A Recipe for Effective Job Creation

By Willem Gous|14-01-2021 | 1 Min Read
Job creation, business startups, and helping communities thrive.

According to a world bank blog post, it costs around $30,000 to create one job in sectors like trade, wood, or construction. In my opinion, this is not sustainable because we might never recover that investment.

I dreamt of bringing the cost of job creation down to between $1,000 and $3,000 per job. 

I believe that I succeeded and want to share what I did to achieve this.

Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings. ~ Nelson Mandela


The challenge of rising unemployment

As a result of the worldwide 2020 pandemic, the world is facing unprecedented levels of unemployment. Some say 2021 will be worse as the economic effects of the 2020 lockdowns come into full effect. Millions lost their jobs, and many more will still as lockdowns persist. 

We must find a way to replace these lost jobs, quickly and affordably and The Human Entrepreneur Program might just be the most cost-effective and quickest way to achieve this.

The first part of the program helps to identify potential entrepreneurs and business owners while the second part, the incubator, assists them to create working businesses in record time. 

“Progress is a choice. Job creation is a choice. Whether we give our children a future or more or a future of less - this too, is a choice” - Martin O’ Malley

Getting people to want to start businesses

Between August to November 2020, close to 1,700 candidates completed The Human Entrepreneur EDP (entrepreneurial development program) online. It helps you make an informed decision between finding a job and following a career or becoming an entrepreneur by starting a business. It also provides the basic information needed to start a business right there and then.

At the end of the online program, candidates had to make the actual decision between finding a job and following a career or becoming an entrepreneur and starting a business. The results were surprising. 

29% said they want to become entrepreneurs, 36% said they want to follow a career, and 35% indicated they want to do both, to have a job and build a business on the side. 

I spoke to many candidates who chose to do both (get a job and build a business on the side) and found the chief reason for this choice was driven by the belief that you need a lot of money to start a business, which is a myth. 

Thus, after doing The Human Entrepreneur EDP, 64% showed an active or delayed intention towards entrepreneurship and starting a business.

The program serves as a tool to identify people with a desire and drive to start a business and The Human Entrepreneur EDP is affordable and makes it possible to serve large numbers of people cost-effectively. 

Employers benefit from having people working for them that can think like entrepreneurs.

In a nutshell, the program assists in awakening potential business owners and serves as an excellent work readiness tool.

Starting businesses in record time

As mentioned before, the first part of the program helps to identify potential entrepreneurs and business owners while the second part, the incubator, assists them to create working businesses in record time

Due to extreme time constraints, I could only interview close to one hundred candidates who chose entrepreneurship and want to start businesses to go into The Human Entrepreneur Incubator Program. 

53 candidates were chosen to attend the 21-day incubator program. 21 Days were chosen due to time constraints. In future, I suggest 28 days instead.

Desired outcomes of the Incubator Program

Candidates have to build a business, with actual paying customers in 21 days. The aim is to generate enough profits to replace the salary they receive as part of a work experience program.

Anyone has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor. ~ James Baldwin


The candidates come from previously disadvantaged communities. The salary is not large, however, it covers their living expenses and a bit more, giving these new entrepreneurs the ability to live while building a business. They have independence, self-reliance and self-determination from the start. 

This is significant since it has a huge impact on focus, drive and motivation for an entrepreneur. Trust me, when the school says they will not allow your child entry tomorrow due to non-payment of school fees and you are behind on rent, then I am not giving my best to my business and customers possibly resulting in eventual business failure.

A solution for effective job creation in Africa and the world

60% of candidates replaced their salary while the remainder is well on their way. Some achieved it in 7 days. 

The incubation program created 35 new businesses in 21 days, all with customers, generating turnover, and many being profitable past the desired outcomes. 35 Businesses means 35 new jobs created in 21 days, giving people the power of creating their own economy and self-determination. 

