There is an Urgent Need for Township-Focused Entrepreneurial Development Solutions to Drive Radical Economic Transformation in South Africa


South Africa has a population of 55 million and 77% of population in SA <35 years old. 50% of youth is unemployed (particularly in townships and rural areas) causing multiple social ills in communities.

•       UGU District has a dependency ratio as high as 73% on social grants

•       Unemployment in UGU District is higher than the national or provincial average, at any point in time, ranging from 31.1% in 2012 to 26.8 % in 2016, while the national ranged from 26.8 % and 23.1%, whereas the provincial from 28.4% to 24.2% respectively.

•       Poverty, defined as income of less than two old age pensions ($200) per month, per family, is as high as 75%.


Entrepreneurship in outlying areas such as small towns, townships and rural settings is very complex as people become entrepreneurs for different reasons.  With unemployment levels above 60% in South African townships, most people start businesses out of a survivalist need. Others identify opportunities to capitalise on. Some entrepreneurs are looking for tenders or to be sub-contractors. Others are looking to expand their businesses. Whatever their reason for starting, they have one thing in common: They are hungry for assistance, access to networks and ideas for growth.

Small businesses are praised for their potential to create jobs and grow the economy but young entrepreneurs face the challenges of access to resources, knowledge, support and guidance. A key major problem is that there is a lack of access to information and a disconnect between entrepreneurs and opportunities to strike up relationships with bigger business organisations.

Entrepreneurship is about aspiration, opportunity and start-up culture driven by people aiming to achieve high-growth businesses and create employment.  Small enterprises are often unable to access resources and support but when supported, entrepreneurs running these businesses become very innovative at networking with other enterprises, organisations and community entities to collaboratively access all they need.


–        Although South Africa’s entrepreneurial spirit is high and most entrepreneurs are starting businesses for the right reasons, they are taking long periods to gain traction and the SMMEs are not creating jobs and impact at the scale and rate South Africa so urgently needs.

–        The type of assistance most SMME business operators required was with marketing (SESE 2013, Statistics SA) .


–        We believe that all businesses should have access to the latest and greatest ideas and technologies for marketing and sales.

–        Iyachichima provides customized marketing solutions for youth and female-owned business startups and SMMEs. Working with the public and private sector to address social ills, we are determined to make professional marketing tools accessible to previously disadvantaged communities and drive positive socio-economic impact in the continent.

–        They have many great ideas and have tried many ways to make money – all they need is to be capacitated and connected in the space of entrepreneurial development


IYACHICHIMA has created an innovate approach to entrepreneurial development by cross-pollinating the public and private sector to enable entrepreneurs to grow and make an impact in their communities. Through our professional marketing services, we act as a bridge through an interactive program designed to empower and support youth entrepreneurship in small towns and townships by bringing together entrepreneurs, business organisations, NGOs and experts from industries to collaborate on driving entrepreneurial development and SMME growth.

IYACHICHIMA currently plays a hands-on role to Singatha ICT Incubator, where we have taken 15 of their incubatees to be interactively developed over 12 months on how to run a business, how to judge the market, how to approach partnerships and much more. We use a very interactive way of instilling business and personal development skills in entrepreneurs with the aim to encourage bigger businesses to consider partnerships with small town business, as there are many opportunities for growth in these areas.

Our mission is to be a useful service provider to Singatha ICT Incubator by enabling them to meet their objectives of accelerating the growth of startup-companies and SMMEs by building entrepreneurial capabilities in them to make a positive impact in their lives and communities.

IYACHICHIMA’s entrepreneurial development programme follows the 70:20:10 development model:

–        Entrepreneurs obtain 70% of their knowledge from on-the-job experiences and action learning

–        Entrepreneurs obtain 20% of their knowledge from interaction with others (ie Coaching, Mentoring, Serving in a team with others)

–        Entrepreneurs obtain 10% of their knowledge from formal educational events (ie Formal learning through Courses, Attending Seminars/Webinars/Conferences)


–        Creativity is very high in townships and rural areas (ie music, dance, DJs, poetry, photography, beauty & hair stylists, fashion, events/entertainment, décor etc) yet often neglected as a business and viable entrepreneurship opportunity due to lack of business knowledge

–        Often identified as a natural talent or passion; creative businesses have a stigma attached to it because of limited know-how on how to monetize it. However, if nurtured correctly, it has the potential to be developed into an income-generating business.

–        Creative industries contributed 1.28% of employment and 2.9% to national GDP* in 2014


If the creative industry contributes so significantly to the GDP and to South Africa’s employment; why is this impact not realised in townships and rural areas (which is where a lot of the youth facing the socio-economic challenges are located)?

Why have we not capitalised on the opportunity that exists to develop the township economic landscape through the creative economy (ie professional marketing and media solutions)

IYACHICHIMA is innovatively bringing the 15 incubatees to launch a collective project that promotes their businesses and initiatives. This will be a way of driving awareness on their respective brands but also attract others to invest in their entrepreneurial skills development, work with Singatha and IYACHICHIMA; enabling more businesses to be developed, more jobs to be created and improve the lives of people whom we have interacted with.



Creative entrepreneurs have been connected with opportunities to work on big projects following corporate principles

Fashion entrepreneurs has been exposed to a women’s seminar and had more than 8 clients place orders with her

All entrepreneurs have reported to an improvement on self-awareness – something which was overlooked by them yet I making a difference in the way they approach the business management.

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