Entrepreneurship needs more support in South Africa

By Network Reporter Time of article published Apr 12, 2018

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Durban - A recent global entrepreneurship survey shows that entrepreneurial activity was at its highest level in the country in the past few years, but the perception that it was a back-up plan needed to change.

This is according to Mark Paper, chief operations officer at Business Partners International, following the recent publication of the 2017/2018 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s (GEM) Report 1, which ranked South Africa’s entrepreneurial spirit at 42 out of 54 countries.

Paper said the country’s low ranking is an indication that more still needs to be done to lay the groundwork for entrepreneurship and small business development in the country. Total early-stage entrepreneurial activity in South Africa is at 11%, which is an improvement of over 4 percentage points compared to the 6.9% recorded in 2016.

These numbers are, however, still relatively low and, even with entrepreneurial activity showing such a substantial increase, it is still ranked only 27th of the 54 countries surveyed.

“We believe that some of this improvement is due to the slight uptick in economic outlook in South Africa during 2017. There has also been a realisation of the need to promote small businesses in the country as well as tax relief for small businesses, which has probably had a positive impact on the sector. A lot of work has also been done to improve access to business funding and to create an easier regulatory environment,” said Paper.

However, he said there were still some significant barriers that could continue to keep South Africa’s GEM ranking at its current position.

“This research highlights that the quality of entrepreneurship in South Africa is weaker than in other African countries. Looking at the calibre of South African SMEs’ housekeeping, governance, innovation and ability to function in a regulatory environment I would, however, disagree with this notion,” he said.

He said the mindset around entrepreneurs needed to change.

The Mercury

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