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South Africans contribute billions to GDP after-hours

SA SMES gdpJOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SOUTH African entrepreneurs are contributing nearly R530 billion (US$38 billion) to the annual gross domestic product by working beyond the standard industry hours.

This is according to a new global survey conducted by Sage, the accounting and payroll software company.

The company said through passion, business-owners have sacrificed love, family and fun for their dream business ideas.

The sample for the online survey included 200 small business owners in South Africa.

According to survey findings, some 51 percent of South African business owners work more than 40 hours a week and 22 percent work more than 50 hours a week.

Around 44 percent of local business owners have chosen their work over their family and 26 percent have taken less than five days holiday in the last year.

A quarter admits that their personal relationships have been affected while making their business successful, but 29 percent say it was worth it.

Furthermore, 29 percent of the country’s business owners have cancelled a date because of work. Half of respondents in South Africa compromise taking holidays in order to make their business successful; 45 percent compromise their social life, and 37 percent compromise their own health.

In addition, more than half (51 percent) say they are motivated by the love of their business, with 59 percent motivated by the sense of achievement, 60 percent by growing the business, and 58 percent by making money.

Some 77 percent say that working outside their industry standard hours to make their business successful is worthwhile.

Stephen Kelly, Chief Executive Officer of Sage, said it took hard work and human sacrifice to turn a dream business idea into a way of life.

“This survey highlights the extent of that commitment. It is the entrepreneurial spirit that makes the difference all over the world, and the contribution of these businesses that powers the global economy. We should do all we can to support these heroes and recognise all those hours of hard work they are putting in after the rest of the world has gone home,” said Kelly.

Anton van Heerden, Executive Vice-President and Managing Director of Sage in South and Southern Africa, said small business owners in South Africa were driven by a love of what they do and the sense of achievement they got from seeing businesses succeed.

“It takes hard work and human sacrifice to turn a dream business idea into a way of life, but the rewards are immense, both for the entrepreneur and his or her community. We are proud to stand with South Africa’s entrepreneurs as they grow our economy,” said van Heerden.

South Africa is the continent’s most advanced economy, with a GDP of R352,8 billion.

– CAJ News

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