The Lo­cal En­tre­pre­neur

Finweek English Edition - - COVER STORY -

Brian Joffe, Adrian Gore, Her­man Mashaba and the FirstRand founders are rare ex­cep­tions in an en­vi­ron­ment where run­ning your own busi­ness trans­lates into sub­stan­tial per­sonal wealth. It hap­pens, but it’s rare.

It may be ex­cit­ing and in­vig­o­rat­ing to de­sign your own fu­ture but even the most out­spo­ken pro­tag­o­nists of en­trepreneur­ship ac­knowl­edge it’s con­sid­er­ably harder than sim­ply draw­ing a monthly pay cheque.

“En­trepreneurs spend an in­or­di­nate amount of time on red tape,” says Pavlo Phi­tidis, co-founder of Aurik Busi­ness In­cu­ba­tor. “They have very few re­sources com­pared to those in the cor­po­rate en­vi­ron­ment and as a re­sult the bur­den is sig­nif­i­cant.”

En­trepreneurs are also stak­ing their own money on the fu­ture. It’s one thing ap­ply­ing share­holder cap­i­tal – it hurts a lot more when it is your own.

It’s also diff icult to draw the ap­pro­pri­ate level of skills to an early-stage busi­ness, which is yet to sign up the favourable terms with the med­i­cal aid or get the most op­ti­mally struc­tured pen­sion plan in place – if at all. And with­out deep cor­po­rate pock­ets – com­pet­ing even on ba­sic salary is dif­fi­cult.

Then there is the ad­min: “VAT cer­tif icates, re­funds, com­pany reg­is­tra­tions, WC cer­tif icates of good stand­ing all place huge strain and cashf low bur­den on en­trepreneurs,” says Phi­tidis, who wants to see the shack­les re­moved from in­di­vid­u­als who want to cre­ate jobs in an en­vi­ron­ment that so des­per­ately

needs them.

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