SA joins world to celebrate business

SOUTH Africa will join millions of young people across the world in celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week from today.

The week will be hosted by the Wits Business School and is celebrated in 88 countries.

A range of business seminars, workshops, and networking sessions have been lined up at WBS in Parktown, Johannesburg.

Registration is R120 and one can attend any number of sessions, which start at 8.30am and end at 8pm.

These include a thought leadership series, a business plan workshop and a women entrepreneurship networking day.

Presentations by government officials will also be offered.

The week will start with the WBS's launching of the South African Start-Up Index (Sasi), which is a collaboration between academia, private sector institutions and the government.

It will also provide academic research around the business start-up environment in South Africa.

Boris Urban, acting head of WBS, described Sasi as another tool to address burning issues in small business development.

"It will create a platform where small business owners can interact with high-level government officials, funding agencies and academics on current issues facing small businesses," Urban said.

"During a recession a lot of people are channelled to entrepreneurship and it was seen that small businesses were more resilient to the economic crisis than the big ones," he said.

"We need innovative ideas that will create new jobs.

"If people want to turn those innovations into business they need information."

"Information means opportunity and without opportunities there is no entrepreneurship."

In a quest to empower small businesses, WBS has established a Centre for Entrepreneurship in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry.

"This is proven by the master's degree in entrepreneurship that will be offered by WBS," Urban said.