South Africa's Top Coaching Challenges: It is my perspective that the top Three Challenges facing South Africa today; on a level where one-on-one involvement can make a difference, are:

  • Poverty
  • Unemployment
  • Lack of Education

Lack of education and lack of unemployment perpetuates a cycle of poverty, which perpetuates the cycle of loss of opportunity and ultimately the loss of hope.

Loss of hope destroys communities, families and the futures of individuals and of nations.

Our schooling system needs to support teachers to teach on a wider scope than the national syllabus. We need to teach children how to learn and how to perpetually self-educate. How to be street smart, enterprising and to have a high emotional quotient. We need to cultivate an innovative spirit that creates the early seed of self generating business while still at school.

We need to teach kids how to solve conflict, how to listen and how to negotiate, how to connect, and how to love. How to forgive. How to look for creative solutions that provide "good-for-all" systems.

We need to foster entrepreneurial businesses both at schools and with job seekers.

"The government, parents and businesses alike have a role to play to ensure that South Africa starts moving away from a job-seeking mentality to an entrepreneurial mindset. The latest figures from Statistics SA's labour force survey show that of the 4.6 million unemployed South Africans, 72 percent are under the age of 35 and 600 000 have a university qualification.

On the other hand, more than two thirds (13.4 million) of South Africa's current employment is created by small, medium and micro enterprises. This sector contributes 60 percent towards the national GDP. This phenomenon is not unique to South Africa. It is clear that entrepreneurship presents opportunities to create jobs and career paths for young people.

The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation's findings reveal that 40 percent of young South Africans fear starting a business because they lack the skills and experience to understand the business world.

As the Chinese proverb says, it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. Therefore, instead of continuing to point fingers and stating the obvious challenges and causes, we should obsess over finding feasible and sustainable solutions. There is a need, and more importantly an opportunity, to effectively groom future business owners by cultivating a culture of entrepreneurship even at high school level." (Oosthuizen, 2014)

I challenge every educated person in this country to commit four hours a month to a structured programme of support either with a specific school, or a specific pupil or to the owner of a small business enterprise.

Be part of the difference in South Africa. Use your education and experience to drive our economy forward by sharing your knowledge.

Reference within article: Iol.co.za.2015. Entrepreneurship can foster an economically vibrant society.[online] Available at http://www.iol.co.za/business/opinion/entrepreneurship-can-foster-an-economically-vibrant-society-1.1640680#.VW2y2umJhMs [Accessed: 3 July 2015]

Perspective provided by Kathy English Brower, TCC Alumni