The State Of South African Youth Economics

David Ramontsi
4 min readFeb 18, 2019


Understanding the leading force shaping the future of South Africa.

Photograph: Michael Cali/San Diego Union/REX Shutterstock

The Challenge

South Africa is considered one of the entrepreneurial leaders in sub-Sahara Africa. Contrary to research by Global Entrepreneur Monitor (GEM) South Africa report 2016–2017, the business climate has become somewhat hostile, with only 43.17% of South Africans who perceive the opportunity to start a business and only 41.9% that are improvement-driven opportunity entrepreneurs. As a citizen concerned about the future, you should ask yourself how much of the percentage does our youth account for and why the youth, you may ask? Simply because the future of the country depends on them.

Understandably so, our economy is going through a rough patch. The country is not confident competing on the global scale as one will like to see it happen. Another harsh reality is that we are subjected to high costs of living as those who own the economy feel the pinch too. Conversely, acts of patriotism; whether we see it fit or not, lay open for us to make a decision if we will make this part of our reality to bring about change.

“10.1% of South Africans of working age intend starting their own business in the next three years, compared to 41.6% in the other African countries that were surveyed”

Every so often quantitative research doesn’t amount to the only facts we have available. We need to balance it out with a few qualitative observations, ordinarily, which is another part of the truth.

It may sound ambitious but our people are there to support each other’s ideas and businesses, but that’s if we can fix what I can call our societal discrepancies.

In addition, regardless of government involvement with initiatives such as Proudly South African, support for local businesses is an issue affecting our entrepreneurial flair as South Africans. In business, the public is not as responsive and easily persuaded by new businesses as before. They don’t rush to spend their well-earned money on a business unless it proves its worth.

The Fight

However, today we find a wave of defiant businesses striving to immerse their impact on various industries. In a search for economic liberation, their eagerness is of consequence, driving large corporate companies into focusing their attention on miniature businesses to inspire great ideas. Hence, we have business incubators established all over as a catalyst to exploiting and breaking ground for this disruptive change.

Consequently, in the driver’s seat is the South African youth, tired of being too dependent on the delusions of an unstable political orientation. The interest is to pioneer a new wave of free-thinking entrepreneurs.

Photograph: Unknown - We Shall Overcome Today

The Revolution

Their ambition is to lead a culture of an unwonted capitalist system within the creative and corporate industries. Synonymous with the hopeful, they vouch to stand up for the future of their culture, a modern-day struggle for an African child.

The finesse has evoked an unprecedented boost in youth inspired emerging businesses. Despite the challenges faced, they are resilient and adapt well enough to the hostility, keeping their heads above the water.

In the course of this new economy of disruptive ideas, as a result, a hot category of consumers in the market is slowly investing more into businesses that embody their values. Joining forces with entrepreneurs that realise their livelihood.

Photograph: Tseliso Monaheng/Johannesburg Braamfontein/

A New Wave

Voicing it out to the youth, with our current state of affairs, such is only mastered outside of the classroom, through real-life experience.

Built with our diversity, cultures and having to have an authentic impact that resonates with all of us is such a beautiful thing.

We need to take a moment of appreciation to say thank you for being such an inspiration. A force to reckon. Ordinarily, you are an arch building block in a new reality of the free and independent. You’ve taken advantage to advance a new struggle. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are not. As part of you, I am writing this piece today to let you know that you are doing just fine.

At that, promoting your progress, supporting local businesses and using our ideas to our advantage is there to encourage a progressive youth culture.

Continue fighting for what you believe in.

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David Ramontsi

I experiment with ideas and I write about them. My topics range from creativity, marketing, project management to entrepreneurship and society.