South African business leaders ‘more welcoming’

17 September 2014

South African business leaders were more likely than their global counterparts to encourage creative behaviours and “disruptive processes” to drive innovation, the South African results of the GE Global Innovation Barometer, released on Tuesday, have shown.

The 2014 results of the GE study indicated that local executives were positive about the role of innovation, and over 75% felt South Africans lived better than ten years ago due to innovation.

“A renewed focus has been placed on inspiring and supporting innovation. Government has established new programmes and forums, such as the Square Kilometre Array, and private sector companies have invested in local innovation centres and organisations, such as The Silicon Cape Initiative, to support budding entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The drive for innovation across South Africa has never been greater,” GE South Africa president and CEO Tim Schweikert said.

“This study clearly demonstrates a private sector willingness, not only to identify new processes, but also to build new partnerships with SMEs and entrepreneurs to drive innovation in South Africa,” Science and Technology Minster Naledi Pandor commented. “The Department of Science and Technology is committed to bringing together individuals and organisations with a passion for innovation.”

“[However], while South African executives are exceedingly positive about the role of innovation in moving the country forward, they also highlight challenges – regulatory hurdles, a lack of talent, global scale-up and investment –that limit innovation,” GE added.

By: Leandi Kolver

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