Xolani Qubeka, CEO of the Small Business Development Institute, shares his thoughts on how the waste industry is boosting entrepreneurship and the South African economy.
As South Africa grapples with slow economic growth, the country is facing tremendous unemployment challenges, and individuals, businesses and communities need to find innovative solutions to instigate unprecedented job creation opportunities. Central to any leading nation is the extent to which individuals become exceptional entrepreneurs through governments creating space, a conducive environment and opportunities for entrepreneurs to thrive.
Entrepreneurship is acknowledged as one of the key drivers of sustainable economic growth where entrepreneurs create new businesses, drive and shape innovation, speed up structural changes in the economy and introduce new competition, thereby contributing to productivity. Entrepreneurs create and bring to life new technologies, products and services, building new markets and jobs along the way. Like any economy aiming to move ahead, in South Africa we need many of them.
The reality is that SMMEs need to be provided with the best chance for success in an otherwise challenging economic environment and the waste management industry presents many opportunities that are untapped. This industry, led by REDISA, is undertaking pioneering work in small business development and job creation. As a growing industry, the entire network created by waste management has emerged as a new industry with enormous potential to generate unprecedented new businesses, new wealth and sustainable jobs, resulting in a healthy, clean environment, with zero waste in the long term.
South Africa needs more out-of-the-box thinking in order to advance our economy and create opportunities where none existed. A vibrant entrepreneurship culture with innovative entrepreneurs drives the growth of the middle class, through the jobs and businesses created, and plays a critical role in growing the GDP, thereby increasing the fiscus.