ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN AFRICA AND SOUTH AFRICA
Panelists Clem Sunter and Kokkie Kooyman, forum Chair Alex Perry and facilitator Eleni Giokos engage in lively debate on the subject of entrepreneurship in Africa and South Africa, covering the current status quo, access to capital and SA labour regulations.
Sunter believes job creation in a first world economy will not solve unemployment problems in South Africa, "it's what we do with the second universe economy." What matters the vast majority of South Africans, Sunter argues, is how they run small businesses - "that's how you will create an inclusive economy."
Perry agrees, noting that there is a labour force in Africa of about 350 million, with less than a third of that in formal jobs. "250 million are mom and pop stores in the townships and so on. Over the next ten years that labour force is going to grow another 120 million, and even if every government in Africa does the perfect policy to create jobs, there are still 50 million extra in the work-force who don't have formal employment." The priority therefore has to be in creating an enabling environment for small business.
Giokos questions how this market will get access to credit to grown their businesses.
Kooyman lists successful case studies in Thailand and Korea where the government has subsidised banks when they give credit to entrepreneurs.
Sunter counters with the argument that a lot of small business don't like borrowing money to start businesses, preferring the venture capital model where the risk is shared by an investor. "I do feel that we need to put as much effort into creating a venture capital network as we do into providing a backup for the banks." He also points out the need in SA to relax the labour laws in terms of hiring and firing in businesses below a certain size, then thousands of entrepreneurs would take on additional people. "They fear they're going to spend time in the CCMA (The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, a dispute resolution body established in terms of the Labour Relations Act, 66 of 1995) and away from their business."
Filmed at The Insiders forum, 09 October 2012 at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa.