Entrepreneurship in South Africa: Overcoming Challenges and Empowering Growth

In 2022, South African business owners and entrepreneurs showed grit and determination to keep their operations afloat despite the challenging economic environment. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor South Africa (GEM SA) report revealed that the country has one of the lowest-rated climates for conducive entrepreneurship. However, there is hope on the horizon. Mr. Fikile Khiva, CEO of Kamva Capital, a management consulting firm, shares his journey as an entrepreneur, what keeps him motivated, and the support he’s received along the way.

Khiva, who started Kamva Capital to drive transformation, financial literacy, entrepreneurship development, and investment facilitation; shares that, “I voluntarily resigned, and sacrificed a good-paying job, to pursue my entrepreneurial calling. Growing up in poverty-stricken rural villages, I have always been driven to make a real difference not only to myself but to entrepreneurs and other communities which are trapped in poverty.”

While working, Khiva started a plough back initiative in 2008 in his community in the Eastern Cape and witnessed the impact it had on the lives of people within the community. After 10 years of his professional career at Accenture and J.P. Morgan Chase, respectively, he resigned from his job and founded Kamva Capital. For Khiva, starting his own company presented an opportunity for him to execute sustainable community development projects on a wider scale.

Khiva explains, “What motivates me is knowing that, if I put energy into my company, I can make a positive change within myself and my reach.” Today, Kamva is a proudly 100% black-empowered company, that specialises in delivering business development solutions to various sectors, such as financial services; energy infrastructure; agriculture; digital and ICT; and property sectors.

However, it is not all sunshine and rainbows, “The uphill part of entrepreneurship is dealing with ongoing challenges in various aspects of the business, stakeholders, family- and people in general”, says the CEO. An especially difficult aspect of entrepreneurship is gaining access to capital. Kamva has been able to grow its business to new heights by partnering with Inyosi, South Africa’s most established Enterprise and Supplier Development funding provider.

We have provided Kamva Capital with various financial resources, most recently, to acquire motor vehicles to ensure the safe transport of their employees. Evan Jones, the founder of Inyosi Empowerment, shares that, “From a job creation point of view, it is encouraging that Kamva is looking to create jobs in the Eastern Cape which is currently the province with the highest unemployment in SA. We share Kamva’s passion for uplifting communities by investing in businesses which have a positive impact at a local level”.

Inyosi Empowerment has provided both Kamva Capital and SMEs alike with much-needed access to funding, markets, and skills. Our Annual Impact Report for 2022 indicates that the company has provided a cumulative R912 million in loan funding to black-owned businesses across a wide variety of sectors that meet the loan requirements. Inyosi has contributed to the creation of 63,177 jobs since its inception in 2012 with a focus on black and female employees.

Companies like Kamva and Inyosi exude a hopeful vision for SA’s youth and a step in the right direction for the country’s entrepreneurship climate.

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