We Need To Build An Entrepreneurship Mindset In South Africa.

2016-07-18 11:14

Zareef Minty

We need to build more of an entrepreneurial mindset amongst our youth. We can’t blame the youth though it’s not our fault why the lack of entrepreneurial risk is excluded in the general characteristics of young people. A survey was done recently where over 5000 young people between the ages of 13-35 were interviewed and 65% of them stated the fear of failure as the reason for why they cannot seem to achieve their goals to date.

I am part of a panel known as the Youth Parliament on POWER FM, where we discuss weekly, the issues facing us as the youth and we try and build strong, sustainable and stable solutions to these issues. This morning we discussed the lack of political participation by our youth. Its not just the political sphere that is lacking but the entrepreneurial sphere as well.

The high level of unemployment in South Africa which sits currently at 36% for our youth is a clear indication that intervention needs to take place and it is great to see Mzwandile Masina, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry pushing through the youth industrial programme however this isn’t sufficient. We need something that will impact a larger mass of people in a shorter time span. The government has created other programmes to promote youth entrepreneurship as a solution. Included in this promotion thereof are tax subsidies and other government incentives, as well as various initiative programs to help heighten the entrepreneurial spirit that seemed to be lacking in our youth however this still isn’t sufficient.

What we need is a pool of successful entrepreneurs that are available to our youth with structured mentorship programmes. Unfortunately many of your truly successful entrepreneurs in the country don’t initiate mentorship in their monthly schedules. We also need to make sure that more emphasis is spent on educating students at high school level and push the standard far beyond basic business and economics. Another issue that I personally dislike is this ideology that when we graduate we have to do articles at a big 5 firm and that you must work your way up through the corporate culture. Its this ideology that we are forced to follow when we walk into a university already that is destroying the idea of a more developed economy through entrepreneurship. I mean personally speaking, when I walked into my first class at Wits University the so called “Big 5” was present, they were present at any events the law school hosted and they were present at career days. I can understand their participation at career day but the proportionally of their presence annoyed me. I tried to invite entrepreneurs to speak to law students to teach them the concepts of diversification but I experienced great resistance from management as my fellow council members.

We need a more practical based entrepreneurial subject at high school level where the content covered prominently results in creating that financially savvy mindset, which is needed to become a true entrepreneur and strive in our African economy.

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