SHAPE Programme Brings the Business Industry to the Students
Aspirant entrepreneurs who need assistance in how to start a business, to research business opportunities or to form formal business friendships with the business industry are invited to visit the School of Management, Information Technology and Governance's (SHAPE) Shifting Hope, Activating Potential Entrepreneurship Research Centre.
The Centre which was recently launched by the School as part of the action research programme creates a link between academia and the business world as mentors from eThekwini Municipality’s Business Support Unit and the Durban Chamber of Business and Industry will be based at the School to provide them with information and business support. Through the Centre, students will also have access to tutors from the Regional and Local Economic Development Initiative and access to management, leadership and entrepreneurship books which are valuable for their studies.
SHAPE founder Ms Thea van der Westhuizen encouraged students to take advantage of this opportunity which brings industry experience to support them.
‘Everybody is welcome to visit the Centre and benefit from its formal friendship with the Municipality and Chamber. This is the first time that we will have the Municipality and the Durban Chamber based at UKZN once a week to mentor and support young entrepreneurs. This creates a link between theoretical knowledge and practical application to the business world. This initiative encourages like hearted people who share the same vision for enhancing regional and local economic development as entrepreneurs in our province.
During the opening of the Centre both academics and local businesses donated books to the Centre's library to provide a platform for learners to be creatively stimulated.
Book donations were received from the School's lecturers and SHAPE wants to especially thank Dr Ziska Fields who donated 5 books, Sherwood Books who donated 18 books and the Chamber’s Dr Stanley Hardman who donated over 20 books.
Sherwood Books Managing Director and UKZN Alumnus Mr Mohammad Gangat said that they want to be part of the student’s development and success.
‘Our decision to provide students with material that will benefit them was really a simple decision for us as a company. We are also very encouraged by our youth who attended the SHAPE seminar, they showed such enthusiasm, intelligence and motivation. It all speaks well for the future of South African business,’ he said.
Dean and Head of School, Professor Henry Wissink emphasised the importance of the private sector, education, industry, government and business chambers to take action in supporting young entrepreneurs and through being visible and available to turn entrepreneurial concepts into entrepreneurial action.
- Thandiwe Jumo