Entrepreneurship Week gives students more alternatives
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.