Is it the sea air or the ‘weave your own clobber’ badge of cool? Or could it be the mountains that like make me just wanna climb bru”. Here’s the thing – where you aware that Cape Town has the auspicious title of most entrepreneurial city in South Africa?
With Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity (referring to people between the ages of 18 and 64 years) being a massive 190% greater than South Africa’s national average (by comparison Johannesburg came in at 60%) this is no wishy-washy statistic. So why are these mountain goats any different to a similar demographic nationally?
A research paper from the University of Cape Town (UCT) suggested that Cape Town has much higher level of knowledge, innovation and opportunity than elsewhere in the country. Furthermore, the city was also ranked as number one for having more people confident in their ability to start a business relative to the national average.
It also seems there is an intimate relationship between certain characteristics of a metropolitan city like Cape Town, the number of talented people within the city and the amount of entrepreneurial activity. Wait a second. So it could just be fluke and how the planets are aligned? Well not quite.
For sure, it may in some respects be a lucky break in the sense of a pooled entrepreneurial base due to Cape Town being selected by individuals as THE place to live in, with its natural beauty and lifestyle choices. Talented people (and they seem to have arrived in truckloads in the Cape) are more creative than the rest of the population. They are more entrepreneurial and prefer cities which embrace tolerance, economic welfare and knowledge intensity. The city seemingly offers a great range of infrastructure which is of interest especially for younger and/or highly educated people.
Is there room for improvement? For sure – the key areas identified for improvement were: entrepreneurs must be encouraged to use the latest technology in their business ventures to allow for competition and growth at a world class level; the focus must be on growth orientated businesses for long terms success and lastly, in terms of new product development, less of a “copycat” mentality or an approach must be taken.