Inovation is key

Create your own destiny

Young entrepreneurs
Young entrepreneurs
Youth unemployment in South Africa has reached boiling point and has spurred on heated political debates and mass protests ending in violence. 

Governments around the world have tried to react to the mass youth protests and the swelling problem by implementing labour market policies, such as subsidised wages, tax incentives and encouraging school-work transition through apprenticeships and training programmes. However, the unemployment figures have continued to soar and have not shown signs of slowing down.

The rising levels of youth unemployment can be effectively curbed through the promotion of entrepreneurship as a viable career choice for young South Africans. However, it requires a committed change in South Africa's public perception and culture.

Recent statistics, released by the latest Labour Force Survey, paint a dire picture for South Africa's young. "Youth unemployment has increased by 9.9 percent since last quarter and is now standing at a staggering 42 percent. The government has tried to absorb the high unemployment numbers through various state programmes and has been actively promoting entrepreneurship in the hopes of reaching its goal of 5 million jobs created by 2020. However, according to Adcorp, a large discrepancy exists in the formal employment market - 800 000 vacancies are available in the private sector, yet 600 000 university graduates remain unemployed.

The 2011 South African GEM report, released last week, has also revealed a significant decline in entrepreneurial levels among South Africa's youths. Entrepreneurship levels of people aged between 18 and 34 have declined significantly by 16 percent between 2010 and 2011. Not all individuals possess the qualities to become an entrepreneur and, therefore, these qualities and talents need to be developed accordingly. Youths should be exposed to entrepreneurship via the South African education system, as well as leaders and managers of businesses where they work.

As the business world continues to evolve rapidly, an increasing number of young entrepreneurs, such as Facebook's Marc Zuckerberg, are emerging as successful entrepreneurs and outright market leaders in their respective industries. 
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Issue 58