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Ten tips for aspiring entrepreneurs to avoid being part of the failure rate

By Mitchan Adams, Founder of Venture Builder, Aions Creative Technology

by T N
2 minutes read

In South Africa, there are more than two million small, micro, and medium enterprises (SMMEs), which represent more than 98% of formal business1, and employ 50-60% of our labour force and contribute 34% towards GDP2. But – South Africa has the world’s highest failure rate among SMMEs, with 70-80% failing within five years3. The top three reasons for this failure rate are lack of access to finance, and poor planning4.

As a serial entrepreneur, I have experienced failures and many successes, and for future entrepreneurs here are my top tips to ensure you don’t become part of the start-up failure rate:

  1. Your idea is probably not unique, so your commitment has to stand out
  2. Become the subject matter expert
  3. Figure out what you need – funding or mentoring?
  4. Decide what you’re prepared to give in exchange for funding
  5. Remember that a bank loan is a viable option
  6. Connect with the right people
  7. Don’t wait for market conditions to be perfect for entry
  8. Define your vision, mission and purpose
  9. Get your paperwork and legal contracts in order
  10. Learn from my biggest learning


Entrepreneurship can be a tough journey. You’ll work harder than you thought possible, learn something new every day, take risks, worry a lot. But if you’ve done your homework properly, and with the right investment partner at your side, it’s an incredibly rewarding journey.

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