Sbusiso Leopeng popularly known as DJ Sbu is attempting to make a historic mark in the world of business in South Africa. In an interview with TshisaLIVE, DJ Sbu is convinced that South Africa must do more in creating platforms that ensure a suitable environment for the development of entrepreneurs. He believes that “it’s about damn time the SA education system stops imitating the rest of the world and starts creating a syllabus suited to Mzansi.” DJ Sbu has undertaken a task to contribute to these assertions by establishing a business academy, Hustlers Academy. He believes the aim of this academy is to inspire the spirit of entrepreneurship that goes unnoticed in young people in the country.
DJ Sbu also believes that South Africa’s education system is outdated and therefore hinders the larger project of growing the scope of small business in the country. He argued that “Young people want and need money. That is the bottom line. Since the government isn’t exactly winning and the education system still only wants to create employees that chase salaries, we will change SA ourselves, one hustler at a time.” He said that in this academy “I will use a system of ‘how to sell’ that I was taught and have practiced and modified. I have partnered with 360 FSG and these students will use what I have taught them to sell their policies and make money for themselves. I get my school and teach 360 FSG gets their policies sold and the young people get a stipend and acquire a skill that will change their lives. It’s a win-win.”
Research by the BRICS summit shows that “the small business sector is significantly larger in both Brazil and India than it is in South Africa. Brazil’s 16 million small and micro enterprises contribute about 20% of Brazil’s GDP and employ 60 million people or 56% of the urban workforce in the formal sector, according to Brazil’s small business support agency. According to statistics on Sebrae’s MPE Data there were 5.89 million registered small and micro enterprises and 10.34 million informal small and micro businesses in Brazil in 2008.” The research also shows that “South Africa had 2.43 million small enterprises in 2007. Of these 595 000 were in the formal sector and 1.39 million were in the informal sector. A further 59 000 people above 65 years old were running a business and a further 431 000 were involved in subsistence farming. Small and micro enterprises contribute between 27% and 34% of South Africa’s GDP.” This indicates that South Africa has great potential as a developing country even though this is relatively minimum performance in the development of the economy.
Research shows that “The majority of small business owners are self-funded, with 63% reporting using personal savings while 20% found investment or a loan from a family member, partner or friend and only 6% turned to business angels or venture capitalists.” These facts indicate that entrepreneurs or small businesses owners work under difficult conditions which need serous considerations by means of legislation and other interventions that include political will to create a positive environment for these businesses to thrive.
The Xero co-founder and managing director for Xero in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region believes that “Small businesses are significant economic drivers, improving their outlook lifts the entire economy”. Research has over and over again indicated that the growth of economies of specifically developing countries largely depend on the establishment and growth of small businesses. Again research shows that the growth of small business is not generic but deserves an environment that allows the growth to take place, some of the challenges in the establishment and growth of small businesses include funding, political will to transform the structures presenting difficulties for entrepreneurs and general investment in small businesses by even the government.