High barriers to entry into formal employment, new opportunities that now exist and the desire to be one’s own boss have encouraged young South Africans to start their own ventures.

The term “side hustle” has become synonymous with today’s youth, who are starting businesses from a young age to combat the effects of a challenging economy.

“With high levels of youth unemployment, we must place emphasis on entrepreneurship as an alternative avenue to job creation and economic growth,” says Belinda Rathogwa, head of client solutions: small enterprises at Standard Bank. “A ‘side hustle’ could be turned into a ‘main hustle’ – a viable business that becomes the main source of employment.”

This, Rathogwa says, cannot be achieved without dynamic support for young entrepreneurs. “There is a great need for information on how to run a business, how to secure funding as well as how to meet gain access to tools and systems that make it easier to run a business.”

Research shows that many young people who want to go into entrepreneurship are cautious and unsure about how to move forward with their ideas. “We know that many young entrepreneurs face challenges when starting their own business, and these have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 environment.”

However, the crisis has initiated the acceleration of technological adoption and this works in favour of young entrepreneurs who want to quickly get a product or service to market.

Whether you are tech-savvy or not, setting up an online presence for your business is easier than you think.

Standard Bank launched the SimplyBlu e-commerce solution in 2019 to make it easier for entrepreneurs to do business online. This offering allows entrepreneurs to set up an online store and accept payments securely, for a nominal fee.

Through this solution, entrepreneurs are able to send invoices, accept online payments and integrate into appropriate social media channels in a secure way. SimplyBlu also helps entrepreneurs to keep track of sales activity, in real time, through a management dashboard.

“These efforts demonstrate Standard Bank’s ongoing efforts to help young entrepreneurs turn a side hustle into a main hustle, by providing them with tangible banking solutions to help grow and sustain their businesses under the new normal,” concludes Rathogwa.