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Thread: Chickens coming home to roost?

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    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    Chickens coming home to roost?

    Please stop the mindless nonsense of trying to ‘create’ entrepreneurs to satisfy some extravagant political agenda!

    Johann Redelinghuys
    13 February 2013 12:25 (South Africa) http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/opini...itical-agenda/

    The Gauteng government’s commitment to create 100,000 entrepreneurs “by next year” is a ridiculous pipe-dream. Even more misguided is the expressed belief that each one of these instant entrepreneurs would employ “at least five people”.

    This poorly conceived undertaking has been built on the vain attempt of the Gauteng government to use The Youth and Graduate Entrepreneurship Development program (Y-Age) to play its part in fulfilling President Jacob Zuma’s reckless campaign commitment to create “five million new jobs”.

    Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has now suspended the head of the economic development department, Khulu Radebe, pending an investigation, questioning the financial management of the programme and for failing to deliver the promised success in the various entrepreneurship development programmes of which he was put in charge. The funding from the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP) has been cancelled, and the efforts so far appear to have been abandoned.

    The sentiments driving this misadventure are, of course, sound. The establishment of small, medium and micro enterprises will undoubtedly play a vital part in creating employment, and it is true that in the most vibrant economies of the world small businesses make out the backbone of the working economy. The most foolhardy notion, however, is the belief that it could happen by decree, out of the blue, in a tightly strained time frame, not for its own sake, but for the benefit of a political agenda.

    We are not talking here about the many pavement traders or people who badger us at traffic lights to buy their wares. We are talking about building young, vibrant businesses that generate cash above subsistence level and can provide further employment to others.

    Apart from self-employment or working in haphazard contract employment, the people who are real entrepreneurs to the extent that they can employ numbers of others are mostly well-educated, with at least some business experience. How can poor unemployed people from the townships, with the patchy education they are given, go out and right away become entrepreneurs who can employ others?

    This all looked like a tailor-made idea to provide an inspiring vision and to find a solution for the country’s intractable unemployment situation. But it shows a regrettable lack of understanding of what it is to be an entrepreneur and what the process is that leads to a successful business start-up.

    The world is slowly waking up to the fact that, as Clem Sunter says in his most recent paper, 21st Century Megatrends, “education is out of sync with the job market and the days of relying on a decent academic qualification to guarantee employment” are well and truly over. He also says that “nowadays most kids have to be entrepreneurs and start their own businesses.” Even he seems to make it sound easy. It is not.

    Countries serious about this issue are challenging privately successful entrepreneurs to establish incubators and giving angel funders and venture capitalists tax breaks to encourage business start-ups. The whole process requires large-scale participation and the skills of successful private sector business role models. Leaving it to provincial government bureaucrats is an unlikely recipe for success.

    Much more inspiring have been the efforts of a man like Vuyisa Qabaka, himself a successful business builder, who launched the South African Black Entrepreneurs Forum ( Sabef) which provides a business network for aspiring black entrepreneurs in the early stages of developing their businesses. It is a support system that provides coaching and advice for people as they grapple with their start-ups. It is encouraging because it is a credible private sector initiative.

    A more practical approach for the country would be to recognise that even the most passionate aspiring young business builder needs some skill and business understanding to get started. They need exposure to businesses that are already functioning and have the systems and processes that make a business work. Once these have been understood, an independent person with drive and initiative could conceivably plan to head out on their own and start something from scratch. But it is not an instant process and it needs much more than the well-meaning Gauteng authorities to make it happen. Government, if it is going to be of any value in this, should offer very attractive incentives for companies to employ young people in apprenticeship programmes and internships. The chances of getting started with the benefit of some skill and knowledge are much better.

    The Skills Education and Training Authority programmes (Setas) had all the best intentions. With 27 of them covering all sectors of commerce and industry they should have worked well and addressed this national priority. But they have really not been a great success.

    The Education Seta website says there are an estimated 4.3 million people who are unemployed, most of whom “have little training and few skills”. According to the website, “More than half the Grade 12 learners who leave school every year don’t have sufficient basic skills to get work in any sector of the economy. At any one time there are as many as 7,000 graduates who have university degrees who are also unemployed.” These figures are two years out of date and probably now much bigger.

    For the country to hope that some pie-in-the-sky entrepreneurship dream is going to help it rescue this sinking ship is clearly out of the question. The imperative to build and develop skills is not only for the benefit of finding a full-time job, it is also essential if an entrepreneurial start-up is going to work. And then, please, ensure that any initiative to address this should be driven by people who know what it is all about.

