In a country as desperate for entrepreneurs as we are, are we doing enough to prepare for and support entrepreneurship?

Over the past few weeks I’ve had several debates on “what is being done to assist entrepreneurs”. Truth is, not everyone is or can be an entrepreneur – there are several reasons why.

 

Fear is the biggest “dream-stealer”.

With all the government and private sector programmes to teach people how to start and run a business, you’d expect an increase in the number of people that start or at least fewer businesses that fail. Turns out we have less than 20% conversion in this regard- according to Small Business Insight.

Is the content not enough? Are people so paralysed by their fears we cannot reach out to them? Perhaps we’re asking too much of people, as @RickEd suggests.

 

Mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs could make the biggest different to taming their fears.

In partnership with Velisa Africa Academy, we recently started the SparkPlug Project to link IT Graudtates to SMEs. Most of them want to start a business, some of them have one already. The idea is while they’re being trained as Business Analysts, they’ll gain work experience from their host. The business owner will also mentor the intern so they’re better equipped to deal with the challenges of running their own business, when the time comes. Let’s see if that will make a difference.

Let me know if you'd like to host an intern. Help a graduate prepare for a brighter future. Click To Tweet

Speaking about the challenges will help those that come after you.

In passing, an entrepreneur won’t tell you about their challenges. The moment one speaks about their unpaid bills, cashflow and the absence of customers, you’ll see them nod their heads. One-on-one, the war stories come out.

We should talk more about “the life behind the Instagram post”, all social media for that matter. The aspirant entrepreneurs don’t get to see the disappointments, the depression, nights spent sleeping in the car and how you couldn’t make it to the life changing meeting because you didn’t have petrol and were too proud to ask a friend for a lift.

Let’s all do something to help.