Grow South Africa?

Finweek English Edition - - ENTRENPRENEUR -

It is widely be­lieved that koi and gold­fish can only grow as large as the habi­tat they are in. Some grow big and oth­ers stay small, it’s all about the size of the pond or bowl. This got me think­ing about businesses in South Africa and the con­straints posed by our en­vi­ron­ment here. Your busi­ness can only grow as big as the en­vi­ron­ment it is in. So if you want to scale, can you do it from SA?

There are a lot of ad­van­tages to start­ing a busi­ness here. A few come to mind:


SA holds the crys­tal ball on trends else­where. We tend to lag be­hind First-World coun­tries in adop­tion of cer­tain trends and tech­nolo­gies. For ex­am­ple, daily deal sites like Groupon, on­line shop­ping plat­forms like eBay and on­line mu­sic stores like Ap­ple iTunes were well-es­tab­lished over­seas be­fore com­ing to SA. The i Tunes Store l aunched i n SA i n 2012, some nine years af­ter Ap­ple launched its iTunes Store in 2003 in the US. This lag-time means that SA holds a crys­tal ball on global trends and the businesses that arise from them. We can see what trends are hap­pen­ing in First-World coun­tries be­fore they hap­pen in SA. This cre­ates an ideal op­por­tu­nity for first-mover ad­van­tage here. Why?

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