Growing sustainable businesses that deliver quality services and products should be a norm that we embrace and stick to in our everyday interactions with each other in our communities.
We know how to conduct trade and commerce. A lot of young people are beginning to take entrepreneurship seriously and are constantly finding innovative ways to monetize their skills, talents and capabilities.
While all of this is encouraging to see, one thing we have not yet mastered is how to own and control the entire value chain. This is one aspect that will catapult our journey to economic freedom. For when we own the value chain, we will eventually own the means of production and be able to create an economic bloc of our own.
A value chain is basically a range of system processes and business activities that form part of the overall creation of a product or service that eventually end up in the market place.
For example, if we’re in the business of selling archaar, we must come together and figure out a strategy for owning the entire value chain. You can do the actual selling of the product, while I handle logistics and distribution, and someone else can do our packaging, marketing and branding.
Chicken is another example of the power of the value chain. It is a dearly loved animal protein in the country and also the most cheapest. The business prospects of it are enormous.
Thembi runs a poultry farm, Sbusiso owns a local supermarket, while Makgotso runs a logistics & transport company which helps to deliver on a weekly basis an X amount of chickens to Jabu who sells chicken dust at a street corner somewhere in the township. Imagine if all of these people can come together and own the entire industrial operation from the farm all the way to the customer’s plate.
Owing the entire value chain is a topic that should dominate our entire approach to business, moving forward.
A gateway to freedom
Put simply, the concept of owning a value chain is about coming together and consolidating our power. This is how we’ll get to build an economic bloc and enforce our spider web doctrine.
We need to practise group economics at an advanced level and see to it that we have our economic ducks in a row. By channeling our creativity into our business ventures, we can get the results we so desperately desire.
We need to own the entire value chain of our small businesses and reap the benefits of this business approach.
Author: Lunga Mrhetjha