Small Businesses Key To Africa’s Growth Story – Ivan Epstein

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In order to recognise and celebrate the contributions of small business owners, Sage- the market leader for integrated accounting, payroll and payment systems- in its recent survey reveals that the world’s small and medium business owners contribute US$8.3 trillion to the global economy by working beyond the standard industry hours for their businesses.

Over a third (36%) of those surveyed says they have sacrificed love, family and fun time for their businesses. That figure was particularly high in South Africa, where 44% of business owners have chosen their work over their family. Globally, 44% of business owners say that their dedication to their enterprise has affected their relationships. Almost half (46%) of all business owners across the world do work for over 40 hours a week. German entrepreneurs are working particularly hard, with 57% working more than 40 hours every week. Australian business owners are achieving a better work-life balance, with 31% saying they are working more than 40 hours a week.

The survey highlights what inspires small and medium business owners to make the human sacrifices. Over half of all business owners (66%) say the extra hours are worth it. More than a third (41%) is driven by the love of what they do, whilst 38% say they are motivated by the sense of achievements. Particularly motivated are entrepreneurs in South Africa, where 51% say they are motivated by the love of their business, with 59% motivated by the sense of achievement

Ivan Epstein, President of Sage International notes the growth of entrepreneurship in Africa. He aptly says there is “a surge of entrepreneurial energy throughout Africa, with many people starting out on their own to build businesses that serve the community, create jobs, and catalyse prosperity for their wider societies. Sometimes, this demands great personal and financial sacrifice on their part”. He also noted “African business owners as the engines of the economy, fuelled by a passion for improving their lives and helping their communities. It is heartening to see African governments recognising just how central they are to the continent’s growth story”.

Stephen Kelly, CEO of Sage adds that “it takes hard work and human sacrifice to turn a dream business idea into a way of life. This survey highlights the extent of that commitment. It is the entrepreneurial spirit that makes the difference all over the world, and the contribution of these businesses that powers the global economy. We should do all we can to support these heroes and recognise all those hours of hard work they are putting in after the rest of the world has gone home’.

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