As South Africa pulls itself out of recession and look to economic recovery, it’s worth looking at what industries small business owners are likely to find opportunities in over the coming years.
Mindfulness and meditation training
In our increasingly connected and stressful modern work environments, many companies are turning to previously novel ways of improving employee quality of life.
One of the untapped resources in this area is that of meditation and mindfulness. Such services offer companies a way to give employees a sense of calm in the storm of daily living – and provide the opportunity for providers of these services to build a dedicated following into the bargain.
Optimal Energy’s Joule electric car project may have floundered before hitting the market, but this early foray proved to be a prescient look into the future of the mobility industry in South Africa.
As global leaders in mobility continue to make inroads, there is certainly a local gap for businesses to involve themselves in the intersection of mobility and technology.
Unfortunately, South Africa currently has several barriers to entry in this sector, particularly in regards to education and training. In order for entrepreneurs to take advantage of this industry, greater investment in relevant training will be needed.
There are already a number of companies operating successfully in the retail technology space in South Africa – but the potential for the industry certainly holds far greater rewards for those willing to put the time in.
Along with digital retail technology, brick-and-mortar retail technology opens many opportunities, both in front of the customer and behind the scenes.
For instance, point of sales systems that allow small retail owners to operate more efficiently and with a lower cost are now available, while inventory management technology can introduce greater efficiency to these same businesses.
By moving focus from purely digital to physical stores, technology companies are finding ways to thrive.
In a country still largely reliant on manual labour, the ability for companies to streamline construction management is a massive boon.
By offering technological solutions to construction companies, entrepreneurs are able to provide greater efficiency, leading to more effective construction and benefits to all.
This goes beyond simply building quickly – advances in technology not only allow for more efficient site management, but greater safety for those who work on the sites as well.
On the sci-fi end of the scale, the possibilities for genetic engineering in South African industry is enormous.
The applications for these technologies have grown massively over the last decade, with interest being shown in the ability to use synthetic biology to create everything from medicine to food and even fuel.
Unfortunately, these businesses come with some hefty caveats: this is a costly field, and the expertise needed to excel is hard to come by. But for those who dare, the rewards are clear.