Being an entrepreneur can mean a multitude of different things. It can mean you are your own boss, freedom of where one can work, or it can mean you are in more control of your destiny. However, the truth is, being an entrepreneur can indicate a shift in one’s own internal calling and a responsibility for improving the space around them.
In the United States, we have seen or read examples of businesses being formed out of basements or garages in Siclicon Valley only to be sold to Google or Facebook for billions. Yet, this is not the only reason a start-up is developed. This is no more true than an event held annually in South Africa called Startup Weekend. Capetown is the center focus of this event and it’s reason for being may be a lesson to aspiring business owners in the Untied States leaving their jobs in aspirations to start their own company.
In South Africa, startup concepts are truly about making life easier, healthier and safer for people in need of solutions to everyday problems. During this event, designers, developers, entrepreneurs, and experts identify opportunities to attract like-minded individuals in the Cape Town business district. More than 100 entities register for the first day developing blueprints and prototypes for products and services to tackle systemic problems like community safety and health care to infuse the job-intensive growth.
What good business ideas can we learn from Cape Town’s Starup Weekend?
Among the many teams that show up for this event, these groups share a desire to improve the way people define their surroundings. For example, one group developed a single, integrated web application form for college admissions nationwide. Another team built out a mobile solution to the inefficiencies that cause long wait times for people seeking medical attention. Solutions were proposed for financial and bill management. Another startup team sought to provide mentor-matching opportunities for unemployed youth.
“Entrepreneurship plays a crucial role in solving some of our most challenging problems, such as unemployment and poverty,” explained Zimkhita Buwa, head of the Women Portfolio, Silicon Cape.
1. Learn from inspiring and successful people
2. Clarify your own leadership contributions
3. Connect with your business community to be leaders
Empowering Women as Successful Entrepreneurs
Startup Weekend is more than just male dominated applicants in a 3rd world male dominated society. South Africa has embraced the opportunity for women as well. “Startup Weekend Cape Town was proof that the youth of this country are connected, informed and full of solutions,” proclaimed Marwaan Sasman, creative director and founder of creative agency for entrepreneurs and change-makers, Pigeon Pie. “We just need to enable them. I hope to see many more initiatives like this one spring up all over Africa.”
Nelson Mandela said, “Vision without action is just a dream, action without vision just passes the time, and vision with action can change the world.” This applies to not only the people of Cape Town, but also our community here in Tulsa as well.
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