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Entrepreneurship key to tackling unemployment


OPINION: Unemployment among young people and the country’s growing cost of living should push the youth to start something that will support their livelihood, writes Moahlodi Maphori.

Anyone in life can succeed – as long as they have the vision of what they want to do, it is possible to achieve it, says the writer. File picture: Kwanda Njoli/African News Agency (ANA)

By Moahlodi Maphori

WE NOW live in a time where, rather than looking for work, we must embrace entrepreneurship to tackle joblessness in the country.

Unemployment among young people and the country’s growing cost of living should push the youth to start something that will support their livelihood.

A humble start can lead to greater heights. I am always inspired by the African Bank TV commercial featuring the late rapper Riky Rick. According to the bank’s founder, all that was required to get the business up and running was R70. All you need is a business idea and the determination to pursue it.

I recently heard a good story about Putana Eric Mabela, a young prominent director of MPE Consultants, who made history by becoming the first black person in South Africa to obtain an operating licence from the South African Reserve Bank for the first black-owned micro-insurance company. As a society, we should be proud of this historic achievement.

This is an inspirational story of a young man who rose from the dusty streets of Segorong village outside Burgersfort in Limpopo province.

This extraordinary achievement embodies the prestige of black excellence and should serve to inspire many young black people that one’s background does not determine one’s future.

Anyone in life is destined to succeed, as long as one has the vision of what they want to do, it is possible to achieve it.

Being a businessperson necessitates knowledge of the industry or field into which one is venturing into. This is an ultimatum to make a breakthrough and succeed in what you do.

We have witnessed many young people embarking on side hustles to complement their incomes. This is another right step in a good direction as it enhances best practices of conducting business.

The youth of 1976 died fighting for a decolonised and fair education system, which we now have. An educational milestone that the government has supplemented with fee-free education for those from low-income and poor backgrounds to gain access to this vital tool to change their lives.

Today’s youth should take advantage of this opportunity to pursue careers that will shape and direct their perceptions towards entrepreneurship studies.

The attitude of the youth of 1976 towards achieving liberation should serve as a great lesson that when young people come together and commit to their goals, nothing can stop them.

Young people should register legitimate businesses with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission. The government provides small business funding through the Department of Small Business and Development and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).

Youth who want to start their own businesses must be able to access these funds and begin contributing to the growth of our country’s struggling economy.

President Cyril Ramaphosa recently stated at the 2022 Youth Day celebrations in Mthatha, in the Eastern Cape, that the government is increasing investment and eliminating red tape that restricts business growth and job creation.

This encouraging step allows young people to gain access to investments that will help their businesses thrive and create jobs for their peers.

The time has come to take that step into entrepreneurship and realise the potential for growing our struggling economy and creating jobs. Start a business and reap the benefits of being your own boss. You hold the key to unlock your future!!!

* Moahlodi Maphori is a communications officer at GCIS. He writes in his personal capacity.

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