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Ali Baloyi: Equip all graduates to be entrepreneurs

February 20, 2017

I propose that we institutionalise entrepreneurship from basic education to our universities.

Entrepreneurship must be made a compulsory subject in high schools as this will enable the community at large to have more insight into the field of entrepreneurship. Universities must develop a policy whereby in each and every faculty after every graduation an entrepreneur is born. This means that they must make entrepreneurship a mandatory course in each faculty, and apply it to professional careers as well, such as Medicine, Law, Education etc.

After graduation these entrepreneurs must come together in their respective faculties with creative ideas and build a profitable enterprise. They must create a company that will give people jobs and contribute to the economy. As our country has 26 universities it would be a positive movement towards fighting the country’s biggest problem, which is unemployment.

Imagine if every year our 26 universities produce 26 entrepreneurial enterprises with creative ideas that could lead to tangible results in society.

As learners from high school make their way to life as a university student, it will be easy for them to come up with innovative ideas because they will now have a solid basic knowledge of what entrepreneurship is and what the requirements are for building a successful business. They will also be able to think critically and identify real opportunities that are unique, and could, for instance, come up with a product/service that could be a long term success, something that is hard to copy and cannot be substituted.

Combining our efforts together will be a productive move towards fighting the unemployment headache, considering the fact that greediness will be eliminated so that everyone benefits on the resources of our country.

While they are studying they will develop more entrepreneurial skills and the capacity to think outside of the box. They will be able to do this because they will then have wisdom as they will be preoccupied with entrepreneurship.

Such an endeavour needs funds, and therefore the government must come to the party to ensure our prospective entrepreneurs’ business goals materialise. With the billions of taxes paid by South Africans every year it is possible to diversify some funds and invest in this process.

Since we are skeptical when it comes to risking money for start-up businesses, the government, together with academics, can take control of such a resource. They can decide which business has a better chance of success, and from that they will be able to inject money to ensure that our people get jobs.

As these businesses are at their initial stage it will be a good idea to get our graduates who don’t have the so called “experience” to work at these enterprises. This will be a cost-effective approach given the fact that we don’t have to have to waste a lot of money paying our graduates as they will be starting their careers, furthermore they will gain valuable job experience considering that they will be exposed to practical job experience where they don’t waste their time doing less challenging tasks.

Producing entrepreneurs every year seems unrealistic. To circumvent that we can give our graduates the freedom to execute their ideas. For instance, not giving them too much pressure to start their enterprise, we can give them a minimum of five years to start their businesses.

We can also give them the freedom of being creative. By that I mean avoid giving them briefs on which businesses to start and unnecessary requirements for good businesses. By giving them the freedom and power to make their goals a reality we will be creating the next Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page as a country. We can at least produce 5 to 10 businesses in every five years that seek to fight unemployment, and also improve the economic status of the country.

The ownership of such companies can be split in a 50% stake, where the government owns half and the founder makes use of the remaining 50%. The decisions that the government make in the business must strive to serve the interest of the people, for example, making sure more poor people are employed and nepotism is prevented. The government cannot interfere with the functioning of the business as this will lead to a lot of problems, such as underperforming of the enterprise and changing how the business operates.

There must be transparency in terms of profit made to ensure that the profit end up at the South African Reserve Bank. We don’t want a situation where public officials take control of such funds as it may lead to corruption. Such a business cannot be sold; it belongs to the state. The founder cannot sell it, but rather, will have a recommended amount of profit prescribed by the government in case they decide to pursue other business opportunities elsewhere.

I believe entrepreneurs can be made if we instill the idea of entrepreneurship in everyone, as it will stimulate the formulation of different ideas that can be used collectively to benefit society at large. If we all have the same vision, I doubt the country will suffer from economic issues. Combining our efforts together will be a productive move towards fighting the unemployment headache, considering the fact that greediness will be eliminated so that everyone benefits on the resources of our country.

1 Comment

  1. Sizwe
    February 20, 2017 - 11:13 pm

    Mr Baloyi, you have a very productive idea in paper. I fully take your ideas into consideration, but then it seems as if the whole of this brilliant idea is fully depended and contingent to the same government that is failing to manage funds to make the prospect of free education practical. Is it justifiable fof the government to take account and be involved in this project and benefit out of it as well(50% profit) cob sidereal how equivocal and messed up our current government is is chronological skills of our monies

    Reply

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