PEOPLE starting up their own businesses will solve many of Mzansi’s problems.

Shevon Lurie, managing director at Vega School, told SunMoney there is a link between startup businesses and economic growth.

“This is why we have seen government put in place measures to boost small to medium businesses,” she said.

In this year’s national budget speech, it was announced that R3,2 billion would be allocated to a small business and innovation fund. Some R481,6 million would be contributed to supporting small businesses through an incubation programme.

At last year’s jobs summit, South African corporate companies signed on to help.

Key players in the financial sector agreed to invest R100 billion over five years into black-owned industrial businesses.

But Lurie said developing a culture of independent businesses needed to start at grassroots level to protect them from failing.

“The reason most start-ups fail in their first year is because new business owners don’t have the skills to deal with the many challenges that come with setting up a business.

“So youths need to be exposed to the business world before they enter it.”

Eben Keun from Breinstorm Brand Architects in Rosebank, Joburg said learning about starting a business is important at tertiary level.

“This will help those who open new businesses to find that in themselves,” Keun said.

Programmes like the Vega Brand Challenge sees students teaming up to tackle briefs from real clients, give them an opportunity to get insight into what it’s like to work in an agency environment.

For more information on qualifications and programmes for future business leaders, visit www.vegaschool.com.