On Thursday, 13 February 2020, the University of Venda (UNIVEN) Directorate of International Relations hosted UNIVEN Student Training for Entrepreneurial Promotion (STEP) opening ceremony at the University Auditorium. This programme has provided more than 100 students training on how to start and sustain their own businesses. 

UNIVEN hosted this day in partnership with Leuphana University of Lüneburg, German Commission for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and South African National Commission for UNESCO and is funded by the BASF Stiftung (German-based charitable foundation). 

Director: Institute for Rural Development Prof Joseph Francis

In his opening and welcome remarks, Director: Institute for Rural Development Prof Joseph Francis said that with the direction of Strategic Plan 2021-2025 that the University is taking, the STEP programme has already embarked on a journey to produce graduates that are business minded. 

“This programme aims to produce entrepreneurs. We want our students to reach out to the society and impart the same knowledge and skills that they have learned in order to influence the society by converting ideas into businesses.” 

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Germany, Mr Florian Schmitt

A representative from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Germany, Mr Florian Schmitt expressed that they will patiently work with students in order to reach their goal of positioning Entrepreneurial for impact. Schmitt explained that the aim is to create access to provide quality entrepreneurial skills needed. We want to change students’ mindset and to enable them to stop thinking about job seeking and become job creators. 

Mr Linda Dhladhla, a Consultant from Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE)

Mr Linda Dhladhla, a Consultant from Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) assured the attendees that he has attended this opening ceremony to ensure that the institution has the right equipment to help students to walk their journey into business market. He added that the EDHE 2020 competition will give one of the students the amount of one hundred thousand Rands (R100 000) to start his/her own business. 

“The Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA)’s mandate is to facilitate the formation of small new businesses. The University is going to produce more skilled business people in which new ideas are going to be implemented during the training, and the availability of funding which completes the role of SEDA,” Said Mr Marcus Mukumela, Manager at SEDA who also said that they support the STEP initiative and they will be available when needed. 

Ms Carina Bohlayer from Leuphana University of LüneburgMs Carina Bohlayer from Leuphana University of Lüneburg

Ms Carina Bohlayer from Leuphana University of Lüneburg explained that the objective of STEP programme is to train students on how to start a business and to sustain it. We give students an opportunity to start their own businesses. 

Issued by: 

Department of Communications & Marketing 

University of Venda 

Tel: (015) 962 8525 

Date: 20 February 2020