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What does an Entrepreneur do?

Entrepreneurs are individuals who notice an opportunity to satisfy customer or market needs and decide how to find and use resources to make a product or deliver a service that meets those needs. Entrepreneurs may work in almost any industry imaginable, and create and operate a business venture of almost any size. What defines an entrepreneur is the desire and courage to strike out on one’s own in the world of business, instead of working for someone else.

An entrepreneur’s job responsibilities may include:

  • identifying customer needs that the market does not satisfy
  • identifying the target market and customer profile for a product or service
  • identifying funding sources, such as savings, loans or approaching investors
  • preparing a business plan
  • seeking a patent for a product
  • sourcing manufacturers and distributors
  • developing a marketing plan
  • recruiting, hiring, training, supervising and supporting staff
  • performing sales duties or hiring sales professionals to implement a sales plan.

What qualifications do I need?

There is no single educational path to becoming an entrepreneur; educational requirements for entrepreneurs are non-specific. Entrepreneurs may begin their careers by working for someone else in order to gain experience before starting their own business. However, it is highly beneficial to have a combination of industry experience and formal education in the industry you plan on working in. Gaining knowledge specific to your field can be accomplished by pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in a field related to your business. A strong business background can also be helpful in securing the necessary financial support to start up a business and provide you with skills related to operating, promoting and managing a business.

What subjects do I need?

Contact each institution for their specific requirements, but these subjects are recommended: 
• Mathematics


Where can I study?

False Bay TVET College
National Certificate: Business Management N4 - N6

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Bachelor of Commerce; Course in Entrepreneurship

Central University of Technology
Course in Entrepreneurship

Umgungundlovu TVET College
National Diploma: Marketing Management

University of Johannesburg
Bachelor of Commerce

North-West University
Bachelor of Commerce

University of Pretoria
Bachelor of Commerce

Cape Peninsula University of Technology
National Diploma / Bachelor of Technology: Marketing; Course in Entrepreneurship

Tshwane University of Technology
National Diploma / Bachelor of Technology: Marketing; Course in Entrepreneurship

Wits Business School
Programmes for Entrepreneurs

Where can I get more info?

South African Institute for Entrepreneurship – www.entrepreneurship.co.za
Small Enterprise Development Agency – www.seda.org.za
SA Teen Entrepreneur – www.teenentrepreneur.co.za


Interview with an Entrepreneur

Kgomotso Matsunyane | ENTREPRENEUR | T.O.M. Pictures

Kgomotso Matsunyane | ENTREPRENEUR | T.O.M. Pictures


Why did you choose this profession?
I realised when studying international relations that media is the best way to effect political change, hence I chose this profession. Media is such a dynamic industry, constantly evolving, and it’s challenging and fun to keep being relevant.

What training did you undergo?
Initially I studied politics in varsity, and then did unpaid internships in television before landing my first paid gig. Everything I learnt about media, I learnt on the job.

How did you fund your studies?
I was very fortunate to get a full scholarship to Carleton College, a private liberal arts institution in Minnesota (USA). I found the college when I was a Rotary Youth Exchange Scholar at high school.

What personality types suit this work?
Ambitious, curious, patient and tenacious people.

Describe a typical day on the job
There’s no such thing! It depends on whether I’m producing, presenting, writing or fund-raising. That’s what I love about what I do, because I hate monotony.

Does experience weight up against formal training?
Absolutely, and in fact in many cases I’d say experience is so much better.

What do you enjoy the most?
Being able to be a part of history by recording my take on life, hopefully influencing how people think by offering an authentic alternative to sheep mentality.

What don’t you like?
The amount of popularity one gets is not commensurate with the amount of money one earns, so you better do this for the love of it.

What’s been the highlight of your career?
Starting T.O.M. Pictures in 2003 with my partners Akin Omotoso and Robbie Thorpe. That we’ve not only survived the worst time in local TV and film, but we’re actually thriving and growing every year, is a testament to the incredible connection we have as partners.

Your future goals?
To make T.O.M. Pictures a leading global content provider, and to diversify our portfolio.

Advice for media newcomers?
Trust your instincts, and be aggressive about getting what you want. Don’t expect opportunities to fall into your lap, and always initiate the next step. Also, always have more than one job and be flexible so as to always be employable. Oh, and start saving money from your very first pay cheque.

Describe your job in three words
Stimulating • Dynamic • Fulfilling