Newly crowned master trainer, Mr Tendayi Gondo posing for a photo with his newly trained facilitators from the SADC region together with master trainers Janina Peschmann and Paul Jasper Herrmann of Leuphana University


The University of Venda (UNIVEN) has achieved a major milestone on its entrepreneurial mandate through its staff member, Mr Tendayi Gondo from the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Agriculture for successfully completing a UNESCO-sponsored master training programme in entrepreneurship. Mr Gondo successfully completed the third final phase of his training as a UNESCO-certified Master Trainer under the mentorship of Janina Peschmann and Paul Jasper Herrmann of Leuphana Universtät Lüneburg based in Germany.

The third and final phase of his training involved him facilitating a one-week long ‘train the trainer’ workshop in which he successfully trained 12 Student Training for Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) facilitators from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, including, Zambia (1 facilitator), Malawi (1 Facilitator), Namibia (1 facilitator), Lesotho (3 facilitators) and South Africa (6 Facilitators). South African trainee facilitators mainly came from the University of Venda (2 facilitators) and University of Limpopo (4 facilitators).

The awarding of the first-ever master training certificate to a UNIVEN staff and a second such in South Africa comes at a time when the University of Venda is stepping up its entrepreneurship mandate by finalising the UNIVEN Integrated Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Biodiversity Plan (UIEIBP). As the University continues its journey of becoming an entrepreneurial University, such newly acquired skills will go a long way in making UNIVEN a higher education institution that actively fosters an entrepreneurial culture, promoting innovation, incubation of start-ups and knowledge transfer.
Special focus will be placed on training the staff to become effective facilitators who are able to not only infuse an entrepreneurial mindset into their curriculum but to become effective student trainers on entrepreneurship matters.
Prior to the certification, Mr Gondo was already and continues to be an active UNESCO-certified STEP facilitator in the University, where the facilitation mainly revolved around preparing undergraduate and postgraduate students for harnessing opportunities, creative problem solving and creating jobs through the (STEP). He has been and continues to be actively involved in representing the University at the national level through the Community of Practice (CoP) responsible for academic entrepreneurship. The Master Training certificate will also help raise the profile of the University internationally as Mr Gondo is now qualified to impart his entrepreneurial skills and abilities to the wider international community under the
UNESCO banner. He joins a small pool of UNESCO-Certified Master Trainers in South Africa and Africa as a second Master Trainer.
The Executive Dean, Prof Natasha Potgieter, said that she is very proud of the achievement of Mr Gondo and states that she sees that the skills Mr Gondo acquired to be playing an essential part of the University’s vision and mission on becoming an entrepreneurial University through specific skills development workshops that will promote innovation and knowledge transfer in staff and students in the University.

Issued by:
Department of Marketing, Branding and Communication
University of Venda,
Tel: 015 962 8525 /8710
Date: 25 October 2023

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