Business commentary COlin proudfoot- oneway business services

2016-07-28 06:00
PHOTO: supplied Colin Proudfoot is a business-turnaround specialist. As a service to the local community he provides free business advice to emerging entrepreneurs.

PHOTO: supplied Colin Proudfoot is a business-turnaround specialist. As a service to the local community he provides free business advice to emerging entrepreneurs.

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THE establishment of another business incubator in Port Shepstone is encouraging.

The ICT sector is viewed by many as key to the development of small and emerging businesses. As positive as these initiatives are, they can at best be viewed as long term support for future businesses that have a relatively low employment multiplier.

The biggest challenge we face on the Hibiscus Coast is youth unemployment in both urban and rural areas. What we need is a strategy to not only address youth unemployment but, perhaps more importantly, to address the current growing levels of frustration among the youth.

Step one is to engage with the youth in an organised and constructive manner. Initiatives are already under way to establish a non political forum for this purpose. This is a mighty task but it is one that has to be undertaken urgently. The work of this forum will be to map out a future of inclusiveness and opportunity for the youth.

Step two is to engage with the business and agricultural sectors to promote initiatives geared to boosting local manufacturing and agricultural activity. In terms of employment potential, these two sectors offer the best short term employment multipliers.

In this endeavour, the retail sector is vital because shelves and showrooms must be encouraged to carry locally made goods. In general, all business sectors need to be involved and encouraged to enter into joint ventures with emerging entrepreneurs trading in rural areas, to work together with informal traders and to play a leading role in stabilising the socio economic environment.

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