Entrepreneurial development key to boosting economic growth

By on April 30, 2014

Levels of motivation to start a business differ around the world, and in South Africa entrepreneurship is often necessity driven due to businesses being created as a result of a need for employment, rather than because the business owners view the business as an entrepreneurial opportunity.

According to Christo Botes, Executive Director of Business Partners Limited, in order to shift necessity-driven entrepreneurship to opportunity-driven entrepreneurship, an investment into entrepreneurial development is needed in the country. Botes explains that an opportunity-driven entrepreneur is an individual that strives to capitalise on opportunities in the broader economy.

“While necessity-driven entrepreneurs are benefiting the economy, their businesses are often developed out of need and related to one specific and physical skill, such as building, selling or designing. These entrepreneurs hold the skill necessary to do the job, but require basic business development support in order to grow their business further than the one particular skill.”

He adds that entrepreneurial development and equipping entrepreneurs with the necessary tools is a method of ensuring further entrepreneurial opportunities that can be identified and capitalised on for not only the business owner, but also its employees, family, suppliers, customers and the economy at large.

“The true test of entrepreneurship does not lie in starting a business, but in being able to maintain continued success and growth for the business. One way to grow entrepreneurship in South Africa is to empower and equip motivated entrepreneurs, which will ensure that they are capable to capitalise on the opportunities available to them,” he says

He adds that in order to continuously support and nurture entrepreneurial development in South Africa, an entrepreneurial ecosystem needs to be established. “Creating such an ecosystem is a long-term project, which requires a mix of structured programs and support mechanisms that are aimed at stimulating and developing entrepreneurs, and one such element to this ecosystem is establishments that focus on entrepreneurship, as well as provide education in business skills and promote mentorship and training.”

Botes says that entrepreneurial development is imperative as it ensures all entrepreneurs are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to grow their business from strength to strength, as well as ensure they are on par with that of their competitors. “Entrepreneurs that have previously undergone such training not only have newly acquired skills to apply to their business, but have the confidence to step out of their current comfort level.

“This entrepreneurial development also supports entrepreneurs to turn opportunities into real business ventures and maximise on real sustainable job creation which are both needed for the local economy to grow,” concludes Botes.

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