The College was recently endowed an award for the Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education award for the Best Student Entrepreneurship Week in the category of arts securing an award for the best video. Our “studentpreneurs” participated in the annual EDHE Lekgotla 2020 programme. The intent of the EDHE Programme is for the students to be more successful in terms of becoming economically active during and after their TVET and University education. With the hope that entrepreneurial activity during their studies could enable them to generate an additional income and fast-track the process of becoming economically active and successful entrepreneurs upon graduation.
The College Principal Mr Mahlangu, Centre for Entrepreneurship Manager Mr Masoetsa, Business Development Officer Ms Motau and the 20 studentpreneurs in the Centre for Entrepreneurship all participated in unison ensuring that the College secures this award. The event included the third annual one-day Studentpreneurs Indaba, brought to you by the EDHE Studentpreneurs Community of Practice (CoP), aimed at supporting entrepreneurial students who do business while studying.
Although the event was organised in a Covid context, it was thoughtfully spread out over a 5-day period. Our College student were afforded an opportunity to interact inclusively with other studentpreneurs across the African continent. As with other previous Lekgotlas, they used the Whova app (desktop and mobile) along with Zoom to present their ideas. Their discussions and presentations were based on entrepreneurship as a career, challenges, risks, gaps, marketing and sales of their products, financial & cashflow management, capital gain and networking with venture capitalist in their respective fields.
On the other hand, Ms Motau believes that our students could have done a much better job had they were able to present their models in an exhibition set-up. She further affirms that an alarming concern arises mainly from the portraitist
studentpreneurs, since they believe that this is a market which has to be explored and taken seriously in South Africa.
Both Mr Masoetsa and Ms Mathapelo are adamant and optimistic that their roles as leaders of the College studentpreneurs will yield positive and meaningful outcomes in the future. Their immediate plans include acting as mediators to organise pop up markets, using social media platforms, creating active blogs to invite customers to explore and purchase the students’ work. They also hope to secure sponsorships for their beneficiaries with relevant Venture Capitalist around the world. Furthermore, they both believe that the College incubation should be able to assist the studentpreneurs by fostering early-stage companies through different developmental phases until the student companies have sufficient financial, human, and physical resources to function on their own. This will include another development than makerspace, a technical centre for all engineering related businesses and rope in as many sponsors as possible to support the businesses of studentpreneurs.