In this section, we will reflect on what it means to be an entrepreneur, drawing on experience in the real business world.

We meet three entrepreneurs, one from America and two from Africa.

  1. The American businessman shares twelve mistakes he made in his first year as an entrepreneur.
  2. We then introduce two businesses lead by South African entrepreneurs to begin thinking about different business contexts.
  3. We conclude with an open discussion to explore whether the lessons learned in America can be transferred to contexts in other countries and invite learners to share ideas for avoiding start-up mistakes in their own context.

Don't make these mistakes

Patrick Bet-David, from America, talks about the mistakes he made in his first year as an entrepreneur.


What did you think of the video? For example:

  • The most valuable advice was …
  • I don’t agree with mistake # because …
  • He should have included …
  • Mistake # would not apply in my country because …

Post your comment(s) below, and then look on the course feed page to see what others have posted.

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Test your memory


Meet two South African entrepreneurs

Watch each video. For each entrepreneur write down two reasons why you think they’ve been successfull.

Meet Thembi Sithole who owns a panel beating business. Thembi started by washing cars and was then promoted to receptionist at her former employer’s business. Years later, she owns and runs a successful panel beating business.

Meet Wandile Solombela, a fashion student who became an entrepreneur using business to help transform the lives of his community in Soweto, South Africa.


Does country context matter?

This course incorporates resources on entrepreneurship from many different countries around the world. As you embark on your studies of entrepreneurship, its important to think about your own country context.

In this discussion forum we invite you to think about the unique context of doing business in your own country and to reflect on the value of international experience of entrepreneurship for your own learning.


Please review Partick Bet-David’s 12 mistakes he made as an American entrepreneur (see above).

Consider the following:

  1. Are their any “mistakes” from this list that would not apply to starting a new business in your own country?
    • Post the mistake you identified in this forum and describe why it wouldn’t apply in your country?
  2. Are their any mistakes to avoid when starting a business that are specific to your country that are missing from those listed by the American entrepreneur?
    • Please identify mistakes to be avoided in your country and explain why.

Other considerations

  1. Would an American entrepreneur be able to run a successful small business in your country? Why?
  2. Would you be able to run a successful small business in America? Why?

Please post your responses in the discussion forum.