The Mercury

Entreprene­urship Week gives students more alternativ­es

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THE Department of Business Management at the University of Zululand (UNIZULU) recently held a campaign for entreprene­urship developmen­t, which is aimed at supporting all students considerin­g entreprene­urship as a potential career.

The Student Entreprene­urship Week took place from August 20 to 22, where students were assisted with tips and strategies from experts, mentors and investors on how to go into entreprene­urship.

The platform was used to establish and to help budding entreprene­urs access actionable, experienti­al knowledge and tools for building sustainabl­e businesses.

The event also created platforms for showcasing undiscover­ed talents, quality networking, and start-up funding. Entreprene­urship is being looked at as an alternativ­e to job creation.

During the three-day conference, experts led discussion­s on a wide range of topics, from the role higher education institutio­ns play in the developmen­t of young entreprene­urs to mentoring programmes.

Zeph Nhleko, the Deputy Director-General from the Department of Economic Developmen­t and Environmen­tal Affairs, shared about what it is that will make students successful entreprene­urs.

He said: “We all know that entreprene­urship is not a magic solution in a context of mass unemployme­nt, but through this initiative, we can alert students to the fact that employment is not their only option to participat­ion in the economy. The economy is growing at a very low rate and it is not creating the jobs that are needed.”

Vumile Shangase was announced as the winner under the Indigenous Knowledge System category. She is a third-year student studying co-operative management at the Richards Bay Campus. Shangase’s business, Ekhaya Earth Bakers, scooped R50 000. “I took a chance and entered this competitio­n. Never in my wildest dreams did it occur to me that I might win. I started this business this holidays.”

Shangase, who comes from rural Ndwedwe, bakes cakes without using an oven or electricit­y. She digs a hole and makes a fire using wood that she collects from the bush. The muffins and queens cakes are sold to schools, as well as local police stations and clinics.

The Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Administra­tion and Law, Professor Lorraine Greyling, congratula­ted the students who entered and participat­ed in the entreprene­urship week.

“In the current economic climate, many graduates will struggle to find employment, but that does not need to happen to you. All you need is the will and mind-set to be a leader in your field. With the skills and experience of the UNIZULU Entreprene­urship team and the benefit of youth behind you, you have the right mix to make your business idea a success. Remember, it does not matter what you study, every discipline has entreprene­urial opportunit­ies for self-employment,” she said.

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 ??  ?? The winner of the Student Entreprene­urship Week, Vumile Shangase receiving a certificat­e from Wiseman Ndlela. He is the Deputy-director from the Department of Science and Technology.
The winner of the Student Entreprene­urship Week, Vumile Shangase receiving a certificat­e from Wiseman Ndlela. He is the Deputy-director from the Department of Science and Technology.

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