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.