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October 2014

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Make an impact

Look at the lives of those who you admire … You probably think that they never encountered failure or hardship. Everything just seems perfect. But, if you look a little bit deeper, read their stories or even (if you’re lucky) talk to them, you hear how they stumbled, struggled, fell, got burned … But they always, always got up and carried on.

This month, with our focus on small and medium practices, one cannot help to admire the courage of people who take the chance to start out on their own. Experts and analysts say that entrepreneurship is one of the keys to solving the country’s unemployment crisis. And a crisis it certainly is.

The latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report has found that the more people in a country are involved in opportunity entrepreneurship, the greater the level of economic development. This is where the small and medium practice (SMP) firms can make a difference.

SAICA receives continuous feedback from SMPs about the challenges they face. This sector of the accountancy industry offers vast opportunities, especially in the light of the growing focus on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and their role in the South African economy. Our firms are at the forefront in this sector and have an important and vital role to support SMEs to ensure sustainability and growth.

But we need to create positive attitudes among the young entrepreneurs so that they’ll be willing to take a chance no matter how difficult the road ahead may seem. According to a recent report by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation willingness to accept the possibility that a business will fail is a good indicator of entrepreneurial capacity. The report approximates that for 40% of young South Africans the fear of failure is a strong inhibiting factor in deciding to start their own businesses.

Not all individuals possess the qualities to become an entrepreneur and therefore these qualities and talents should be developed. We all have a responsibility to expose the youth to entrepreneurship – be it through the education system or as leaders or managers in the workplace. You can make an impact.

Author: Gerinda Jooste
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