Making a difference in the lives of one entrepreneur at a time

Celani Nguza dreams of building his own cleaning company.  He has recently lost his job as a cleaning supervisor at one of South Africa’s largest cleaning companies due to downsizing.  This 24-year-old has got an idea and, on most days, has the enthusiasm to take him places.  However, Celani did not grow up in an entrepreneurial home or environment.  He follows several business and motivational internet resources but lacks the solid advice and down-to-the-ground inspiration from existing entrepreneurs that he so desperately requires.

South Africa has the highest unemployment rate in the world, according to the World Bank, outstripping Gaza and the West Bank, Djibouti, and Kosovo.  South Africa’s unemployment rate came in at 32.6% in the second quarter of 2023, slightly lower than market expectations and the previous period’s 32.9%.

Analysts say the official unemployment number doesn’t even count those who have given up on finding work and dropped off the grid and that a more accurate assessment would be that nearly 42% of South Africa’s working-age population is unemployed.

But, if we keep to the official unemployment rate, there are 7,9 million unemployed people like Celani in South Africa today.

Expedition Business”, in association with addVentures Business Club, shares stories of the highs & lows of our entrepreneurs.  “We believe that the more entrepreneurs are exposed to stories of entrepreneurial highs & specifically lows, the more our entrepreneurs will have the grit and tenacity to make it through the challenges awaiting them,” explains Christél Rosslee-Venter, Expedition Business podcast host and founder of addVentures Business Club.  “We are passionate in helping our entrepreneurs to regroup, refocus & re-energize themselves and ultimately to re-ignite the feeling of business adventure.”

Christél was fortunate enough to grow up in an entrepreneurial family, but her father did not have the same privilege.  Flip Rosslee was brought up in a subsistence farmer household in the Heidelberg district.  Being one of the last born of 12 children, there was no money for Flip to finish school.  He ended up doing artisan training as a bricklayer and worked himself up over many years from this very simple start in life.  “I grew up with the message that you should dream big but work even harder.  Be involved in the upliftment of your community.  Save wherever you can and never settle,” Christél continues.  “One of my earliest memories was of my father’s involvement with entrepreneurial development through AHI (now known as Small Business Institute).  This was the major reason why I jumped to the opportunity to resuscitate our local business chamber into Alberton Business Forum in 2011, even though I was going through the traumatic experience of divorce during the same time.”

But times have changed and our entrepreneurs of today need ground-level support through more dynamic channels.  “We constantly follow entrepreneurial success stories of well-known entrepreneurs like the Rupert’s, Branson’s, and Musk’s of the world, but we seldom get in contact with the salt-of-the-earth entrepreneurs,” Christél elaborates.

South Africa has an estimated 2,6 million micro-, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) like Celani, who are confronted with various challenges that impede their ability to thrive and create much-needed employment in order to reduce the 42,6% real unemployment rate.

“It is a fallacy to assume that even seemingly successful entrepreneurs don’t have their challenges.  As an entrepreneur myself, I experience this on a daily basis.  As podcast host of Expedition Business, this fact has become even more apparent.  The question is: how will we get through the lows and what can we do to regroup, refocus, and re-ignite the adventure of business,” Christél elaborates.

“Yes, we cannot support and inspire everyone, but as the Starfish theory explains, we can make a difference in the entrepreneurial journey of at least one entrepreneur and that is a great start.”

Expedition Business needs the support of our business community in order to make a change in the life of the Celani’s of today.  If you want to be part of this audacious program, as a sponsor or as a contributor, you are urged to get in contact with them today.  www.expeditonbusiness.co.za


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