultivate entrepreneurial culture in SA. Tune into this week's episode of the podcast as we discuss this topic in detail.

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