dear africa -Entrepreneurship

Our country is plagued by perennial protests, from service delivery, xenophobia, labour unrest, demarcation disputes, and lately, just political turmoil currently going on in the Tshwane region. I have observed that mostly, when these protests turn violent, it is usually unemployed people burning and vandalizing state property.

Currently, employed people are stuck, unable to go to work, because their means of transport were burned overnight. Employed people can’t burn the very buses they drive (or ride to get to work), or the very clinics they get their medicine from or the very schools they teach at or send their own children to.

The burning and vandalizing of property, and looting, must be labelled as a crime, arson, theft and be treated as such by law enforcement. Accusing factions or invisible third forces is not getting us any closer to the solution.

However, It is a well established fact that unemployment is one of the leading causes of crime. Sadly, not all of us can be absorbed into the formal employment sector, especially in the current tough economic outlook.

Solution, entrepreneurship. But first we must get rid of the notion that running a business is the ‘suit and tie’ picture of men in high rise buildings signing deals, or winning government tenders. Business is messy, it is tough, and is on the ground.

So today, I want us to brainstorm business ideas, and share them with people who might need them.

I’ll start:
1. Start selling fruit&veg on corner of your street. If there’s someone already doing it, do it anyway, offer some competition, sell home grown organic vegetables. Vodacom. MTN, CellC all essentially sell the same thing, but they co-exist in the same ‘street’.

2. Sell Makwinya and Coffee/Tea in the morning/afternoon to train commuters.

3. Sell boerewors rolls on Saturdays.

4. Offer services to deliver fresh bread and milk, and newspaper to a few houses around your hood, especially to older people who stay alone and could use such services.

5. Extend point 4 above to also do chronic medication delivery in the township.

6. Offer services to safely walk young children to school, if their school is within walking distance. Their parents will save on expensive transport costs.

7. Buy and resell things online, gumtree, bid or buy, olx.

8. Start a chisa nyama.

9. Breed and sell live chickens.

10. Sell Atchar.

11. Provide an on-foot/bicycle delivery service for Sphatlo/Kota ko kazi ya gago.

12. Become a mobile voucher re-seller for airtime, electricity, etc.

13. Start a grave digging/filling service.

14. Provide hand dish washing services, target funerals, weddings, parties etc ko kazi.

15. Add your ideas.

What other business ideas you have that people can easily start today, with little or no capital in the townships instead of burning buses or waiting for mavuso?

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