This was achieved starting with just over 50 people. What will happen if we consistently take people through this program? At its current price point, this is absolutely possible.
Types of businesses created
Most of these businesses are low or no tech, ranging from hairdressers, food businesses, car mechanics, clothing brands, simple trading businesses. These are the types of jobs that Africa needs right now.
All of these businesses ended up serving the communities they were founded in and is an excellent way to stimulate the local economy. Thus this program can be used as a targeted economic stimulus tool for struggling communities.

The best way to help the poor is to promote economic growth and job creation ~ Myron Magnet

What are the possibilities?

Imagine a struggling or disadvantaged community. You take 100 people per week through the EDP then absorb 25 people who want to start a business into the incubator program, with the aim of creating between 15 and 20 new businesses within that community every week. Where would that community be 12 months from now? 

Even if you only run this program monthly, it would mean between 180 and 240 jobs annually in businesses that serve the community while you have trained 1,200 people on The Human Entrepreneur Entrepreneurial Development Program. 
You would have improved the general view, understanding and practice of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking as well as help to create future workers for the businesses created.

Interesting mindset shifts

Here are some interesting mindset shifts the candidates experienced on The Human Entrepreneur Incubator Program.

#1. No External Money Required to Start

In South Africa, we suffer from a major problem; most people believe that they require a lot of money to start a business. This belief is hampering the development of new businesses.

However, 100% of the businesses created on this program were started with the limited money the candidates had. Some business owners needed money to buy stock and dealt with that hurdle by asking customers for 50% deposits, and it worked. It is about finding creative solutions to problems and working with your customers.

#2. Start Today, Make Money Today

Some candidates got their first customers in 1 day, another added 13 new customers to his business in 24 hours after being stuck on 10 customers since the inception of the business. 

One candidate had an idea at the start of the program, and 7 days later, they made 1,5 times their monthly salary in profit.
People are hungry, they have direct financial needs now, and I feel this is where 6 or 12-month programs fail because why would anyone be motivated to build a business over 6 or 12 months when they need money to care for themselves and their families now. 

The Human Entrepreneur Incubation Program is a cost-effective feeder for longer-term incubation programs because we provide real businesses, with customers, making money making sure you sit with the right people with the right mindsets before investing a lot of time and resources into them on a 6 to 12-month program.

#3. Many Started, Closed and Started Another New Businesses during the 21 Days

Many new businesses were started in week 1; some were closed down in the same week, and different businesses started instead. 

I have worked on other incubation programs, and even though people were working on businesses that were going nowhere, they simply could not let go of it. Their sunk cost was too high.

With The Human Entrepreneur Incubator Program, the time frame is so short; there is little or no sunk cost. They created and destroyed businesses based on actual performance and the businesses' ability to generate an income NOW.

#4. Real Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a Nguni term meaning: 'I am because we are' and it very powerful. However, in my experience, it is something people like to throw around to create a feeling of unity.

What inspired me was that candidates in the incubator program helped each other freely. They gave each other new business ideas (without asking for a cut or a profit share) and even encouraged each other to copy each other's business ideas that already worked. 

Because of this, the group as a whole moved forward faster and performed better. Think of how this would play out in a community and the long term benefits of such thinking and working. This is ubuntu in action.

#5. Some Started in Week 3, and Still Succeeded

One person started the program in the third and last week. On the first day, they came up with 6 ideas to make money and had their first paying customer by the end of that day.

The results are truly inspirational in a year filled with despair and disappointment.

Let’s create 1,000 jobs in 2021. Can You Help?

I am looking for assistance. I want to use this program and create 1,000 new jobs in Africa or anywhere else in the world during 2021. That would require me to run this program many times through the course of 2021, and I require funding to do so. 

If you are in this field, please reach out to me.

If you do not actively work in this field but might know someone who does, please arrange an introduction.
Please contact me at info@willemgous.com.

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Willem Gous is an international speaker, trainer and consultant on leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship. He started The Human Entrepreneur after seeing his father destroy himself through his own business and decided to work to keep entrepreneurs in the game with a human-centric approach to developing entrepreneurs.
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