Social Media and South African Business

Economic crisis and high unemployment have not only affected the United States; it has also taken its toll on the people of South Africa. BBQ Online’s article, “Catch Them Young,” recently reported that, “Statistics South Africa pegs the country’s current unemployment rate at 25%, a figure akin to that experienced by America during the Great Depression of the 1930s.” With such a poor job market, South African officials and leaders are turning to entrepreneurialism and small business as a way to put their country back on its feet.

© by babasteve

What does this mean for teens everywhere? Take a look at what BBQ has to say:

“Overseas, social media, primarily the Internet, has been attributed to the success of most of these teen entrepreneurs, as it provides a medium where teenagers can carry out their ideas easily and conveniently.

Social medias has been seen to fast-track the success of these entrepreneurs due to the vast resources of networks into which they have been abel to tap without succumbing to the restrictions of geographical location. Unfortunately, in the South African context, access to the Internet is limited due to prohibitive costs, particularly in the population groups in most need of this service, such as the unemployed and those without disposable income.

On 19 January 2012, Times Live reported that a survey conducted by World Wide Worx had established a distinct correlation between small and medium enterprises (SMEs) having an online presence and being profitable. At least 79% of SMEs with a website reported being profitable as opposed to only 59% of those without one.

The government has realised the power of this medium and has identified a need . . . Dr. Blecher indicated that over 200,000 SMEs in South Africa do not have any Web content at the moment, and this initiative is pivotal in addressing this problem.”

Use of social media is critical for the success of business in South Africa, but is limited for these entrepreneurs. Teens, this is where you step in! Are you savvy in social media? Know how to make and run a website? South African business owners need you! This is a great way for you to start your own micro business, by helping run social media for any of thousands of South African businesses.

Carol Topp, CPA

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