Johannesburg, 17 November 2014 – Being an entrepreneur often means being a trail blazer and pioneering new things. This may sound good when things go according to plan but there’s always “the voice of fear” when having to do something new.
For small business owners, having a mentor can be invaluable and the statistics prove this. Research has shown that 80% of entrepreneurs who have mentors working alongside them survive long term, versus only 45% who don’t have a mentor.
The Hope Factory understands the daily challenges that entrepreneurs face and through its various programmes, helps to address this. “From the 17th-23 November, we are joining entrepreneurs across the world to commemorate Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). We have picked events where we’d like to add value by assisting start-up entrepreneurs succeed in their ventures. This is what Global Entrepreneurship Week is all about – to bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare,” says The Hope Factory’s CEO Annie McWalter.
During GEW The Hope Factory will be lending its support to two important events where entrepreneurs will gather to share innovative ideas. The Startup Picnic, taking place at the CSIR Sports & Recreation Club in Pretoria will be a fun day connecting entrepreneurs.. The event is also set to attract various entrepreneurship activists and organisations i.e. angel investors, venture capitalists and incubators.
During The Festival of Entrepreneurship starting on 16 to 20 November, eKasi Entrepreneurs will be launching in Gauteng. “We are so glad that The Hope Factory will be exhibiting at the expo as this is a platform that allows township entrepreneurs access to opportunities and resources from corporate South Africa, Government Departments and Agencies. More so, this is done through Entrepreneurship Development, skills development, public-private collaboration, social innovations and access to markets.” says Elvis Sekhaolelo, the executive director of eKasi Entrepreneurs.
According to Puseletso Modimogale, a business mentor at The Hope Factory, entrepreneurship is a mind-set that is shaped by many challenges and victories. And, often in the beginning, more challenges than victories.
She says, “The psychological behaviour of an entrepreneur is not always logical as how they understand things may not be the same as others. This is largely why most entrepreneurs are aware of opportunities that others may not see and are often quick to identify a problem they have a solution to. “This mind-set, which I call “transcendence”, has been bought at a hefty ‘psychological price’. This is why at The Hope Factory we have designed a mentorship programme that seeks to address the unique needs of entrepreneurs. Our business mentors are themselves all entrepreneurs and so have had first-hand experience of the challenges – and joys – of running your own business.”
The Hope Factory assigns each entrepreneur on its programme a mentor. Not only do the mentors assist the business, but also the growth of the business owner. In addition the relationship needs to be one of empowerment. When the mentor leaves and the mentee has to implement what they’ve discussed, they need to be able to do so on their own and with confidence.
“We believe that if we can help to grow the individual business owner or entrepreneur then the business will be more likely to grow and remain sustainable,” concludes Modimogale .