UKZN Showcases Exhibition at the EDHE Lekgotla 2019 Entrevolution
The Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology (DHEST) and Universities South Africa (USAf) were co-hosts of the Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) Lekgotla 2019 Entrevolution programme, at the Durban ICC.
Themed: Entrepreneurship Through the Arts, the event included a jam-packed four-day programme also co-hosted by the Durban University of Technology (DUT), in partnership with the British Council and supported by UKZN.
The Lekgotla opened with an electrifying performance by UKZN’s School of Arts student group -Ikusasa Lethu, as they performed a traditional music and dance ensemble choreographed by Dr Patricia Opondo.
The Lekgotla, being the third annual event of its kind held by DHEST in order to revolutionise entrepreneurship across universities in South Africa, was attended by high profile dignitaries, including the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Dr Blade Nzimande and the Acting Mayor of eThekwini Municipality, Mrs Fawzia Peer.
The Lekgotla was permeated by discussions across an abundance of key themes facing universities as they take on the challenge of becoming entrepreneurial, promoting student entrepreneurship, including policy development and practice, governance, intellectual property ownership and incubators.
UKZN academics Dr Thea van der Westhuizen and Ms Malindi Kunene of the Discipline of Management spearheaded discussions around entrepreneurship, curriculum development, policy development and practice, and the institutionalisation of student entrepreneurship.
As one of five units within the Research Division, UKZN InQubate works with students to convert their innovative ideas into viable businesses through its entrepreneurship skills programme: ENSPIRE. The programme provides students with a practical opportunity to startup businesses while they are at university.
‘UKZN is at the forefront of student entrepreneurship in the country, being the first university in South Africa to have developed a policy around student entrepreneurship and proactively investing into the development of student businesses at UKZN through the ENSPIRE programme driven by UKZN InQubate,’ said Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Deresh Ramjugernath.
ENSPIRE includes a business development phase where students are coached on how to develop a business plan, and an operational phase, while being mentored as they run their businesses bank-rolled by UKZN.
‘Alongside the development of student businesses, and in keeping with UKZN’s goal of becoming an entrepreneurial university, InQubate is also driving the development of a flagship student business incubator on the Westville campus and we are planning for this to be ready in 2020,’ said Ms Suvina Singh, Director of UKZN InQubate.
UKZN’s Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS), with its focus on African Traditional Medicine, showcased traditional healer Mrs Zandile Mbambo, who owns a company specialising in manufacturing organic healing products. Mbambo identifies the types of plants required through her “gift of dreams and visions” and is then able to develop her products through the help of IKS. ‘IKS has empowered me as a traditional healer by giving me the chance to create my own business and stand on my own as an entrepreneur,’ she said.
Mbambo’s product range includes eczema creams, pain relief ointments, exfoliating shower gels, foam baths, hand and body lotions, massage oils and organic hand sanitisers.
Other UKZN exhibitors included alumnus Sesethu “Sethu” Sidzamba, founder of Wa Azania Aroma, a fragrance company producing and distributing affordable high-quality fragrances; and student Itumeleng Masa, a part-time photographer who owns Tudups Photography.
Words: Hlengiwe Precious Khwela
Photographs: Itumeleng Masa