At the heart of entrepreneurship is the desire and drive to solve problems – for one’s self, for the community, and for the country.
We don’t have all the answers and business plans for your next company, but we do know that if you look at the challenges unique to South Africa, there are a ton of opportunities hidden within.
For the second consecutive year, SA has ranked last out 140 countries for the quality of maths and science education in the Global Competitiveness Report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF). There is a serious lack of an educated, skilled workforce in South Africa.
Some highlights from the report include:
- The percentage of learners taking mathematics in Grade 12 decreased from 49% in 2010 to less than 41% in 2015
- 53% of Grade 12 learners who wrote matric maths in 2014 achieved above 30%, and only 35% achieved above 40%
- 25% of secondary schools do not offer mathematics in Grades 10 to 12
Both government and the private sector have allocated large budgets to improve education in SA. Public and private Technical & Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges are being developed to help cope with demand for skills in the country, which provides a great opportunity for entrepreneurs with a passion for education to get involved in providing a necessary service to the country, and creating a thriving business at the same time.
South Africa is currently experiencing a water crisis, with rain levels lower than it’s been in years, leading to drought and water scarcity countrywide. Out of the nine provinces, five have been declared disaster zones, namely the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the North West.
Entrepreneur Ludwick Marishane used such an opportunity to create a cheap, clean and convenient solution for areas experiencing water shortages. His invention, DryBath is the world’s first bath-substituting lotion that provides access to sanitation and dignity for people who have little or no access to water.
Earlier this year the South African Government announced a new cybercrimes bill to combat online crime and alleviate the negative effects thereof. The South African Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Dr Siyabonga Cwele recentlylaunched a virtual hub to tackle cybercrimes.
“The information gathered by the hub will be used to monitor cyber-attacks and provide warnings to stakeholders of emerging threats, serve as information centre for solutions on how to deal with treats and enable stakeholders to get updates on the global for pre-emptive measures to strengthen their systems against cyber-attacks,” said Cwele.
Government and businesses are firmly behind tackling cybercrimes and improving cybersecurity in South Africa, which creates ample opportunity for budding entrepreneurs to insert themselves into the industry by being part of solving the cybercrime problem in South Africa.
In order to address the needs of the South African population, entrepreneurs should strive to solve problems, create jobs, generate tax revenue, and distribute purchasing power while creating wealth. By harnessing the issues unique to South Africa, entrepreneurs can capitalise and provide long-lasting solutions at the same time.