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Welcome back to the final installment of our miniseries (Entrepreneurship For Dummies) in this article we will break down the remaining business infrastructure for entrepreneurs because we believe that knowledge is power and with the power, you can succeed at anything you put your mind too.

Below we highlight the most important business infrastructure for entrepreneurs in our opinion because without these you cannot grow your business whether you are selling a product or service.

Small Business Banking

South Africa has a world class banking industry that is comprehensive. complex and corrupt to same point but all in all it has an excellent array of product offerings which I will briefly mention here but we will do an in-depth chapter all about the different product offering as well as the banks themselves so watch this space for more information.

We begin with the top 3 business banks in South Africa and welcoming the 2 newcomers to the ring for the ultimate showdown but most of all highlighting the pro and con, advantage as well as disadvantages of there product offering so that small business owners can make a data-driven decision when it comes to were they put their hard earned business money.

Let’s introduce the contenders to the ring battling it out for your loyalty and you getting the best deal for your business piece of mind:

  • Mercantile – Newcomer
  • Tyme Bank – Newcomer
  • Nedbank
  • FNB Bank
  • ABSA Bank

The South African banking industry holds a total R 5.7 trillion rand in assets as of 2020 published by the South Africa Reserve Bank annual report for 2019/2020 and the country is dominated by just five banks now that is crazy stats about the industry and does not even speak about the smaller players in South Africa who are fighting hard to gain market share from the gigantic five.

Gigantic Five Bank Market Percentage
Standard Bank 23.9%
First Rand (FNB) 21.3%
ABSA 19.5%
Nedbank 17.8%
Investec 7.9%
Capitec 2.0%
Other Banks: 7.6%
Tyme Bank 0.02%
Discovery Bank 0.10%

WOW those numbers are truly impressive it leads me to think that our personal and business money can help build an economy which in turns creates an environment for entrepreneurship to florish but there are still hurdles full of red tape and the average entrepreneur can not access finance to start or expand their business which it is an oxymoron in its self.

Human Capital

Let’s start with human capital by breaking it down to what it means and so we start off with the definition “The workforce or labour force is the labour pool either employed or unemployed.  It is generally used to describe those working for a single company or industry, but can also apply to a geographic region like a city or country”.

South Africa has the highest unemployment rate on the African continent but that is not necessarily a negative thing, because youth makes up a huge portion of the unemployment pool.  This is a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs to employ tech-driven youth who know more about building relationships with others and have a deep understanding of what is happening on the ground level.  By using this skill they can promote and drive engagement in the market for companies to solve problems.

Human capital in South Africa from a remuneration point of view is on par with international standards thanks in part to the strong labour laws in the country and that we have multinational recognised brands setting up shop on our shores.  This leads to strong skills transfer to build the human capital that can later drive entrepreneurship and build businesses from zero to one in no time.

The human capital factor also plays a major role in social development because skilled works become the entrepreneur of their community which then creates an environment that takes semi-skilled and un-skilled individuals into their employ which thereby creates the next generation.

Human Capital Skills Level Overview:


Managers – Top/Middle/Lower





Sales & Services

Skilled Agriculture

Craft & Related Trade

Planet & Machine Operators



Domestic Workers


Year Skilled Semi-Skilled Un-skilled
2014 25.2% 46.2% 28.5%
2020 31.1% 39.1% 29.8%

The numbers speak for themselves and it is clear that the future of South Africa’s economy is entrepreneurship as the vehicle to drive economic prosperity but this can only become a reality if entrepreneurs understand the fundamental concept of how to conduct themselves and their business.

Transportation & Freight

The last and final infrastructure plays a vital role if you are an internet entrepreneur.  Being able to move goods and services to customers is a fundamental part of local, national as well as international commerce in an ever-growing demand for better, smarter, and efficient systems that drive greater user experiences and online sales for newly minted businesses.

Advancement in modern technology has allowed the transportation sector to move even more people around thanks to digital ridesharing companies like Uber, Lyft, and Bolt that get you from points A to B when you need to conduct an in-person meeting with potential business collaborators which can strengthen your newly created start-up.

The transport sector in South Africa is divided into two parts, public and private but when it comes to which of the two dominates, the private sector wins.  Its contribution is through coal mining, large scale agriculture, and commercial freight.  Then there is the public sector which is a mixture of trains, buses, taxis and planes to deliver products and services to urban and rural communities in South Africa as well as large scale shipping ports that open international markets.

The transportation sector in South Africa is huge and when it comes to purchasing a car for the first time South African buyers like to purchase second-hand cars that are between 160K to 200K due in part to economic instability as well as import tax and tariffs placed on internal combustion engine vehicles.  In conclusion, transport and freight infrastructure can play a major role in how well your business grows in South Africa.

We have come to the end of our very first miniseries and we trust that you are well informed about how the physical world is interconnected with being an entrepreneur.  In simple terms think of this series as being the hardware of a computer without which the software cannot perform its function.

If you enjoyed this series please let us know by following us on social media or sending an e-mail with a topic you would like us to elaborate on in greater detail, but until then stay smart.

Yvette Pugin

Yvette Pugin


A force to be reckoned with: Qualified Senior Bookkeeper with 40 years experience in Administration, both in Corporate and the SME space. Having started working in the 1980’s when computers were still a dream; her experience was gained with manual systems. After working with SME Suppliers in the corporate environment, it became apparent that there is a need for not only education, but system management for SME’s.