New report says South Africa is one of the most entrepreneurship friendly countries in the world

In a country where strikes are frequent and unemployment is increasing, the best path to a good career may be entrepreneurship. This is what 76 percent of South Africans involved in a survey for the 2015 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report (AGER) thinks. They say they consider starting a business as a desirable career opportunity for themselves. Good thing is 73 percent possesses the necessary skills and resources to start a business.

“There are two critical factors to becoming an entrepreneur, the first is the emergence of the entrepreneurial opportunity and the second is the intention to start a business,” says Raj Parshotam, ‎General Manager at Amway South Africa.

Amway says such opportunity exist in South Africa, making it rank the country as the second most entrepreneurship friendly country out of 44 markets considered in the report.

South Africa also ranked as one of the top ten countries (which includes India, China, Slovenia, Turkey, Thailand, Mexico, Malaysia, Brazil and Vietnam) with a large population that desires to start their own businesses.

“Through the 2015 AGER, we are exploring motivations and mindsets with the intention to ultimately create a more supportive world for entrepreneurs to start up, succeed and sustain their own businesses,” Parshotam said.

“The 2015 AGER delves into the key characteristics of entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial spirit and introduces the Amway Entrepreneurial Spirit Index (AESI) which measures entrepreneurial spirit in three dimensions including desirability (whether respondents desire to start a business), feasibility (whether respondents feel prepared to start a business) and stability (whether respondents would let their social environment, such as family and friends, dissuade them from starting a business) against social pressure derived from acclaimed psychologist Icek Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior. 73 percent of South Africans show a very strong stability against social pressure, according to the 2015 AGER.

Professor Boris Urban of Wits Business School explains: “South African entrepreneurs can be described foremost as open for change. Approximately, 79 percent of South African have a positive attitude towards entrepreneurship, and are slightly more positive when compared to the international average (75 percent)”.

According to him, this positive, however, is highest in those between 35 to 49 years, with the most appealing aspects to starting a business, independence from an employer and self-fulfillment.

“On the other hand, for 85 percent of South Africans, the fear of failing is an obstacle to starting a business, which is above the international average (70 percent),” says Professor Urban.

Entrepreneurship brings about the creation of new business opportunities, innovation and productivity which in turn leads to economic growth.

Parshotam notes that since it has been proven that the desire to start a business is there, “now we need to use these insights to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit and provide opportunities that will see our economy grow”.