UKZN InQubate Student Entrepreneurs Make National Entrepreneurship Intervarsity Challenge Finals
Two UKZN student entrepreneurs have made it into the finals of the Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) Intervarsity Challenge in Pretoria in November.
UKZN’s Mr Sihawu Kunene won the regional Business Idea Category and Mr Jabulani Nyembe the Existing Business Tech Category.
Regional rounds of the Entrepreneurship Challenge were held virtually throughout South Africa during July and August with KwaZulu-Natal entries received from Mangosuthu University of Technology, the Durban University of Technology, the University of Zululand and UKZN.
The competition is divided into four categories: Business Ideas, Existing Tech Businesses, Existing Social Impact Businesses, and Existing General Businesses.
The Challenge - an initiative of the EDHE which falls under the mandate of the University Education Branch of the Department of Science and Innovation - is funded through the University Capacity Development Programme of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and supported by Universities South Africa (USAf) and its partners.
Sponsors of this year’s edition are the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, the SAB Foundation and First National Bank.
A third-year BCom student, Kunene is working on launching the “Nene device” - a security apparatus designed specifically for university and college students to minimise the level of crime they face.
Kunene, in the finals of the competition with a good chance of winning funding to assist growing his business, is among a group of 20 student entrepreneurs on the Enterprise Accelerator programme run by UKZN’s InQubate division.
‘Nothing has ever tested my drive to make an impact more than the EDHE Intervarsity competition,’ he said. ‘The journey to the national finals is one I am fortunate to have navigated with a support structure that embraces and encourages the entrepreneurial spirit. With a philosophy of hard work and preparation, UKZN InQubate’s ENSPIRE team has undoubtedly been pivotal.’
Nyembe is a Bachelor of Business Science student who already has a Bachelor of Science in Human Physiology degree. His company, Clinalytics (Pty) Ltd, offers Electronic Health Records (EHR) web-based computer software, which allows medical doctors to record, store and obtain medical data from their patients, providing instant data analysis and reducing the time spent on administration work.
Nyembe, who receives business funding from InQubate, said he was delighted to have made it into the finals and would hold the “UKZN flag high”.
Words: Khutso Ramontja