As we commemorate June 16, the significance of the role the youth of 1976 played in paving the path to change should not be masked by various celebrations. On the other hand, it should remind us of the power of unity and ubuntu as we fight for financial freedom.
Fortunately, entrepreneurship is a catalyst for the high unemployment rate. More so, young people are taking advantage of the opportunities and are finding solutions and creating businesses that are profitable and creating jobs.
However, entrepreneurship means something different for everyone. For Neo Cholo cofounder of a company that produces sanitary pads Mosetsana Feminine, entrepreneurship is about creating unique systems, and a chance to be innovative, especially for young people.
Despite this Cholo adds, “I have faced financial difficulties in ensuring that the business has enough resources to sustain itself and ensure we face no difficulties in delivering to our clients.”
Regardless of the ups and downs, entrepreneurs such as Utlwanang Mmeti, the founder of a local sneaker brand that was started in a garage in the North West Dapper Shooz, became an entrepreneur because entrepreneurship put him in a better position to not only feed his family but also create employment for other people. For him, having a job would be a good thing but creating employment is much better and more fulfilling. Mmeti says young entrepreneurs need to spend time discovering what it is that they like doing that doesn’t feel like work. He adds, “It is important to marry your passions with business that way you will wake up every morning wanting to add more value to your business. So young people need to discover what they like and work towards turning it into a business.”
Even though Thabang Shinners founder of a manufacturer of wooden products, ThaPlanka is currently employed and running a business at the same time, he enjoys the business because being an entrepreneur allows him to be the boss and make decisions independently. It provides the freedom to pursue his vision and create a business based on your values. Shinners shares that securing funding, big workshops, and managing limited resources is a challenge that he is currently working on it. “Balancing various responsibilities and prioritizing activities can be demanding as well,” he adds.
Learning from others
Even though the lack of job opportunities in our country led Velly Mamaila owner of Ragosebo’s Bakery to entrepreneurship, he says that when you have a business idea just start but bear in mind that in business there are a lot of changes you face and you need to be patient. He adds that the beauty of entrepreneurship is that it gives you independence and enables you to create job opportunities for fellow youth.
You can’t win without support
The responses are synonymous, entrepreneurs need support to thrive. Mmeti would like to see more mentorship programs offered to young entrepreneurs by experienced entrepreneurs and also funding because without funding our ideas will not be able to be turned into tangible businesses that can contribute positively to society. While Mamaila thinks getting start-up vouchers for their businesses would go a long way in helping entrepreneurs stay afloat, especially in the first year of business.
For Cholo it’s getting resources, he says young entrepreneurs need resources like financial support and need spaces where young entrepreneurs can be able to ensure that their businesses are sustainable and secure.
Shinners sums it up beautifully, to be successful in life and entrepreneurship one needs to invest time in learning and developing the skills needed to run a business successfully. “Take calculated risks. Failure is often part of the entrepreneurial journey. Embrace it as a learning experience, analyze what went wrong, and use those lessons to improve and grow,” he concludes.
At the end of the day what you put in is what you get out. As we celebrate Youth Day, let us honor the fallen heroes by supporting the current ones.