Team UKZN are the 2020 Enactus South Africa National Champions!
UKZN Enactus took top honours at the annual Enactus South Africa competition, held virtually due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and will go on to compete against 36 other countries at the 2020 Enactus World Cup in September.
Enactus UKZN President, Mr Muhle Ndwalane said the team is thrilled at being crowned the national champions. ‘It is who we are, we always strive for victory. What makes it even greater is that it is confirmation that we have effectively used the spirit of entrepreneurship to respond to socio-economic challenges by developing effective solutions that positively impact the lives of beneficiaries in our communities,’ said Ndwalane.
‘The excitement is real, but what matters most is the work we did, the passion and drive we put in to make a difference even when at times the odds were against us,’ he added.
Ndwalane believes that Enactus UKZN’s culture of excellence and discipline set their team apart from other finalists. ‘We have a mind for business and a heart for communities. We were also voted the Most Passionate Team, and our passion shows in our work. We capitalise on support and guidance from our alumni, business advisors and UKZN staff members.’
The team pitched their 2019/2020 flagship projects SmartGro and Ubuntu Social Enterprise at the virtual competition held last week.
SmartGro is a social tech start-up responding to the pressing needs brought about by COVID-19. ‘We developed a web-based application allowing customers to order their groceries and other essentials online and have them delivered to the comfort and safety of their homes. We have been operating in and around the Durban CBD and surrounding areas. We will now start to focus on serving our student community,’ said Buthelezi, who holds a BCom in Information Systems and Technology from UKZN.
Ubuntu is a social enterprise that uses entrepreneurial leadership to respond to South Africa’s fundamental challenges of poverty, unemployment and equality, through the development of sustainable co-operative businesses. ‘We have introduced our co-op farmers to the possibilities of drone technology in agriculture. We also developed UbuntuHub a digital platform for business development. The focus has been in the community of Mbumbulu in partnership with Asikhule Co-operative Development Corporation,’ she added.
This is the sixth national championship Team UKZN has secured since the inception of the organisation in 2003. Holding the competition during a global pandemic presented new challenges to the team of highly committed and goal-driven students. ‘This came with a lot of challenges as our work requires us to physically go to our communities to empathise and understand the socio-economic challenges we will be addressing,’ said Ndwalane, who is currently doing a Postgraduate Diploma in Local Economic Development at the University. ‘Our team members all had to leave campus and were scattered all over the country. We couldn’t access any of our financial and logistic resources. Despite that, our lean and agile strategic abilities enabled us to fully utilise technology to stay connected as a team and with our beneficiaries,’ he said.
Ndwalane thanked the University for backing the team in the run-up to the competition. ‘UKZN supported us with a licensed Zoom account for our meetings and preparations. When the competition came, we were already geared up and ready to win.’
Acting Executive Director of Corporate Relations Ms Normah Zondo congratulated the team for taking first place in South Africa and for living up to the “Inspiring greatness” ethos of the University. She wished Team UKZN Enactus well in the upcoming World Cup and ongoing success with all their projects.
The Durban University of Technology team took second place in the national competition, followed by the University of Venda and Vaal University of Technology.
Apart from the Enactus South Africa 2020 Championship title, Enactus UKZN won nine awards in various categories, including from Harmony Gold, Nedbank, MTN and the Ford Fund Company. ‘Our Head of Research and Development Luyanda Sokhela won the WM de Wet Leadership Potential award which recognises an Enactus student that has demonstrated the most leadership potential,’ said Ndwalane.
Ndwalane also acknowledged Alumni Network member Mr Skhulile Ndlovu who won the Alumni of The Year Under 30 Award which recognises an Enactus alumnus who has best exhibited positive engagement with the team that yielded positive results.
Enactus UKZN is working on a number of different projects – to read more, click here: https://enactus.ukzn.ac.za/projects-profile/
To collaborate with the team, feel free to contact them on email@example.com
Here’s an eNCA interview with Enactus UKZN President Mr Muhle Ndwalane: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpKoNevgW6g
*Enactus is an international student organisation committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a more sustainable world.
Words: Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer