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Cape Town is the Silicon Valley of Africa


by on 08/09/08 at 11:27 am
8 comments


Check out this post, ‘Cape Town breeds Entrepreneurs‘, that appeared in Fin24 on the weekend.

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s research findings over the past five years show that the percentage of people between the ages of 18 and 64 in Cape Town who pursue new business are 190% above the national average.

I think this is something we’ve known for a while, (you pick it up when hanging out at CaffeNeo or Origin Roasting on any given weekday), but why is Cape Town such a breeding ground for entrepreneurship? Here are some of my reasons…

Capetonians don’t like working in offices. When you’re surrounded by restaurants, coffee shops, beaches, wine farms etc. who wants to work in a cubicle?

Cape Town is big on coffee. Coffee fuels the creative mind. The creative mind fuels entrepreneurship.

A large proportion of Capetonians are unemployable. Joburgers will agree on this. Try telling a Capetonian what to do, and he’ll either ignore you, stare at you blankly (while thinking about women / beach / surf / Nintendo), or laugh at you.

Capetonians are resourceful. There are no commodities here to mine or farm. Services are big down here, so ‘making a plan’ is part of our heritage.

Capetonians are competitive. When outsiders arrive in Cape Town, they soon find out that there is a whole social order here. You don’t just get accepted into the mix, you’ve got to prove yourself. Wrong or right, this fuels a level of achievement that pushes people to make things happen.*

*Too bad this doesn’t translate to our rugby anymore.

Fred Roed is the marketing guy in the Ideate crew. Fred is the CEO of web marketing company World Wide Creative and the co-founder of online learning portal Heavy Chef. Fred loves writing about people out there doing marketing right. Follow Fred on Twitter here. View more articles by Fred Roed.

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8 Responses to “Cape Town is the Silicon Valley of Africa”

  1. Slim

    Sep 8th, 2008

    Ja, even da Business Times, dey did say dis a while ago. I doesn’t fink so.

    I did write why here – Cape Town is almost Souf Afrika’s Silicon Valley

  2. Adii

    Sep 8th, 2008

    Fred – Why did you have to spoil all the good Cape Town-fuzzies by mentioned the rugga!? :P

  3. esvl

    Sep 8th, 2008

    Brilliant. I totally agree with this.

    “A large proportion of Capetonians are unemployable. ” Lol.

    I am glad we Capetonians get some recognition.

  4. Chris M

    Sep 8th, 2008

    Haha “Try telling a Capetonian what to do, and he’ll either ignore you, stare at you blankly (while thinking about women / beach / surf / Nintendo)” – love it!

    Bugger working in a cubicle!

  5. Rudolf

    Sep 9th, 2008

    “Cape Town is big on coffee. Coffee fuels the creative mind. The creative mind fuels entrepreneurship.”

    I think it’s more like:”coffee keeps the creative mind going, because it is forced to
    work for crazy hours, or else no great creativity comes.”
    Yes sorry to burst the comfort bubble but
    creativity is really hard work, designers
    only make you think it’s magic fearing if you
    find out the truth (really hard work) you’ll think they’re crazy or really stupid (actually we enjoy it:o),…oops I’ve let the secret out:o. Anyway I should probably go back to work now,…where’s my coffee?

  6. Neil

    Sep 10th, 2008

    If only Joburg had an API so we can harness its processing power.

  7. Kim

    Sep 10th, 2008

    when it comes to coffee, some of us only do vida…
    ps. cape town is all about tourism see http://www.cometocapetown.com for more!

  8. Lilly Web

    Sep 11th, 2008

    Nice to see that oh so perfect Cape Town isn’t oh so perfect after all.

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