Young Business for South Africa (YBSA) is helping young entrepreneurs to confront their fear of failure. On 17 March 2011, YBSA is hosting a “Fail Fast, Fail Forward: How failure makes successful entrepreneurs” at the Gordon Institute of Business Science in Illovo, Johannesburg.
Telana Simpson, YBSA Director and entrepreneur, will be chairing a panel of experts gathered to dispel the myths around failing in entrepreneurship, and to start changing the mindsets of our young leaders towards failure.
Sitting on the panel are Yashivan Govender of FirstStep.me (Entrepreneur and author of the ‘Fun Side of Being Serious’), Danny Tuckwood of MetaCo (professional Leadership & Entrepreneur Coach), Allon Raiz of Raizcorp (founder and CEO of Raizcorp, the only privately-held, unfunded, profitable business incubator on the African continent), Dr Marius Pretorius (Associate Professor of Strategy, Leadership and Turnaround at the University of Pretoria). The panel will discuss what attitudes would be more beneficial for encouraging entrepreneurs and those who support them, to develop business in our country.
Attitudes and Perceptions about Entrepreneurship:
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Global Report 2010 states that “if the economy in general has positive attitudes toward entrepreneurship, this will generate cultural support, financial resources, networking benefits and various other forms of assistance to current and potential entrepreneurs.” Their investigation reveals that in South Africa, 29% of respondents have a fear of failure and only 16.7% have entrepreneurial intentions.
In the report South Africa and a further 23 other countries are classed as efficiency driven economies. When it came to indicators of attitude, GEM noted that in SA 40.9% of respondents perceived opportunities in the entrepreneurial arena, and that South African’s were 2.7% less fearful of failure than the un-weighted average. 77.5% of people surveyed thought entrepreneurship was a good career choice, yet only 16.7% of respondents had entrepreneurial intentions, 6.5% below the un-weighted average for this category.
With perceptions indicating that a high status is given to successful entrepreneurs and that there is a great emphasis placed on entrepreneurial endeavours in the media, why are our entrepreneurs still battling to find support?
Some of the most influential people of our time include; Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Donald Trump. They all failed to some degree before they got their formulas right and achieved the heights of success they enjoy today. Why is it in South Africa we are still battling to see failure in a positive light, as a learning device instead of something of which we should be ashamed?
Endeavour’s white paper on “The State of Entrepreneurship in SA” in 2009, highlights the concern that there is a low tolerance for entrepreneurial failure in South Africa. “People disassociate themselves from them, banks shut them down and the press demonises them” (pg.11). Entrepreneurial failure is an experience that financers in other parts of the world look for in entrepreneurs that they consider funding. This culture in South Africa of not supporting entrepreneurs who have failed needs to be confronted if we are to create an environment conducive to fostering more entrepreneurial activity.
So how do we change the countries attitudes and perceptions about the effects of failure in the entrepreneurial areana? Join YBSA on 17 March 2011 to learn more.
Event Information – Please note booking is essential due to a limited number of seats
Event: Fail Fast, Fail Forward: How failure makes successful entrepreneurs
Date: Thursday 17 March 2011
Venue: The Gordon Institute of Business Science, Illovo, Johannesburg
Time: Registration: 18:00 Panel Discussion: promptly at 18:30
Cost: Free admission to YBSA Members R100 at the door for non-members
YBSA is a 12-year-old non-profit organisation focused on consolidating meaningful leadership development efforts for the benefit of its members, the African leaders of tomorrow. The organisation’s members are young economically active South African residents who are passionate about participating meaningfully in Africa’s economic and social development. YBSA members strive for opportunities to gain the knowledge and experience that will allow them to be effective leaders within their various spheres of influence and to contribute to Africa’s continued development.
YBSA’s strategic intent is to foster an environment in which the leadership qualities most critical to Africa’s developmental success are promoted in its economically active youth.
One of YBSA’s portfolios is the Create portfolio, which aims to develop entrepreneurship amongst its members. Entrepreneurship is the one area that has the potential to make the greatest contribution to alleviating the socio-economic imbalances and developmental challenges that exist in Africa. Fostering a culture and environment in which entrepreneurship can thrive and in which innovation is celebrated and supported makes for a sound investment in a prosperous future for our continent.
Our Panel for the event:
Our Entrepreneur: Yashivan Govender of FirstStep.me
In 2005 Yashivan started his company FirstStep.me. From South Africa, Dubai, Singapore, Europe and Australasia, the FirstStep.me brand has become more than just a business but an adventure. Yashivan was named by Mail & Guardian as one of the 100 young South Africans you must take to lunch in 2007. His first book ‘Fun Side of Being Serious’ was just launched and his first documentary ‘Breaking Stereotypes’ is to be released later this year.
Our Coach: Danny Tuckwood of MetaCo
DannyTuckwood is a professional Leadership & Entrepreneur Coach. He has an extensive background in the corporate world and eleven years ago he turned his attention to successfully setting up, running and developing a number of business ventures. Danny now works with executives and he assists entrepreneurs to achieve their business and personal goals.
Our Business Incubator: Allon Raiz of Raizcorp
Allon Raiz is the founder and CEO of Raizcorp, the only privately-held, unfunded, profitable business incubator on the African continent, which supports in excess of 200 businesses. He is an author, a radio show host, and has written and hosted a prime-time reality TV show, all in the field of entrepreneurship.
Our Professor: Dr Marius Pretorius
Dr Marius Pretorius is the Associate Professor of Strategy, Leadership and Turnaround at the University of Pretoria. His specialty is in business growth, trouble, failure, and turnaround strategy, as well as creativity and entrepreneurial cognition. He has presented at conferences and published studies and articles on these topics.
Find out more about Young Business for South Africa on http://ybsa.org.za