‘Your location should not be the reason why you should not shine in the global arena’
On 18 and 19 August 2022, the University of Venda (UNIVEN) hosted the Department of Higher Education and Training, Universities Capacity Development Programme, Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education and Universities South Africa to celebrate the 2022 Student Entrepreneurship Week. This Student Entrepreneurship Week was held at the University Auditorium under the theme: ‘#MoveToMarket’. The event was attended by students from 26 South African public institutions of higher learning.
In his official opening and welcome address, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Corporate Services, Dr Robert Martin mentioned that UNIVEN is one of the only two institutions in the world that are found in the UNESCO biosphere. He said UNIVEN is unique, and it is not a rural University. “People need to change their mind set. This University is only in the rural setting and not a rural university. This institution has an opportunity to impact the world from here.” Dr Martin continued to mention that, once people realise that UNIVEN is only based in the rural setting, they will even start to be aware that UNIVEN is also far in terms of Entrepreneurship. He thanked the academic support for being fully behind students who take the entrepreneurial challenge serious.
Dr Martin concluded his talk by mentioning that the University of Venda will soon be launching business advise centres in the rural villages. He said in collaboration with the University’s law clinic, UNIVEN will bring a venture that could have been there a long time ago and this venture will assist people from South African communities.
Director: Entrepreneurship at Universities South Africa (USAF), Dr Nora Clarke congratulated UNIVEN for reaching 40 years milestone. Dr Clarke motioned that, irrespective of the geographical area, the University of Venda is producing great entrepreneurs. She said this means that we are on the right path. She continued to mention that UNIVEN has attracted many people across the country who also want to learn about entrepreneurship. “The nicest news is that there were student entrepreneurs that were profiled in public platforms from University of Venda. This University won the National Intervarsity Competition 2020.” Mr Promise Nyalungu from UNIVEN won the student entrepreneur of the year award through his Struu Artzz Entertainment organisation. She said this is a clear indication that your location should not be the reason why you should not shine in the global arena. “Being a rural based university should not discourage you from reaching greater heights. Higher education has taken a turn few years ago by introducing Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) which is here to support university students on Entrepreneurship skills and education.”
She said EDHE supports student entrepreneurship, it supports academics to develop entrepreneurial teaching philosophies and it also focuses on developing and supporting universities to develop policies aligned with entrepreneurship.
She invited students to join other students who are already making an impact in the Entrepreneurial InterVarsity Competitions. Dr Clarke concluded by advising female students to join in numbers because EDHE also exists to empower women in entrepreneurship.
Senior Student Engagement Officer at USAF, Mr Sandile Shabalala said this is the opportunity for all universities to support their students entrepreneurially. “Students should be supported and encouraged to showcase their entrepreneurial skills. All students should participate in the economic growth of the country,” he said.
Struu Artzz Entertainment founder who is also the EDHE Entrepreneurship Intervarsity 2020 Studentpreneur of the year, Mr Promise Nyalungu said being an entrepreneur as a student is not just a walk in the park. He said there are lot of challenges that they come across and if someone is not determined and focused, then that person will give up along the way. “Winning the intervarsity competition changed my life.” He encouraged students to think about life beyond being just a student. “Start thinking about your future. We started this company 6 years ago and we have achieved a lot so far,” concluded Nyalungu.
Co-founder of Rose Enterprise and EDHE Studentpreneurs CoP member who is also a UNIVEN student, Ms Aluwani Mutshinya said entrepreneurship is the future of young people. She said being in business need someone with a big heart, someone who is perseverant in order to survive. Ms Mutshinya said during the COVID-19 national lockdown, she and her mother made a lot of money with tailored face masks, but it was not easy. She advised attendees not to limit themself in business and told them to be diverse. “Join Entrepreneurship organisations such as STEP Programme and Enactus. They will equip you and prepare you on how to handle challenges in the entrepreneurship field.”
In his keynote address, Mr Charles Ngobeni, founder of Art Skin Care spoke under the theme ‘the possible you’. Mr Ngobeni is an Entrepreneur and a Business Coach. He motivated young entrepreneurs to never give up in life, especially student entrepreneurs because there are few jobs out there. He told them to start their own businesses while they are still at the university because once you exit the university, even funders will start to be scarce. “Use opportunities presented to you through the universities and organisations formed to support you.” Mr Ngobeni concluded his address by advising young entrepreneurs to never limit themselves and to think out of the box.
Senior Lecturer in the Department of Business Management and Student Entrepreneurship Coordinator at UNIVEN, Dr Livhuwani Nkondo showcasing the EDHE Entrepreneurship Intervarsity regional rounds finalists. Dr Nkondo thanked the task team and the student ambassadors who worked with the coordinator, including the ICT, Marketing, Branding and Communication, Facilities Management and Printing, as well as 2 academics Mrs Ndishavhani Grace Ramavhona and Ms Nomonde Sibawu, Ms Makole Magoro, Technology Transfer Coordinator who is also the EDHE assistant coordinator appreciates the support from the DVC: Research and Postgraduate Studies, Professor Nosisi Feza and the Director of Research and Innovation, Senior Professor Georges Ekosse.
Department of Marketing, Branding and Communication
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525 / 8710
Date: 30 August 2022