If unemployment is a disease; then entrepreneurship is the cure.
This was one of the inspiring statements made during the Lecture on Entrepreneurship and Unemployment hosted by the UNIZULU (University of Zululand) Convocation recently.
The lecture was presented by Zibu MaSotobe, UNIZULU alumna, business consultant and coach who is also the Founder of Money Revolution SA and Zinhle Group CEO. MaSotobe is also a Mandela Washington Fellow.
The lecture came on the heels of government’s and other various parties’ rapid and continued efforts of encouraging postgraduate students and the public in general to be job creators instead of job seekers. Several reports have revealed how South Africa is the unrelenting clutches of unemployment.
MaSotobe, born in Eshowe, northern KwaZulu-Natal, emphasised- during her lecture which was by mostly postgraduates- that the first step to entrepreneurship is identifying a personal skill, additionally advising attendees to be creative and to avoid starting businesses that “have no market”.
“For an example, let’s take catering. I meet a person that says ‘Zibu, we have started a catering company,’ then I would ask ‘who needed you?’ And then I get this answer that ‘people need catering’. Which people? And then the person replies ‘generally when there are events!’, which then prompts me to ask ‘which events?’ Then I get no answer. You see if you are starting a business that has no market, it is bound to fail,” she said. MaSotobe further advised people to not only depend on government for funding.
UNIZULU Convocation President, Nhlakanipho Nkwanyana, said the main purpose behind the lecture was to erase the mentality from people that entrepreneurship is for certain individuals.
“The aim was to make people understand that entrepreneurship is not a mere alternative, but it is the future. We are telling people that entrepreneurship is in fact for everyone. We want to fight the mentality that says it’s for certain individuals, and lastly we want people to truly understand that they have got a role to play as entrepreneurs in fighting unemployment,” said Nkwanyana.
Attendees rated the lecture as “helpful” and encouraged the University to continue hosting events of such magnitude.
“What I got from this event is that I do not only need funding to start a business,” said UNIZULU student Sindi Hlongwane. “As the youth, we always complain about funding but today, I learnt that there are other ways we can fund our businesses. We are always afraid of failing when starting businesses but we must not be because the more we fail, the the more we learn,” said Hlongwane.
Another student, Manqoba Mdamba said, “I learnt that, starting a business doesn’t only require capital. I also learned that to get a business going requires the right mindset. The lecture and discuss was robust and highly inspiring”.
Pictured: Zibu MaSotobe