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This month we look at raising awareness about entrepreneurship as an alternative career choice for school leavers, we offer 15 tips for starting a business and we meet our latest square pegs Jose Nunes and Marius Marais.
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Entrepreneurship as a career – no longer a choice

For years, the debate around South Africa's stubborn unemployment figures has always contained the argument that we need to raise awareness about entrepreneurship – that is, starting your own business – as an alternative career choice for school leavers.

The idea, often expressed as an afterthought, is that the increasing number of school leavers who struggle to find employment in the formal jobs market should consider creating their own jobs for themselves and their unemployed peers by starting their own businesses.

The latest shock figures from Statistics SA show that the words “choice” and “alternative” are fast becoming inappropriate, says David Morobe, regional general manager at Business Partners Limited. No fewer than 58% of South African youth cannot find employment.

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Fifteen essential tips for starting your own business

Petro Bothma has seen many start-ups come and go during her three decades at Business Partners Limited, most recently as head of enterprise development and non-financial support. She compiled the following essential tips for anyone thinking about starting their own business:

1. Is your idea viable?

You may think you have a great idea, but will you really have enough customers to make the business thrive? You can and should think about it very carefully, but there is actually only one way to find out: test the market by selling a few, even if they are prototypes, or, in the case of a service, even if you have to do the job after hours.

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June 2017 / Vol.8.6

IN THIS ISSUE:

HEntrepreneur left school for business and never looked back

Entrepreneurs are not known for always following a traditional approach to formal education. When Jose Nunes told his parents that he was going to leave school in Grade 8 to work full-time in the family's take-away restaurant, they were alarmed and upset, but he was adamant.

He grew up in his parent's traditional fish-and-chips shop in Potchefstroom and knew from an early age that school and further studies would only distract him from his dream of owning his own take-aways one day.

Today, the 34-year-old Nunes owns a thriving business called Die Fish en Chips Plek in Moreleta Park, Pretoria East. It provides work for seven people, and makes enough profit so that Nunes was recently able to acquire an investment property – another business premises that he is renting out – not far away from his shop.

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Growing audio business spreading its wings overseas

It is a challenge to find a time slot long enough to speak to Marius Marais about his business. The owner of a bustling sound-management firm specialising in live shows has just returned from Namibia where he set up the sound equipment for a corporate classical music event in the desert.

Before that he was in Moscow for an event, and before that in Ghana, to which he finds himself returning frequently. “Nowadays I'm out of the country three, four months of the year,” says Marais, 47, who started his Centurion-based business, called Audio Logic, exactly ten years ago.

On the one hand Audio Logic's growing international client base is tremendously exciting. It is an acknowledgement of the top quality sound management that Marais and his small team of nine staff members manage to maintain.

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