    Cape Town is building its brand to become a world-class movie-making centre. Could there, in the same way, be a city or a location somewhere in this country, that could become “start-up central”, a place where we could attract the best skills of incubators, venture capitalists and coaches of aspiring entrepreneurs? Could there be a campus, or a type of Silicon Valley, that becomes a centre for creative start-up technology and knowledge? Could there be a place where young, inexperienced people could go and acquire some of the start-up skills that would really work? DM

    Johann Redelinghuys
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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Its actually a typing error as people in government can not count. The real figure is 500, not 5 million jobs.
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    Chrisjan B (13-Feb-13)

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    Gold Member Chrisjan B's Avatar
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    Zero is worth F**KALL anyway - the actual figure is 5.

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrismine View Post
    Zero is worth F**KALL anyway - the actual figure is 5.
    5 Chickens?
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    One of the issues I have been telling anyone who lends an ear about education, is that we have the incorrect syllabus in our schools.
    In a rural area, we should not be schooling the learners with academics, but rather be preparing the kids to be able to gain knowledge into where they are going to be employed. So the syllabus in a rural area should be geared for agriculture, to include subjects on mechanical stuff, such as mechanics, welding, building, basic electrical, planting, chemicals, harvesting, maintenance, and any subject related to that industry.

    Towards the cities, the schools should be gearing towards technical subjects, so that learners start getting an understanding of the world around them from an early age. Off course there must still be the academical side of it, for learners so inclined.
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
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    Gold Member vieome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justloadit View Post
    One of the issues I have been telling anyone who lends an ear about education, is that we have the incorrect syllabus in our schools.
    In a rural area, we should not be schooling the learners with academics, but rather be preparing the kids to be able to gain knowledge into where they are going to be employed. So the syllabus in a rural area should be geared for agriculture, to include subjects on mechanical stuff, such as mechanics, welding, building, basic electrical, planting, chemicals, harvesting, maintenance, and any subject related to that industry.

    Towards the cities, the schools should be gearing towards technical subjects, so that learners start getting an understanding of the world around them from an early age. Off course there must still be the academical side of it, for learners so inclined.
    Shame Man! you saying rural kids should be given a dream of being doctors, accountants etc, every body dreams of escaping their cage, and I am sure many young kids in rural areas are dying to leave their areas.

    Any how on the idea of govt creating entrepreneurs, I think every idea govt comes up with that requires govt expenditure, are always ideas that will help grease the wheels of corruption. The question on govt expenditure is always will the money go to the needy or the greedy.
    .

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    Gold Member Chrisjan B's Avatar
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    My perception is that the money will always go to the greedy...

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    Gold Member Chrisjan B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurock View Post
    5 Chickens?
    You being difficult now - 5 jobs - do I need to spell it out?

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    About 5 years ago AgriSETA asked myself and a few other entrepreneurs to meet with a lass from DoL to talk about fixing an entrepreneur development program they had in place. The background was they had already been running one for a few years and it was failing miserably. (Success was measured by number of trainees in business 2 years after starting the program - the score was nil).

    We looked at the program and at first blush the content of the program certainly wasn't the problem. Frankly, I think I (and any other entrepreneur struggling to build a business) would have benefited tremendously by going on the program. But after a closer look - well let's see how smart everyone here is...

    The program ran like this:
    The target is unemployed youth.
    You spend 3 months in a classroom learning all the skills of an entrepreneur, and getting paid a stipend.
    You are then given a one year government contract (in the service industry category) reserved for the program, given loan finance to get you started, and assigned a mentor.
    In that year you were expected to find new clients, because at the end of the year the contract goes to someone from the new class.

    And let me assure you, that classroom training covered all the basic business skills you need... right down to brushing your teeth and wearing deodorant.

    So surviving nine months after the end of the gift contract was the test of success - why was the program failing?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Entrepreneurs are not made in a classroom. An entrepreneur must have the gift of seeing an opportunity, the will to succeed, be prepared to work hard, be prepared to learn from mistakes, the will to start over, to persevere etc etc.

    I am involved with a group that gives free training to entrepreneurs and people wanting to to start their own businesses. Lectures and activities are structured at different levels so that the person who is already in business is not being held up by people at grass roots level. Some of the lectures are really good and almost at a university level.

    What amazes me is that the people who need the information most will arrive up to an hour late! Sometimes they leave early as well. They are getting this for free or almost free and just don't have the discipline to put some effort into their own future.
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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