What do entrepreneurs do?

·      Own and run their own businesses

·      Own and run a franchise

·      Skilled freelance/consulting work

·      Develop innovations and take them to market

What skills do I need?

·      Motivation

·      Confidence

·      Persistence

·      Innovative thinking

·      Energy

·      Interest in business

·      Organisational skills

·      Sales and marketing skills

·      Computer skills

·      Understanding of bookkeeping

·      Understanding of company law

What subjects can help?

·      Maths or maths literacy

·      Accounting

·      Business studies

·      Languages

What qualifications are there?

·      Diploma in business management and entrepreneurship

·      National diploma in entrepreneurship

·      National certificate in financial management

·      BCom entrepreneurship and business management

·      Master’s degree in entrepreneurship

·      OR use what you know (some of the biggest names in business had little in the way of qualifications)

What makes a business succeed?

·      A great idea nobody else has

·      The skills to take your idea to market

·      Lots of guaranteed customers

·      A careful business plan

·      Start-up funding that will carry you for at least 6 months

·      Advice, mentors and a network that can help you

What can make a business fail?

·      Launching a business without doing proper research

·      Starting a business without proper registration and planning

·      Making partnerships with people you can’t depend on

·      Spending too much money too soon

·      Thinking you can do it all alone

·      Expecting success overnight. It can take years.

·      Starting a business with no business skills and no business advice

What are the legal requirements?

Depending on the type of business you are starting, you may have to register with:

·      The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission

·      Sars — as a taxpayer and to pay VAT and unemployment insurance

·      The department of labour — if you have employees

Professional bodies

- Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda)

Tel: 012 441 1000


Useful contacts

- Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC)

Tel: 086 100 2472


- South African Revenue Service (Sars)

Tel: 0800 00 7277


- Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa)

Tel: 012 748 9600

Email: [email protected]


- SME Toolkit



Many successful entrepreneurs failed in their first business endeavours. The trick to succeeding, they say, is learning from their mistakes and trying again.