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Innovation ‘not a prerequisite for entrepreneurship’

Innovation not a prerequisite for entrepreneurship web
  • Oct 04
  • Tags Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Tips, Strengths


“Young people should be taught that you should constantly strive to improve your business through innovation, but innovation is certainly not a prerequisite for entrepreneurship,” says Daniel Strauss, USB lecturer and MBA alumnus.

“In emerging markets, there are so many opportunities for entrepreneurs to compete on simple terms like customer service or convenience, whereby you can start to compete in a market and actually dominate that market just by providing a better service than the current market participants.”

Strauss is a Private Equity and Venture Capital entrepreneur and currently serves as a founding member and Director of Stocks & Strauss (Pty) Ltd. He is also an extraordinary lecturer on the MBA programme.

Here he shares five tips for aspiring entrepreneurs:

  1. Know the rules: Before you attempt the world of entrepreneurship, make sure that you know the rules of the game. I explain the rules of the game very clearly at the beginning of my lectures.
  2. Identify and focus on your core strength: You can always outsource tasks that fall outside of your core competence to others who complement your weaknesses with their strengths.
  3. Focus on building a strong foundation first: Only once the foundation is rock solid will the creative side be able to complement the foundation and thereby lead to the emergence of true value.
  4. Pay your tax: Paying tax is a sign that you are making money. Some entrepreneurs focus on tax avoidance to such an extent that they start to practice “revenue avoidance” without even noticing the negative thinking pattern that crept up on them over time.
  5. Create and measure shareholder value: Make sure that you understand how shareholder value is created and measured. A well designed exit strategy can create as much economic value as all the hard work of actually building the business
Strauss is pictured here with his wife and former Miss World 2014, Rolene Strauss, who is currently enrolled for her MPhil in Management Coaching, and USB MBA head Martin Butler.

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