The World Bank Groups Jobs research by Andrew Charman state that the informal economy provides opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship. Work in the villages and in townships micro-enterprises offers the unemployed youth a point of entry into the labour market. Those engaged in ‘make work jobs’ will no doubt abandon informal work for better opportunities and formal employment when available. Whether youth persist in informal work, or exist, the village township economy provides opportunities to acquire skills, gain on-the-job experience, and build social networks. There are good business opportunities for those youth able to apply their knowledge and skills, and to mobilise capital. In some sectors, South African young face both competition (and lessons) from immigrant youth entrepreneurs.
There are three areas in which village and township youth entrepreneurs exhibit high potential for business success.
• Youth able to translate their ‘hobbies’ into enterprise activities.
• Youth that are brought into family businesses.
• Youth with jobs who establish informal micro-enterprises as a safety-net or investment strategy.
(See Table 1). These are largely micro-enterprises with low capital and low skills base. Women entrepreneurs are in majority. The programmes for the Township Economy Revitalisation Strategy will cater for the economic and business activities beyond those listed in Table 1.