David White and Akhona Mahlati - South Africa Needs More Entrepreneurs!
Entrepreneurs stimulate the economy, bring innovation into our everyday existence, and importantly fuel economic growth and create employment opportunities.
But where do we find these Entrepreneurs? We know from international statistics that very few people are naturally entrepreneurial.
It is estimated that only 2% of the population are real entrepreneurs, and these 2% effect the lives of 98% of the population. These statistics may be accurate in developed countries, but South Africa and other developing countries do not have the luxury of sitting back and waiting for the magical 2% to rise up and make our country a better place for all. We need to have more contributors to the growth and development of our economy.
If we ask people why they feel our entrepreneur base in South Africa has not grown, most people will say
access to funding is challenging, too much red tape, a shortage of skills, too difficult or a multitude of different reasons. Are these reasons real? Yes, perhaps for people that are not "real" entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs traditionally are people that mentally place a lit candle further along their path, and then they walk towards it. Entrepreneurs keep moving forward no matter what the constraints and circumstances.
It's easy for us to make the mistake of calling everyone that owns a business an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs differ from other business owners in that they bring their unique passion to the business environment. They bring new thinking and often reinvent current processes and structures.
Entrepreneurs want to make a difference in the communities around them, they want to incorporate their lifestyles into what they are doing, and they want to leave a lasting legacy. All we understand is that in many circumstances they are regarded as rock stars. But, we're also aware that every singer is not necessarily a rock star, and it is the same with entrepreneurs and small/medium sized business owners. Small and medium sized companies may not all reinvent themselves on a continuing basis to take advantage of shifts in consumer behaviour and in market trends. But they provide essential services into the economy and contribute to employment statistics. Their role can therefore not be overlooked.
As much as 98% of people around the world work in companies that employ less than 20 staff. This statistic helps to put into perspective the value in helping companies with 1 - 20 staff members run their businesses effectively. Often companies with 20 or less staff do not have a full complement of business administrators to ensure that vital processes are sustained in the business. These may include ensuring that governance and compliance responsibilities are maintained, best practice is introduced, and that functional areas are supporting the business effectively.
BusinessFit helps budding entrepreneurs and small/medium sized business owners to grow their business to the next level. From our experience, we understand that entrepreneurs and small/medium
size business owners have a passion to do something they feel is special but they may lack the business structure and functional area support which they need.
The solutions that BusinessFit provides are there to develop the individual leader as well as his/her business. The BusinessFit Training Academy provides entrepreneurs with deeper understandings of
business processes and what is expected from a 'business leader' responsible to staffing relationships, customer care, supplier interaction, environmental matters, returns to various employer and business authorities, and shareholder reporting. Our Round Table Meetings interrogate the business and the owner from all angles, and help the entrepreneurs to align their specific strategy with the relevant business support structures.
The third active ingredient in our successful methodology is mentoring, which is a one-on-one process. We've realised that at the entrepreneurial level, aspects such as business writing, presentation skills,
business etiquette etc, are sometimes not fully realised. The time spent with entrepreneurs in discussions on these points becomes invaluable.
When required, we also do client visits with the entrepreneurs and assist them with their scoping and
proposal development needs.
Graduates from the BusinessFit programme are better equipped to run their businesses and are more confident in themselves as business leaders. They are surer of how their ideas will contribute towards the greater economy, and are more assured of their business's financial success.
As a company, BusinessFit is an enterprise development beneficiary, and as such the company is able
to receive enterprise and supplier development funds. In consultation with the sponsor company, we
allocate these funds to assist with the growth and development of entrepreneurs and small/medium size businesses that are majority Black owned.
The BusinessFit team would like to hear from corporate companies wishing to make a difference in the
development of entrepreneurs in the country.
Contact Ms Lindiwe Bhadi