Being a young entrepreneur vs climbing the corporate ladder
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Being a young entrepreneur vs climbing the corporate ladder

12 June 2018 BUSINESS


By Zuko Komisa

However, with the option for many young people to spend their time studying, sifting through career portals, and staying in their respective careers, what is the reality of entrepreneurship in South Africa? With a system and a mindset that seem to perpetuate a conventional life trajectory, how can we stop young people from ignoring the possibilities that entreprenuership could bring?

Among some of the fears associated with opening a business and venturing into unfamiliar territories, many young people face the reality that there is too much month at the end of their money to sustain their lifestyles. Money matters extend into the difficulties that can arise when looking for funding, the resources needed to set up a business as well as the adminstrative costs. The majority of small business owners are self-funded with many small business owners using personal savings while looking for potential investors in other avenues. It is no secret that the fears in venturing off into becoming a business owner for young people is there. We simply need to ask ourselves if the leap outweighs the fall.

Solving a Problem

The genesis of any business comes from solving a problem, with most business ideas being born out of experiences, successful businesses are those that find a need and fulfill it, living in the moment and creating a solution.

Learning to operate a business requires a lot of resilience and experts have advice starting very early on in life makes it easir to achieve this. Many base their success on Malcolm Gladwell’s theory of 1”0 000 hours”. Gladwell implies that spending 10 000 hours of “deliberate practice” on anything will make you a master at it.

Running a business means sacrificing. It means having to work more than 8 hours a day. Many entrepreneurs can probably show that that they have not taken time off for an entire year. In the long – term running your own business has many benefits, with the biggest being that you will be making more money than you would have to work for someone else.

Who Should Start a Business?

The drive to get young people to start businesses has created this notion that everyone can be an entreprenuer. There are many young people that don’t want the burdens of uncertainty, and the inability to enjoy the benefits of a consistent paycheck at the end of the month. Not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur, not everyone wants to be someone’s boss. If we were all entrepreneurs, who would be the employee.

While the dream of entreprenuership is sold, very few ‘experts’ put emphasis on how hard it is in the early years, how many time you will fall on your face and have to get up, how much money you will loose in your persuits, how much time you will need, the consistent acquisition of knowledge, innovating in new spaces, and understanding the difference between working for a business and working on the business.

This however doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to start and run a succesful business as a young person. It simply means you need a really thick skin to take it on, the country needs to hire more people for the economy to grow. This generation of youth in South Africa has so many opportunities to thrive in the field of entreprenurship, the world is our oyster.


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