An Awakening of a New Kind – The Township & Rural Entrepreneur
Lately the topic of township and rural entrepreneurship seems to be popping up a lot. Last week I attended the launch of a project that aims to make a difference in Soweto, and that’s making a difference through a board game called ‘Superpreneur’. The game was established by a very inspiring entrepreneur himself Mr Gift Nkuna, a nominee in the 702 Sage One Small Business Awards last year. I was struck by this somewhat different learning resource that aims to assist entrepreneurs with administration issues of their businesses, help with an understanding on how to take risks, negotiation skills, teach the importance of how to close deals whilst at the same time helping with a greater understanding of potential targeted markets. These are some essential learning points that will assist any entrepreneur in growing their understanding of business in a very different, fun way. I can’t wait to see the effect it is going to have on the informal business sector in Soweto. Some might call it a little outrageous, but Gift and his team are trying to make a difference in this sector and there’s a lot to be said for that!
The session was also held at the Standard Bank Incubation Hub in Rosebank, another incredible initiative and space that celebrates new ideas, technology and collaboration of entrepreneurs in the most remarkable way. You can’t help but be drawn into the chemistry and energy of this place, not to mention the incredible hospitality of Jayshree Naidoo and her team. It was certainly a morning of possibility, be it township or inner city – I was encouraged in every possible way. There are really amazing opportunities for small South African start-ups if you look in the right places. The launch of additional Standard Bank innovation hubs throughout the country has also begun, so this incredible creative space can now be accessible to many other buzzing entrepreneurs out there. Additionally another very important programme mentioned by Jayshree that morning is the ‘Lioness of Africa’ initiative for African women entrepreneurs. This network aims to help women share, connect and be inspired by one another. It’s an initiative bringing likeminded women entrepreneurs together. I find this incredibly exciting, being a female entrepreneur myself.
So the entrepreneurial magic is out there. That was really evident to me. Some sprinkles of hope for our South African future experienced yet again in a bizarre way. So whether or not you’re a current or future entrepreneur, a small or large corporate, the onus is on us to explore this sector a little more. People like Gift and Jayshree are making a difference and that is exactly the type of people I want to be surrounded by: courageous, determined and inspiring but most importantly active committed South African citizens making a difference in people lives.