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Global Entrepreneurship Week 2019

Kizito Okechukwu

12 November 2019

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The theme of the Global Entrepreneurship Week 2019 is centralized around the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) which the globe is moving towards. Building capabilities may be a requirement for growing economic aggressiveness or effectively applying technologies to fulfill human development aims. Businesses are great platforms for change and each leader can have a direct role in creating economic opportunities for people by investing in education and training programmes for existing and potential 4IR talent.

The 4IR is driven by connectivity and atomisation. It is furthermore mainly about ‘disruptive technologies’ such as artificial intelligence, robotics, blockchains and 3D printing. Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum (WEF) stated that artificial intelligence can produce a medical diagnosis from an x-ray foster than a radiologist and with the pinpoints accuracy. Robots can manufacture cars faster and with more precision than assembly-line workers. Furthermore, they can potentially mine base metals like platinum and copper which are crucial ingredients for renewable energy and carbon cleaning technologies. 3D printing will be changing manufacturing business models because companies are trying to take advantage of the technological advancements to gain profits and this will be done through innovations which will be more than just replacements for traditional manufacturing.

The one major positive aspect about the 4IR is that this rapid technological advances in renewable energy, fuel efficiency and energy storage will not only make investments in these fuels increasingly profitable which will boost GDP growth, but they will also contribute to mitigating climate change which is one of the major global challenges of our time.

The 4IR can also empower small and medium enterprises which are the backbone of the South African economy. Sipho Pityana who is the President of the Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) stated that “the SME sector employs 47% of South Africa’s workforce and contribute more than 20% to the country’s GDP and pays about 6% of cooperate taxes”. SME’s are important in being the source of innovation. However, many of these SME’s ability to grow is limited due to lack of access to finance, access to markets, inadequate skills, uncompetitive regulatory frameworks and technological disruptions.

The Global Entrepreneurship Week is an initiative to support entrepreneurship and to ignite further opportunities and trends. We will have Experts from the Agro-processing; energy, food and water nexus; technology and the gaming sector. They will give us an insight into how these different sectors contribute to our country’s economy and how entrepreneurs can help mitigate the problems which the country is currently facing.

July 4

Purpose as a Driver of the SMME Startup Ecosystem Sustainability

An ecosystem is a community that is supported by a foundation of interacting organisms. Each member has a specific role to play in the functioning of the ecosystem, and when a member does not perform its function, it all falls apart. A startup ecosystem, therefore, comprises various interacting organisations and individuals, which serve as its organisms. Typically, these include small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs), funders, enterprise support organisations (ESOs) and regulators. While all these organisms are important, they mean very little without the SMMEs themselves.

July 3

Reflecting on Youth Month and the Need for Holistic Solutions

The annual celebration of Youth Day commemorates the bravery of the Soweto Uprising students on the 16th of June 1976, who fought for educational equality and systemic oppressions which were perpetuated by the South African government’s apartheid policies. It also recognises the ongoing challenges faced by young South Africans, such as unemployment and access to education, while promoting youth development and empowerment through various initiatives.

June 24

Press Release | 22 On Sloane Launches Game Development Studio to Empower African Startups and Enthusiasts

22 On Sloane is thrilled to announce the launch of its Game Development Studio in partnership with Eskom Development Foundation, a space that is designed to empower startups, entrepreneurs, and gaming enthusiasts. This initiative exemplifies 22 On Sloane’s dedication to support entrepreneurs and gaming enthusiast by helping them launch and grow their businesses while strengthening Johannesburg’s gaming ecosystem