Lack of knowledge kills small businesses

Buhle Buhlobo, Speelman, Raymond Ackerman Academy student

(We live) in a country with a fast growing population of 55.5 million people, 11 official languages and a large multicultural background with numerous practices.

Here’s how I see entrepreneurship as a “culture”.

In my understanding, culture is a practice of morals, skills, learning and legacy transaction that comes with wisdom and experience. Which in most cases is similar to entrepreneurship in South Africa; there has been a debate that you can’t teach someone how to become an entrepreneur because it is similar to talent; it is a gift a person is born with naturally.

The experience I have got and am in the process of acquiring, is not teaching me directly how to be entrepreneurial, but equipping me with knowledge, resources and the ability to see potential in whatever that I can put my mind to. There is a huge market for entrepreneurs but they need to understand the “why and how”.

The struggle of entrepreneurship for Cape Town, especially the townships is real, due to a lack of knowledge and career coaching in areas of, for example, management, financial planning, marketing and public relations.

This also contributes to many start-ups failing within the first two to five years.

Incubators are not delivering on those weaknesses and the SWOT (strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis can determine the future of the business.

As one of my friends’ business slogan says: “Khayelitsha is a city on its own”and a personal favourite quote from Wajdi Abrahams is: “In order for you to step out of the box and see an opportunity outside the box, there is a need for you to understand and know what’s inside the box first.”