In the wake of high unemployment rates in South Africa, a new entrepreneurial spirit has risen. Many business-minded individuals who can't find jobs are creating their own. Many are pushing forward, beyond economic hardship, to brand their own ideas both locally and around the world. Even students are being taught to develop their skills and discover what value they can add to the marketplace. As a result, this new generation of entrepreneurs has sparked further innovation and drive among South Africans, as well as created more employment opportunities for the rest of the country.
Angel investors and venture capitalists around the world have taken note of this movement, and have started investing in the economic future of South Africa. Likewise, first-time business owners are attracted to angel investors. These private investors - who may be local, or from the UK, America, or other countries - are not only willing to take risks on brand new ventures, but they often provide their expertise and know-how on what it takes to succeed in both a local and global economy.
South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth - the founder of Linux distribution enterprise Ubuntu Project, and the first African to fund his own space mission - is one of the more familiar names among the country's investment community. But recently, a crop of young, lesser-known local entrepreneurs in variety of industries has seen substantial success, including the owners of a video game franchise, a fashion designer who works with previously disadvantaged artists, and the founder of an internet solutions company that provides computer services to rural provinces in South Africa. With a wide-open marketplace, serious entrepreneurs are beginning to carve their niche in the South African business world. The ability to connect with other investors and entrepreneurs online makes sites like the Angel Investment Network a great way to expand ones reach.