Entrepreneurs: the unsung heroes of the business world

Government has not yet been able to help solve the unemployment crisis in South Africa, which leaves the responsibility with the business and private sector to do the job. This was the message delivered at the recent Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year® workshop by Dennis Collins, a South African entrepreneur and business man.

According to Collins, the private sector of South Africa has been laden with responsibility to help solve the unemployment crisis in the country.

“We entrepreneurs are the unsung heroes of the business world. Entrepreneurs are the individuals who, starting with ideas, create employment, earn money, pay taxes, and up skill staff who earn salaries and pay their own taxes. We are the individuals who grow the economy.

“I remind you that never before in the history of this wonderful country has there been a greater need for the emergence of such people. I therefore applaud entrepreneurs because they will make the difference.”

He says that there are certain principles that entrepreneurs should follow to assist them in their quest for success:

Drive and ambition:

Hard work is key to success – you don’t just arrive! Your ship won’t come in if you have never sent one out. Entrepreneurs are in charge of their own destiny


Entrepreneurs need conviction that what they are doing will work, and be prepared for the “downs” because they do come.

Strong will to win:

Never give up – stay focused – don’t be diverted from your dream.

Respond to failure with attitude with optimism:

Attitude is very important for entrepreneurs as they have to be able to respond to failure with optimism. Failure is no less than lessons learned because the man who never made a mistake, never made anything.

Be confident in your own ability:

Always be confident in your own ability. In order to be confident one needs to be an expert in the industry that you operate in – never be scared to study and learn more about your area of expertise.

Set measurable goals:

Success is the result of setting goals in every area of life. An entrepreneur’s desperation quotient will determine how far you go when the going gets tough. Your final destination must be clear, measurable and specific in time, quality and values.

Advisors and friends:

Entrepreneurs need to select good friends and business networks to assist them with the strengths that they may not have.

Collins says that entrepreneurs need to dream, live, eat, talk and consume that which is within them. They then need to break out of the dream cocoon and spring into action. “Never be afraid to make decisions. As long as you are right 51% of the time, you will be on the winning side, and the sheer momentum of that will pull you through.”