For many, working for someone and going to work every day from 8 to 5 is a satisfying way to earn income while others choose to start their own businesses and to be their own bosses. Entrepreneurship comes with many risks including ending up in debt and failure of the startup, but still people are attracted to setting up their own businesses. Some entrepreneurs may work for more than 12 hours daily, sometimes even failing to have enough time with their families. Why do entrepreneurs work with such persistence and commitment? Why do they choose to start their own companies? There are plenty of reasons why people become entrepreneurs.
1. Financial Independence
This is one of the top reasons why many become entrepreneurs. Many of us want to reach the stage where we have sufficient wealth to live, without having to work actively for basic necessities. We want the ability to generate money to meet our needs from sources other than our primary occupation. Entrepreneurship provides you an opportunity to become financial independent, to have the money to buy what you want and when you want. It gives you a chance to fulfill your dreams of having your own properties and that nice car you always wanted.
Entrepreneurship gives you freedom. You will be able to call your own shots and be in charge or your own destiny. You will control how many hours and how many days you work. It gives you the opportunity to make your own decisions, and as the owner of the business you can set your own targets and standards. Many Zimbabweans are trapped in the rat race. Having to wake up daily at the same time, doing the same job at the same place day after day and sometimes even failing to find time with your family, just to earn a fixed income at the end of the month, which for the majority of Zimbabweans is not more than US$700.
Almost all of the salary will cover expenses like food, clothes, transport costs and school fees for the children, as the poverty datum line for an average family of five in Zimbabwe is $511. Thus you will be forced to continue working for your employer, and very few Zimbabweans ever escape this rat race. Starting your own business will give you the key to escape that rat race. Entrepreneurship will give you the flexibility of having your own work schedule, and an opportunity to earn a high income.
Many companies are closing in Zimbabwe, and thousands are losing their jobs every year. Over 70 000 students are graduating annually from universities and colleges, joining millions of people who are already unemployed in Zimbabwe. Since 2011, over 4 000 companies have been forced to close by the unfavorable conditions, leading to over 50 000 people losing their jobs. In such an economy, you cannot place your hopes on getting a job. The way forward is to become entrepreneurs, so as to make money to meet your needs and be financially independent.
4. No restrictions on income
If you are working for someone, your employer will determine how much you earn, and usually it’s fixed and irrespective of how much profit the company makes. If you become an entrepreneur, there are no limits placed on how much money you can earn. Your income will be determined by how valuable your business is, how good you are at managing it, how many customers you have and how hard you work. The more effort you put into your business, the greater your income will be. You have the ability to grow as big as you want, with no limits.
5. Responsibility to society
You can become an entrepreneur by identifying a need and creating a solution to the problem, thus helping the society. For example Mukuru.com identified a problem as many in the Disapora were finding it difficult and expensive to send money to their relatives in Zimbabwe. They then solved the problem by creating an easy and affordable means for those in the Diaspora to send money back home. Your business may positively impact the society. It is entrepreneurs who create employment. The ideas you have can create an opportunity for some unemployed people to earn a living, and provide for their own families, and fulfill their own dreams.
As the owner of your business, you make the decision on how to use the company’s profits. You will have the chance to sponsor charities, help the underprivileged, and give back to the society. One example which comes to mind is Strive Masiyiwa, founder of Econet Wireless, who is sponsoring the education of thousands of underprivileged and orphans in Zimbabwe, through the Capernaum Trust. Though you may not do it at that scale, even if you send one child to school you will have made a difference.
6. You do something which you are passionate about
Entrepreneurship gives you an opportunity to do something you are passionate about. Many people end up doing a job they do not like, just to earn a fixed income at the end of the month. Not all teachers, accountants, engineers, salespeople and rank touts love their jobs. As an entrepreneur you will end up doing whatever you want and what you love.
Entrepreneurship gives you the satisfaction of having your own company, and your own brand. The fact that you are solving problems, making lives easier and providing employment to others gives you fulfillment. You will be known and recognized for something positive by the society, which is enjoyable. People will start referring to you as the owner of such and such supermarket, or he/she has kombis. You will leave a legacy. It will be fun for you to build your brand and earn recognition. Knowing that you built your business from scratch and had a vision which you executed successfully will give you a great feeling of accomplishment. Entrepreneurship will give you the excitement of learning a lot of new things daily, and assuming many different roles. It’s an adventure.
Everyone has a different reason for being an entrepreneur. Share with us in the comments, what are your reasons for becoming an entrepreneur?