Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for the school curriculum to be configured in such a way that learners can be taught entrepreneurial courses from a young age.
"It is when that happens that you will be able to produce more Steve Jobs, more Bill Gates and those who also operate in Silicon Valley and other places," Deputy President Ramaphosa said on Friday.
He was addressing the launch of Global Entrepreneurship Week in Johannesburg, which was also attended by the Minister of Small Business Development, Lindiwe Zulu.
The Global Entrepreneurship Week, which takes place from 14 - 20 November 2016, is the largest gathering of innovators and entrepreneurs, who launch start-ups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and stimulate socio-economic development.
Deputy President Ramaphosa appealed to big business to partner with small business to grow an inclusive economy and give the youth work experience.
"Leaders of established business must mentor more and invest more in young talent. We must work together to urgently introduce those reforms that will foster a more enabling environment for SMME development.
"We must find innovative ways to work and provide the necessary support to young women, in particular, to get involved in sustainable opportunity-driven enterprises," he said.
Deputy President Ramaphosa said a number of sectors of the economy are dominated by a few big players, costs of entry are high and anti-competitive behaviour is widespread.
He said government recognises that it may unwittingly reinforce this market dominance through bureaucratic inefficiency and costly regulatory requirements.
"However, we have made important progress in strengthening the competition authorities, using government's purchasing power to promote emerging businesses, and refining the BEE codes of good practice to emphasise enterprise development," Deputy President Ramphosa said.
Parents urged to teach children the value of money
Minister Zulu encouraged parents to teach their children their value of money from a young age.
She said this could be done by opening a bank account for their kids and encouraging them to save their pocket money.
Minister Zulu called on young entrepreneurs to take advantage of opportunities given to them, produce products which are distinctive and can add value in the economy.
"If you want to grow, you need to break into the African market," Minister Zulu said.
Source: South African Government News Agency.