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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.

April 10

30 Years on, Rwanda continues to inspire

2023 was my third time in Rwanda. It’s a country that many will remember for the genocide that befell the country 30 years ago, where close to a million Rwandans were killed in a civil war, sparked by tensions between the Hutus and Tutsis tribe.

April 3

South Africa to create a million new SMMEs by 2030

The National Development Plan (NDP) places the responsibility of creating 90% of all jobs in South Africa on SMMEs. Currently in South Africa, it is estimated that SMMEs create about 60% of all jobs, which means that we are still a bit behind most regions in the world. In most nations, SMMEs account for the most jobs in their economy. According to the EuroFund, SMMEs constitute more than 99% of European companies and account for about two-thirds of private sector employment and job growth. To achieve the NDP target, the white paper published by 22 On Sloane in January 2024, estimates that South Africa will need to create 3.2 million new SMMEs in the next seven years in order to achieve the NDP target. Which means that with an average of 3.7 employees per SMME, the country could likely create around 11.9 million new jobs by 2030.

March 14

Global Entrepreneurship Congress Africa welcomes 2000 delegates to Cape Town

The long-awaited Global Entrepreneurship Congress Africa kicked off yesterday in the Mother City with thousands of delegates comprising of entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers and entrepreneur support organisations. About a dozen ministers from across the continent also jetted in with their delegation of entrepreneurs and ecosystem stakeholders to network and connect with top minds and players in Africa’s ecosystem.