The recently concluded Jobs Summit saw stakeholders explore ways to create jobs, especially for the work-starved youth. Photo: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)
JOHANNESBURG – The Global Entrepreneurship Network continues to stimulate millions of jobs. The recently concluded Jobs Summit saw stakeholders explore ways to create jobs, especially for the work-starved youth. Now we’re all acutely aware of the huge unemployment crisis in South Africa and, in my opinion, the task of addressing this lies not with big businesses, but with stimulating small ones.

I say this, because many of the initiatives that were thrown around pre- and during the summit focused more on what the government can do to inspire big businesses to create more jobs. I think the approach should have been different.

It should have focused more on what the government can do to inspire more small businesses to start, scale and flourish. Big businesses will only create jobs if it makes financial sense and will always strive to profit more using less resources, in this case, staff. Breaking industry monopoly and encouraging small businesses to enter and disrupt the market should be the way to go, as new businesses can challenge the existing market status quo.

The Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is a celebration of innovators and job creators who launch start-ups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. During one week each November, GEW inspires people everywhere with local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators. These activities range from large-scale competitions and events to intimate network gatherings, which connect participants to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors - introducing them to new possibilities and exciting opportunities.

It is important to note that GEW is more than just an awareness campaign. It is a powerful, results-driven platform for connection and collaboration that engages all players in the entrepreneurial spectrum and strengthens these ecosystems around the world.

The initiative is supported by dozens of world leaders and a network of over 15000 partner organisations, attracting more than 20 million participants globally. The Global Entrepreneurship Network Africa (GEN Africa) encourages various ecosystem partners to host events in their communities and cities to seek partnerships from big and small businesses to support their activities.

GEN Africa, in partnership with the Department of Small Business Development and numerous private and public sector partners, will launch the 2018 GEW activities on November 12 at the 22 on Sloane start-up campus. The aims is to attract start-ups, accelerator support networks and policy- makers. A combined total of between 4000 and 5000 delegates are expected to attend the week-long programme.

The schedule for the week is as follows: Monday, November 12: Launch and policy discussions; Tuesday, November 13: Manufacturing and agri-processing; Wednesday, November 14: Tech day; Thursday, November 15: Social and entrepreneurship; Friday, November 16: Funding.

Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu sits on the global steering committee of ministers of small business and, during recent engagements, she acknowledged that in the first 11 years of celebrating GEW, they had learnt a great deal about the potential of entrepreneurs and the ability of our societies to work together. With support from the government, the continent and private sector leaders, her department hopes to shape a community of entrepreneurs and connect them to the resources they so badly need to succeed.

Kizito Okechukwu is the co-chairperson of Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) Africa; 22 on Sloane is Africa’s largest start-up campus.

The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

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