If there’s one thing we love at Job Crystal, it’s entrepreneurship. After all, our company was built by entrepreneurs who hired more people with that same entrepreneurial spirit. It’s our dream and vision to make a dent in unemployment. One of the ways we know how to do that is by supporting and working with local entrepreneurs to build amazing talented teams. But why is it so important, and how can you, the person reading this, help contribute to local entrepreneurs? We’ll explain:
Why are local entrepreneurs important?
1. Local entrepreneurs help build our own communities
There’s no doubt that unemployment is a major issue in South Africa. In fact, unemployment in South Africa is estimated to reach 35.6% in 2023 – the highest in the world. That’s over a third of our country’s potential workforce who aren’t receiving an income, apart from government grants. And as unemployment is one of the key contributors to poverty, it’s important that we address it.
That’s why entrepreneurship is so vital. So much of our time and money goes into large, faceless corporations. By supporting local entrepreneurs specifically, we ensure that the help and support we provide goes into helping the communities who need it most. By supporting and uplifting local entrepreneurs, we create opportunities for them to grow. And with that growth comes employment opportunities. A single company can only employ so many people at a time and still be financially viable. This means that we need to create and cultivate opportunities for as many entrepreneurs as possible so that there are as many opportunities as possible for people looking for work.
2. Local entrepreneurs understand local problems
There are some insights into your target market that you only get when you’re in the thick of your community. A great example is of the photographer who set up a small studio outside of my local Driver’s Testing Facility. He realised that people sometimes forget or don’t realise that they need to have ID photos to include with their applications. He then set up a place for them to get those photos taken and printed within a few metres of the facility so that they don’t have to go hunting for another shop that takes ID photos.
Think about how many unique problems our country has at the moment. The extreme inflation, limited access to public services, and, of course, loadshedding. These are all things that you have to see and experience every day to properly feel the urgency and need for a solution. While bigger corporations are often cushioned from the impact of these factors, local entrepreneurs feel the impact and strain of these daily. As such they’re primed and driven to be the ones to solve those problems.
3. Local entrepreneurs encourage other entrepreneurs
It’s simple: if someone does something and does it well, others follow. When a potential entrepreneur sees a small business start and flourish, it serves as motivation for them to go for it. Someone had to be the first one to think up the idea of a coffee trailer, but now they’re almost everywhere you could ever want a cup of coffee. And it doesn’t have to even be in the same line as the other company. Seeing someone thrive doing something they’re passionate about can often be enough motivation to take your own idea and run with it.
And more practically, as these businesses come up, many of them will support each other. If you have a bakery and hear of a local market that sells eggs at an amazing price, you would likely start buying from them. They, in turn, might get their branding and packaging materials from a local design and printing firm. When local entrepreneurs thrive, they’re able to support other local entrepreneurs.
So how do you support local entrepreneurs?
1. If you’re an investor – invest!
Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, so the more we encourage them to grow and build their businesses, the more they’re able to do all of the above points. Finding capital is a huge struggle for many people starting out, so by investing, you provide them with a huge launching point to get going.
2. If you’re an entrepreneur – support!
Do you have a small business? See how you can network with other small businesses. Are they able to supply you a product or material? Can you use their services in your offices? Have you got time to invest in providing advice and working with them to problem-solve? There are many ways that you as an entrepreneur can be investing in other entrepreneurs.
3. If you’re a consumer – buy and share!
There are hundreds and thousands of local businesses around you. Find out where and how you can support them. Take a chance on a coffee shop that isn’t a big name brand. Shop at your local farmer’s market. Support the plumbing business that’s just starting up. And then spread the word. Small companies don’t have the marketing budgets of some of the big brands out there. By trying and talking about these products and services, you help ensure the success of these businesses.
There are many ways to support local entrepreneurs, but it’s important we do. They serve a vital role in our economy by creating jobs, spotting and fulfilling needs in our communities, and encouraging other entrepreneurs to create businesses of their own. Find out where you can help. You need them and they need you.