UKZN Celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week
In celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week, UKZN InQubate hosted a three-day virtual event themed: Re-Defining Varsity Entrepreneurship.
With the spotlight on empowering student entrepreneurs, UKZN’s InQubate Director Ms Suvina Singh welcomed everyone and spoke about ENSPIRETM, a student entrepreneurship skills programme launched in 2018 as a University community aiming to join a global network of entrepreneurs.
Singh commended entrepreneurs for making it through the difficult times caused by COVID-19 and encouraged them to improve every day. Citing a quote from master entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson she said: ‘Each one of us has the potential to be an entrepreneur and to make a positive change in our communities.’
The host for the event was UKZN alumnus, author and entrepreneur Ms Mbali Bhengu who welcomed the first speaker, Miss South Africa 2016, Ms Ntandoyenkosi Kunene.
Discussing how entrepreneurs can start their businesses, Kunene said the focal point should be to ‘start now with what you have and build from there.’
Focusing on her benchmark for entrepreneurship, Kunene praised Basetsana Kumalo and Portia M, saying they had created businesses and grown them into an empire. ‘I want to build things that last - a business that lives beyond me and employs my family and the community,’ said Kunene.
She urged universities to harness the fire in student entrepreneurs by giving them in-depth knowledge and access to mentorship.
Deputy Director for Youth Economic Empowerment at the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development Tourism and Environment Affairs (EDTEA) Ms Nomy Donaldson, focused on the KZN Youth Fund grant funding project which is set to finance young entrepreneurs aged between 18-35 with amounts of between R50 000 and R2 million. Donaldson outlined how recipients of the grant were not required to pay back anything to the department and how they were supported for three years through mentorship.
She said there were other options for financial backing such as the Operation Vula Fund and service offerings through business planning workshops offered by her department. She encouraged women entrepreneurs to make use of these services.
Other speakers included hospitality entrepreneur Ms Shireen Eraman and digital marketing pioneer Mr Bella Victor.
The second day of the event featured Marc Percy, owner of Marc Percy and brand stylist for the popular TV show Uzalo and media personalities like Khaya Mthethwa, Zakes Bantwini and Mr Percy Ngcongo.
Assistant General Manager-Enterprise Development at Business Partners Ms Petro Bothma delivered a presentation on SME Toolkit, saying it contained valuable products for entrepreneurs such as business and marketing plan templates as well as information on marketing, sales, accounting and finance. She also showed participants around the SME Toolkit website.
Property tycoon Mr Skhulile Ndlovu and founder of Dlamini Biotechnology Laboratories Ms Nomandla Ngcoya shared their entrepreneurial stories.
Seasoned businessman and founder of Lusizo IT Solutions Mr Lindo Makhaye hosted the final day with speakers including UKZN alumnus and serial entrepreneur Mr Kwazini Zulu; UKZN alumnus and founder of internet service provider company PlugPoint Mr Siyabonga Sibiya, and Ghanaian social entrepreneur Mr Isaac Aggrey.
Words: Hlengiwe Khwela