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Finweek English Edition - - INSIGHT -

pro­cessed veg­etable and soup ven­ture that cre­ated 22 jobs and feeds high school stu­dents in the area. The Univer­sity of Fort Hare team will rep­re­sent South Africa at the En­ac­tus World Cup in Bei­jing in Oc­to­ber this year.

Ellen Run­gani is fac­ulty ad­viser to the win­ning team. “I feel so hum­bled by the ded­i­ca­tion and team spirit of En­ac­tus UFH. It is in­deed from the bush to the globe!”

Fort Hare has been in­volved in the En­ac­tus pro­gramme since 2006. Run­gani says the big­gest chal­lenge the team faced was get­ting the com­mu­nity to be­lieve in the vi­sion of 182 stu­dents. Prac­ti­cally, the cost of trav­el­ling be­tween the dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions was also a huge chal­lenge.

Roger El­liott is the head of the Depart­ment of Busi­ness Man­age­ment at the Univer­sity of Fort Hare. El­liott says the pro­gramme is as ben­e­fi­cial to the stu­dents as it is to the com­mu­ni­ties they serve. “Crit­i­cal to the suc­cess of a busi­ness ed­u­ca­tion grad­u­ate is that the in­di­vid­ual is well rounded,” he tells Fin­week.

“The im­pact of a stu­dent’s in­volve­ment in com­mu­nity projects al­lows the stu­dent to de­velop and ap­pre­ci­ate the im­por­tance of crit­i­cal think­ing skills, how to ne­go­ti­ate, man­age con­flict and op­er­ate within a team en­vi­ron­ment.”

El­liott be­lieves the en­tre­pre­neur­ial fo­cus of the com­pe­ti­tion is im­per­a­tive to the de­vel­op­ment of busi­ness stu­dents. “The com­pe­ti­tion recog­nises and re­wards in­no­va­tive en­tre­pre­neur­ial so­lu­tions to lo­cal busi­ness and so­cial prob­lems. Stu­dents can see the di­rect ben­e­fit for the busi­ness and the lo­cal com­mu­nity of ap­ply­ing learnt busi­ness prin­ci­ples to a real-world prob­lem. Ob­vi­ously the learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence is much richer and more en­dur­ing,” he says.

Leti­tia de Wet, CEO of En­ac­tus South Africa, be­lieves that the fo­cus on en­trepreneur­ship is im­per­a­tive in ad­dress­ing so­cial is­sues that re­sult from un­em­ploy­ment. “We are draw­ing on the en­ergy of our youth to be­come change lead­ers, fo­cused on em­pow­er­ing people through busi­ness and en­tre­pre­neur­ial skills trans­fer and ca­pac­ity build­ing, while pro­mot­ing lead­er­ship and part­ner­ship.”

SA has been selected as the host coun­try for the 2015 En­ac­tus World Cup. De Wet says the team is in ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Pres­i­dency, min­istries of tourism and higher ed­u­ca­tion in prepa­ra­tion for next year’s event.

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