Building a network or peers and mentors can enable you to identify the variables that are holding you back from truly shining in the world of entrepreneurship.
It's essential to understand that access to formal jobs are becoming fewer, if not almost impossible to access for a number of South Africans. To earn a salary to create your own income stream is no longer an option for many people. This is why entrepreneurs are driving a revolution that is transforming and renewing economies, not only at home, but worldwide.
Entrepreneurship is the essence of free enterprise because the birth of new businesses gives a market economy its vitality and how you enter, engage and innovate in the space matters.
Realistically it makes sense to connect to people who know better, though, and who have walked the path before, laid the foundation for others to follow and whose lessons can be vital in shaping your journey.
Related: How Jonny and Astrid Sacks leveraged connections to start Klutch
Driving the revolution to transforming Economies
With several of the world’s economies already under pressure, a financial crisis can create a particularly tough climate for SMEs, with a reduction in demand for goods and services and contraction in lending by banks and other financial institutions.
Statistics SA currently pegs the unemployment rate in the region of 24%, with unofficial quotas putting this figure at 45% if not higher. The substantial contribution of SME’s to income, output and employment is evidence of the importance entrepreneurship plays in global economies.
In Asia, 95% of all corporations employ up to 80% of the labour force and constitute 60% of the GDP. Whereas in South Africa SME’s employ 45% of the economically active population and constitute 45% of the GDP (source: SA Journal of Economic and Management Sciences)
Try out Entrepreneur Connect?
Entrepreneur Connect, an online conversation, started in 2014 to give entrepreneurs the opportunity to use social media as a conduit to engage with their markets, create new revenue streams and introduce their product offering to global markets in collectives, using the technology to influence and shift paradigms.
The key driver of the platform is to position leading African entrepreneurs, influencers, thought leaders and practitioners into strategic thinking collectives, and using technology as an enabler to introduce the #EntrepreurConnect collective and take products to markets.
The network combines an alliance of strategic-thinking African entrepreneurs coming together to share knowledge and information and implement solutions and best practice while forming their own business journeys.
Work in progress prototypes proves that the opportunities are real, helping to advance delivery to ensure that digital conversations translate into business outcomes.
Created by JT Communication Solutions, #EntrepreneurConnect is a conscious platform founded to cultivate entrepreneurs and scale networks to create net worth and traction through a collective in an ecosystem that can sustain development.
Related: Create brand experiences to build lasting customer connections
In the first Twitter conversation on the #EntrepreneurConnect platform on 11 February 2015, a network of entrepreneurial women, all thought leaders in their various fields, shared their views on why connecting with other entrepreneurs is relevant and beneficial:
9 Ideas on why ‘the collective’ can influence #wealthcreation
- To explore capabilities and creative ideas using digital in real-time to influence markets.
- Help start-ups learn to manage their business and accelerate growth.
- It’s entrepreneurs taking responsibility for their profitability by placing themselves within a collective that allows authentic African stories to be shared.
- The network offers a dynamic platform to create content using technology to inspire, generate income and make an impact.
- #EntrepreneurConnect helps start-up founders understand who their market is and ensure that as a supplier, they meet customer needs and expectations.
- It can help SME’s access mainstream markets.
- A common ‘calabash’ to feed into, operate and learn from.
- Power of the collective to create wealth – be part of the conversation.
- The network allows entrepreneurs to share and procure products and services within the network.
It is clear to see from these view points above that #EntrepreneurConnect is able to tap into the various economies needed to grow. Networks are being built. The different expertise found in the collective will help in developing, creating, improving and perfecting the different products and services individually offered, thus giving a space to engage, focus on your product and build your network at the same time.