#SMME #startup #entrepreneurship, all buzzwords in South Africa at the moment, but what does it really mean? Who does it impact and what is the ripple effect and NET impact on our #jobcrisis?
I too call myself an Entrepreneur but in actual fact I am an enTRYpreneur. I am hustling hard to turn my ideas into a successful business and my consultancy into a REAL business. One that employs more people than just myself on a permanent basis and one that can actually pay the bills whilst I am on holiday (once I can afford it). In reality I doubt I am alone in this journey and for the last 6 years I have persuaded myself that I am an entrepreneur.
Lets break the word down, EN-TRY-PRENEUR, someone who is TRYING to be an ENTREPRENEUR, i.e. learning by doing. Do, FAIL, LEARN, REPEAT until it works. It should become part of our lexicon in SA because there are many of us One-Man-Bands out there trying to build big business but its taking much longer than anticipated. We have to take a hard look at ourselves and for me personally, I don’t feel like an Entrepreneur as yet as I have not created sustainable jobs…which our government is adamant on that we need more entrepreneurs to create more jobs. If everyone becomes an entrepreneur then who will be doing the work?
We should be advocating for more #INTRAPRENEURS! Organizations are letting skilled workers go out and start consultancies (or small businesses) whereas they could’ve been given more opportunities to be #intrapreneurial in their existing workplaces. Instead we have some people quitting lucrative jobs due to a lack of creative freedom; accountability and responsibility but no autonomy, and just poor judgment. Intrapreneurship provides the cushioning entrepreneurs need in order to thrive. They have the opportunity to EARN, LEARN, DO, FAIL, FAIL, FAIL, Wash Repeat whereas enTRYpreneurs do not have that luxury.
Big corporations should not let good people leave to go and be enTRYpreneurs until they have been given intrapreneurial opportunities. I believe we will be able to create more sustainable jobs in South Africa if we stop only advocating for more entrepreneurs. There is nothing wrong with being an enTRYpreneur or even calling yourself an entrepreneur as a one-man show. There is just not enough room being made for the safety net entrepreneurs need to thrive as there would be if they were given more opportunities to be Intrapreneurial first before venturing on their own. This is specifically for those who left a corporate job to become an entrepreneur. It seems easier to become an Entrepreneur once you have left corporate but the inverse does not seem that easy.
#unemployment and #joblessness is at an all time high and most of these unemployed are between the ages of 17-35, the youth. There might also be a vast majority of those who have no tertiary qualification or proper job experience…and these are the people we are forcing to start businesses. How often would corporations absorb enTRYpreneurs who failed to become entrepreneurs if they have no hardcore educational backgrounds? This might be more of a reality than we think if we keep on pushing those who cannot find jobs to start their own businesses.