Seed Engine startup survey reveals stumbling blocks entrepreneurs face

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The results of the Seed Engine Startup Survey 2017 are in and the findings are incredibly interesting to pour over.

As many as 1 200 local entrepreneurs were surveyed but Seed Engine notes that only 13% of respondents were outside of Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal and Western Cape.

The firm notes that engaging with startups located outside of major metros is tricky but government has initiatives in place to engage with startups in these areas.

The most well represented sectors in the survey include IT (10%), business services (9%) and construction.

The survey also reveals that while men still dominate the startup scene, women are closing the gap. As many as 47% of respondents in this years survey were female compared to 35% and 31% in previous years.

What holds startups back?

As many as 45% of respondents said that a previous business had failed. Of those that had failed business ventures 36% said that failure was a result of a lack of business support.

While 24% blamed poor planning, lack of access to markets, lack of operations experience and poor financial management were also listed as reasons for failure.

But startups also battle to find customers and secure funding. A double edged sword if ever there was one as investors often want to see that there is a market before parting ways with funds and startups need funding to provide a product or service.

As a result 87% of respondents in the survey are self funded. Those entrepreneurs that relied on angel investors or development institutions only account for 2% and 1% of respondents respectively.

In fact 82% of respondent have never applied for funding from development institutions or banks, 29% of those respondents never applied because they didn’t know where to go.

The Seed Engine survey reveals that there is a thriving startup sector in South Africa but on the same token more must be done to help entrepreneurs.

The Seed Engine Survey is available to download for free right now.


Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.