Today, 12 September 2018, the University of Zululand (UNIZULU) began its activities for the national Student Entrepreneurship Week (SEW).
An initiative that has recently been introduced by the Department of Higher Education and Training, SEW aims to inspire and motivate students to be employment creators rather than seekers.
During the event, each student is given an opportunity to exhibit their products/ services or pitch business ideas. A sizeable prize is thereafter given to a student with a brilliant business idea.
According to Dr Makhosazana Vezi-Magigaba, the Head of the Department of Business Management who organised the event, the programme does not only play a vital role to students who already have businesses, but serves as inspiration to students who have not considered entrepreneurship as an alternative to job seeking.
“I believe that once other students see their fellow students advertising their businesses here, they will surely be inspired. We also have other people on board like ABSA who will be telling us how they support young entrepreneurs and we invited other groups too that will be sharing tips about the business world,” said Dr Vezi-Magigaba, adding that it is ‘high time’ people change their mindsets about entrepreneurship and realise that government cannot provide jobs for everyone.
Students that presented impressive businesses and ideas were awarded R10 000 each, sponsored by ABSA.
The bank’s Enterprise Development Specialist, Lucky Mabunda, said it was imperative for ABSA to participate in the initiative as this is a programme that deals with small businesses, which play a significant role in the country’s economy and Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“Small businesses are highest contributors in job creation. So, it is very important that they are supported in many ways, which can be through financial and non-financial support. It’s very imperative for us as ABSA that we assist students sustain and grow their respective businesses,” said Mabunda.
Talking on behalf of Student Entrepreneurs, Nothando Khumalo- co-founder of Lolenda Line pty ltd (a business that specialises in custom-made clothing)- expressed gratitude to the university for launching an initiative that gives young entrepreneurs at the University some exposure.
In conclusion, Dr Magigaba affirmed that the event will be held annually, and acknowledged all the deans of the institution, ABSA Bank and the Executive Management for their contribution to the success of the event.
The event ends on Friday, 14 September 2018, at the University’s main sports ground (Ellis Park) from 09h00 until 15h00.
– Samkele Sokhela
Caption: Student Entrepreneurs, Nothando Khumalo (left) and Nontethelelo Mkhwanazi, Founders of Lolenda Line pty ltd.