With the cost of living becoming tougher each day, the School of Law staff members from the University’s Faculty of Management, Commerce and Law attended the Entrepreneurial Orientation Workshop to prepare staff members to start thinking Entrepreneurially for the benefit of the University’s sustainability. This Entrepreneurship Orientation Workshop was held at the University’s Research Conference Centre on Wednesday, 08 June 2022.
Entrepreneurship is the creation or extraction of economic value. With this definition, entrepreneurship is viewed as change, generally entailing risk beyond what is normally encountered in starting a business, which may include other values than simply economic ones.
As one of the Workshop Facilitators, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Corporate Services, Dr Robert Martin highlighted that the aim of this workshop is to make staff members comfortable with Entrepreneurship aspect and to show them other ways of looking at entrepreneurship at a different angle. Dr Martin indicated that, Entrepreneurship is bigger than just opening a business.
Dr Martin continued to say that the University of Venda is an Entrepreneurial University that has been in existence for the past 40 years hence, ‘they’ are not starting something new but repositioning the University for impact and relevance because ‘we’ are a University in a specific setting. Dr Martin has amongst other things spoke about 4 strategic thrusts where he mentioned that everything ‘we’ do, ‘we’ need to look at it in an entrepreneurial eye. “We need to start looking at ways to utilise the little budgets we have to achieve the University’s goals. Let us further look at how can we lessen the University ‘s dependence on government. We also need to start to register as many patents as possible because this will assist the University to secure and generate income other than government subsidies and from tuition or student fees.
Towards his conclusion, Dr Martin indicated that UNIVEN uses the ARISE Value Chain Model. This model was mooted by the Executive Management and will ensure that the University create value when implementing the 2021-2025 Strategic Plan. The model focusses on the following essential components: Admissions- this is to ensure that there is admission of quality students into the system, Retention- retaining students within the system through to successful completion of their qualification, Instruction- providing academic instruction using various teaching and learning approaches and methodologies, Scholarship- developing engaged scholarship and partnership, and Enablement- creating an environment characterised by efficient and effective management processes and systems.
Dr Martin said through the quadruple helix UNIVEN focuses on Community Engagement and Business. He said the aim is to develop an entrepreneurial spirit or culture. “Practice, processes and policies have changed, we need to channel people to start to think differently on creating change.”
“Entrepreneurship is you being in your function, doing your job better. Looking at your budget and working within the budget and striving to achieve your target without looking at ways to exhaust those budgets,” he concluded.
The second Facilitator, Prof. Vhonani Netshandama spoke about the relevance of academic staff members in relation to entrepreneurship in line with teaching, research and community engagement. She told attendees that they need to produce novel ideas to fix legal challenges and produce relevant graduates. Amongst others, Prof. Netshandama advised academic staff members to utilise the available resources to teach, learn and engage in research. She further spoke about the aspect of Work Integrated Learning (WIL) where she advised academic staff to get involved because it is also their business to make sure that their students learn the skills while they are still studying towards their qualifications. Prof. Netshandama said the lecturers must collaborate to be innovative. “The greatest of innovation that took place started from their own field.” The spirit of entrepreneurship is about rethinking, updating, and refining the Innovations.
Prof. Netshandama concluded by indicating that the Directorate of International Relations and Partnerships has STEP Programme where they need mentors to mentor students who are interested in venturing into businesses. These mentors also teach students on how to sustain those businesses. She also spoke about DHE Entrepreneurship programme and Social Enterprise Programme facilitated by the Directorate of Community Engagement.
In his opening remarks, the Acting Director School of Law, Prof. Lonias Ndlovu highlighted that the intention of this event is to encourage staff members to develop an entrepreneurial culture. “This is something to do with the development of the enterprise and to develop the economy.” Prof. Lonias Ndlovu highlighted that this workshop will open staff member’s eyes to always think in an entrepreneurial way.
In his closing remarks, Prof. Ademola Jegede indicated that this workshop is very important for all staff members because it assist to enlighten staff members on how to think in an entrepreneurial way and encourage them to contribute positively to the operations and sustainability of the University.
The programme was directed by Ms. Zama Mopai from the School of Law.
The workshop was organised by Ms Crystal Mokoena as the Entrepreneurial Committee Member of the School Law.
Department of Marketing, Branding & Communication
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525 / 8710
Date: 10 June 2022