The Top 5 Sectors for SA Entrepreneurs in 2015

Updated on 16 January 2015

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The top 5 sectors for SA entrepreneurs in 2015
Map of South Africa with national flag

South Africa’s challenges can provide great opportunities for entrepreneurs, says Christo Botes, executive director at Business Partners, an SME specialist risk finance company.

“While the problems the country has had to face over the last year, from water and power shortages, are negative, these issues also provide opportunities in the market for entrepreneurs to take advantage of”.

Botes predicts old favourites like tourism and infrastructure to continue to be lucrative industries for entrepreneurs to venture into this coming year. There are however some surprises like mining and education, both of which Botes believes, offer opportunities for entrepreneurs who are able to fill in the gaps created by increased demands in those sectors.

Here are Botes‘ 5 sectors which could provide significant opportunities for entrepreneurs in 2015, and his reasons why:

1. Education 
Why: Both Government and the private sector have allocated large budgets to improve this sector. More franchises are increasingly being established, especially Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges (formerly known as Further Education and Training (FET) colleges), due to the demand for such facilities and skills in the country.

2. Manufacturing
Why: While the sector will continue to offer opportunities in 2015, entrepreneurs should be exploring export orientated manufacturing. Government offers attractive incentives, such as rebates and tax deductions, for component manufacturing, as well as an entrepreneur’s ability to develop overseas markets for such products.

“Savvy entrepreneurs can capitalise on the
country being a fairly cheap destination
to host international conferences”

3. Tourism
Why: Business tourism is increasingly growing in attractiveness due to South Africa being recognised as the gateway to Africa, and due to the weak rand, savvy entrepreneurs can capitalise on the country being a fairly cheap destination to host international conferences, when compared to some of the more established / traditional conference destinations.

4. Mining 
Why: While at a low base due to the labour disputes encountered over the last 18 months, the sector has recently experienced an increase in expenditure on capital programmes, especially in coal mines as older mines’ reserves are shrinking and coming increasingly under pressure to supply more coal to our mainly coal fired electricity generating power stations.

This offers a myriad of opportunities for entrepreneurs in primary and secondary supply chains, such as shops and other infrastructure that is needed in the area where the mines are being developed and/or redeveloped.

5. Infrastructure at large
Why: Government, at all levels, is investing in upgrading services and facilities and smaller contractors should seek ways to get involved in the various scheduled projects. Apart from low-cost housing, basic services, such as water, electricity, sewage plants, as well as repairs and upgrades to government buildings and recreation sites, are needed in cities and towns across the country.

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