South Africa Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for the school curriculum to be configured in such a way that children can be taught entrepreneurial courses from a young age.

“It is when that happens that you will be able to produce more Steve Jobs, more Bill Gates and those who also operate in Silicon Valley and other places,” Ramaphosa said at the launch of Global Entrepreneurship Week here Friday. The event was also attended by Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu.

Global Entrepreneurship Week, which takes place from Nov 14 to 20 November, is the largest gathering of innovators and entrepreneurs, who launch start-ups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and stimulate socio-economic development.

Ramaphosa appealed to big business to partner with small businesses to grow an inclusive economy and give the youth work experience. “Leaders of established business must mentor more and invest more in young talent. We must work together to urgently introduce those reforms that will foster a more enabling environment for SMME development,” he said.

“We must find innovative ways to work and provide the necessary support to young women, in particular, to get involved in sustainable opportunity-driven enterprises.”

Deputy President Ramaphosa said a number of sectors of the economy are dominated by a few big players, costs of entry are high and anti-competitive behaviour is widespread. The government recognized that it might unwittingly reinforce this market dominance through bureaucratic inefficiency and costly regulatory requirements.

“However, we have made important progress in strengthening the competition authorities, using government’s purchasing power to promote emerging businesses, and refining the BEE codes of good practice to emphasise enterprise development,” he added.

Zulu encouraged parents to teach their children their value of money from a young age. She said this could be done by opening a bank account for their kids and encouraging them to save their pocket money.


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