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Thread: Two of the biggest entrepreneurs in the world are south africans?

  1. #1
    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    Two of the biggest entrepreneurs in the world are south africans?

    But they have literally been driven abroad to prosper!!!


    How is it possible that South Africa and other African countries produce such staggering successes, but none of the successes accrue locally? And why, for all our talk of enabling environments and supporting local entrepreneurship, are we most successful at chasing entrepreneurs abroad? asks Daily Maverick http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/artic.../#.VBqbJmeM2EU

    "Elon Musk’s achievement is staggering. He effectively built a space company from scratch and while competitors such as Boeing use Russian-made rocket engines, Elon Musk has designed his own."

    "most South Africans have never heard of. South Africa’s own Ivan Glassenberg built Glencore into one of the biggest mining companies in the world, and now ranks as the fourth-richest person in Australia."

    Frankly speaking, the Department of Trade and Industry should be answering to Parliament on why all its talk of enabling environments and supporting local entrepreneurship is so successful at chasing these entrepreneurs abroad?
    "Nobody who has succeeded has not failed along the way"
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    Never head of Ivan Glasenberg, and only discovered Elon Musk about a year ago. Most South African's in the street won't know who these people are.

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    Gold Member Chrisjan B's Avatar
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    Don't forget Mark Shuttleworth.

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Because the black government has no interest in white entrepreneurs and because we live in a society where the masses "demand", sit on their asses and destroy everything that anybody tries to build. ...it is the African way!
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

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    It is a rather interesting comment. I think that we are moving more towards global citenship. Elon Musk left to go to Canada (best country to live in at that stage according to world ranking) and Ivan Glassenberg to Australia (best country to live in currently).
    The point being that we (South Africans) are actually very innovative and have the ability to achieve great success, but we have a country that detracts from that. Not due to our racist outlooks (yes, it is still there, and it has been for many decades), but because we are crime ridden and have too many people that instead of focusing on building our economic strength, worry about politics and everything related to that. We are an African country. Next to China, the continent with the most positive outlook for economic growth. We have resources, we have many of the best ingredients, but we dont capitalise on it. People like Ivan (Glencore which includes another SA mining success story - Xtrata now part of Glencore) and Elon (he started and sold Paypal) and Mark (started and sold VeriSign) and there are many more moved on to (better) other countries, but we still have many in SA and Africa.
    But back to the question - I like the suggestion that we reach out to these South African born entrepreneurs and engage them to advise, invest in, develop, mentor or contribute in some manner to South Africa. Anyone know how to go about to get this on the table (and no, expecting T&I or any government department will not help).
    I remember that Nelson Mandela reached out to Richard Branson in the days gone past to help when the gym group (forgot their name) was in trouble and hence we now have Virgin Active. Branson has also established the Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship. Can the Innovation Hubs in SA approach Elon Musk...

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    Chrisjan B (22-Sep-14), Dave A (22-Sep-14)

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    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    I see 'Spacex' launched its first payload for 'NASA' successfully this weekend.
    Well done Elon.
    "Nobody who has succeeded has not failed along the way"
    Arianna Huffington

    Read the first 10% of my books "Didymus" and "The BEAST of BIKO BRIDGE" for free
    You can also read and download 100% free my short stories "A Real Surprise" and "Pieces of Eight" at
    http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/332256

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    Gold Member Chrisjan B's Avatar
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    Need to make a correction: Mark (started and sold VeriSign) - it's Thawte - he sold it to VeriSign.

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    Silver Member Greig Whitton's Avatar
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    The migration of wealthy entrepreneurs isn't a local-specific trend. In fact, the prevalence for South Africa is lower than many other countries.

    Founder of Evergrow - Helping South African business owners grow their business without the growing pains

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    One of my Black friends often ask me how it was possible for the Afrikaners to become so enterprising and successful.

    I suppose if you look at the background of South Africans, it is a pioneering spirit and circumstances that forced our forefathers to start doing things for themselves. The British colonial government forced the Boers to trek north and to find their own land where they could be free. When that was taken from them (1st & 2nd Anglo Boer wars) they had no option but to start over. Many lost their farms through the scorched earth policies of the British army. About 30 000 Boer wives and children died in the concentration camps. Also more than 14 000 Black South Africans.

    Many farmers had to find work on the mines where they lived in terrible conditions and poverty. The term "arm blanke" (poor white ) was coined. Still they were not deterred. They educated their children and themselves and through hard work and determination lifted themselves by their bootstraps. Their discipline and inventiveness had lead to the forming of organisations and businesses such as SASOL, Iscor, Remgro, a world leading nuclear programme and the first heart transplant et al. They strived for excellence and started filling top management positions and also started their own businesses and industrialists such as Anton Rupert and Louis Luyt came to the fore.

    In very much the same manner the indentured Indian community made use of the opportunities that presented itself. They did not wait on the government or charity or handouts. The many thriving businesses of Indian entrepreneurs are witness to their entrepreneurial spirit. The many Indian academics are proof of their willingness to learn and to be educated.

    I suppose if you want to be successful, one must emulate successful people. If you want to be an accountant, you must think like an accountant. You must find out what education and tools are required and act like an accountant. If you want to be a manager, take responsibility like a manager and find out what it takes to do the job. There is always room at the top.

    Our people are sitting, wasting their lives away. We are waiting on a bus, waiting for a handout, waiting for a job, waiting on government to provide. What has happened to our enterprising spirit? Why can foreigners come here and open spaza shops in our townships and take over the shops in our towns? Are we too lazy to work or to think for ourselves? Maybe we should concern ourselves less with useless politicking and power struggles. If we could spend only half the time that we are waiting for something to happen to better ourselves by acquiring education and skills. We should stop looking for jobs, but build careers instead.

    Sadly, our government is driving enterprising citizens away due to their incompetence and racist policies. That is why our educated people are leaving and finding businesses elsewhere. That is why we have such high unemployment. This is the start of a vicious downward cycle and one that will accelerate unless something is done NOW!
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greig Whitton View Post
    In fact, the prevalence for South Africa is lower than many other countries.
    I suspect that when it comes to South Africa, many people have already made a conscious decision and acted on it in this regard in the past 20 years or so.

    How many have we lost already?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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