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Chris Gaza
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The SA version of entrepreneurship

12 November 2012, 20:25

Tenderpreneur (or tenderpreneurship) is a South African government official or politician who uses their powers and influence to secure government tenders and contracts. The word is a portmanteau of "tendering" and "entrepreneur."

We are seeing more and more of this tenderpreneurs, driving flashy cars, living in high security wall mansions, throwing lavish parties etc; the life any person on the other side would envy in a second. .

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has called on society to reject the concept of "tenderpreneurship". She says it breeds corruption, resulting in the milking of State resources for personal gain.

“Tenderpreneurism” has threatened to corrupt the meaning of being an entrepreneur, putting the focus on using connections to land a government contract to build a road or building rather than developing a successful business from the ground up.

I seem to battle with finding anything remotely positive to say in that line of business. Tenderpreneurs should not be idolized. Very few possess the necessary skills and passion to get the job done.

What is of a major concern, is listening to young people, so driven in pursuing the tendering business, because they see it as a hasty way to acquire wealth. A viable alternative to tenderpreneurship is gradually building that business from scratch to a level where you are able to meet client needs. This requires time, effort and lots of patience as well as a ‘never say die’ attitude, the results thereof are long term.

While South Africa is the continent’s largest economy, with a GDP of $364 billion, true entrepreneurial activity is less than in many other emerging economies, including other African countries.

The culture of entrepreneurism needs to be re-established, and this requires better education, mentoring and cooperation between government and business,

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