'No business culture in SA'
SOUTH Africa's rating on entrepreneurship is declining and experts have blamed the country's education system, saying it does not adequately promote entrepreneurship.
In the 2012 Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI), which measures a country's entrepreneurial strengths and weaknesses, South Africa fell from 39 last year to 45 this year.
Nimo Naidoo, project manager of the Sanlam Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year competition, said stimulating entrepreneurship was the key to igniting economic growth and job creation.
"This decline might be attributed to many various factors. But one of the major factors is the lack of a positive entrepreneurial culture in South Africa," said Naidoo.
She said research had shown that South Africa's society had a culture that neglected entrepreneurial activities, especially individuals who had failed in the past.
"The South African educational structure (primary to tertiary education) does not place enough emphasis on equipping learners with the correct knowledge and skill to become successful entrepreneurs," she said.
According to the latest GEDI rankings of the 79 countries surveyed, South Africa has in the space of a year lost ground on nations such as Colombia and Peru, which have significantly smaller GDPs.
Naidoo said most economically competitive countries in the world had significantly higher levels of entrepreneurial activity.
She said the latest data gathered by Endeavor Brazil, which revealed that SMEs were responsible for 96% of the jobs in Brazil and represented 98% of all companies in the country.
Naidoo said promoting a culture of entrepreneurship was the responsibility of the public and private sector.
"It is essential that each party works together to create an environment within society that serves as a sustainable platform for a positive entrepreneurial culture to grow," she said.
"Government also plays an important role in ensuring that policies and programmes are aligned with fostering entrepreneurial growth."
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