EDHE Entrepreneurship Intervarsity 2021- Internal University Round
UKZN InQubate recently hosted the Internal University Round of the 3rd EDHE Entrepreneurship Intervarsity Challenge. EDHE Entrepreneurship Intervarsity is an initiative of Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) under the Department of Higher Education and Training.
A total of 132 students at UKZN entered in this year’s competition. After a rigorous screening process, 28 students were selected to participate in the Internal University Round, which was the first stage of the Challenge.
Reflecting on this year’s internal round, the Director of UKZN InQubate, Mrs Suvina Singh said, ‘The level of competition from our students this year surpassed the previous two years. It was difficult to select participants to go through to the regionals, simply because there are so many great student businesses. This is really encouraging as it is what we’ve been working for since the entrepreneurship skills programme, ENSPIRE, was launched in 2018.’
The EDHE Entrepreneurship Intervarsity Challenge comprises of four categories, ie, Business Idea; Existing Tech Business; Existing Social Impact Business; and Existing General Business. In accordance with the EDHE protocols, two winners in each category were selected to proceed to the regional round where they will compete with their peers at sister universities in KwaZulu-Natal.
In the Business Idea category, the two participants selected were Dr Salona Prahladh, a PhD student in the School of Clinical Medicine, and Ms Nazish Peer from the School of Health Sciences. Prahladh has created an autopsy data collection application, which stores pertinent data about autopsies. This is uploaded in real time to a cloud drive and produces instantaneous statistics regarding demographics, cause of death, etc. Peer’s idea is to produce adaptive clothing which makes it easier for the physically challenged or elderly to get dressed or for their caregivers to dress them.
In the Existing Tech Business category, Mr Mnqobi Vezi from the School of Education, and Mr Mongezi Dlamini, from the Graduate School of Business and Leadership were selected. Vezi’s business, Delivery Buddy (Pty) Ltd provides a delivery and support service to clients that have difficulty shopping on their own. Dlamini’s business, Anonaya Gardens (Pty) Ltd, is a hydroponic based farm.
In Existing Social Impact Business, Ms Trianne Armachand from the School of Applied Human Sciences and Ms Phiwayinkosi Tshikwe from the School of Social Sciences were selected. Armachand’s business, Laelthelabel (Pty) Ltd, supplies novelty crayons in different shapes and characters made from the highest quality non-toxic wax. She said that her crayons are different from most commercial crayons because they are thicker, came in fun, customised designs, and encourage children to learn. Tshikwe manufactures aluminium doors and windows at her business, Queen of Aluminium, and empowers women in the community through training on the manufacturing process. She said she learnt the trade from her friend’s father when she was in high school.
The two participants selected in the Existing General Business category were Ms Nomandla Ngcoya, a PhD student in the School of Chemistry and Physics, and Ms Nozipho Tshakane, from the School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences. Ngcoya, the CEO of DChem (Pty) Ltd, recently launched her detergent manufacturing factory in Pietermaritzburg. Tshakane’s business Tshakane Hygiene and Cleaning Services also focuses on detergent manufacturing, and provides a food and microbiology testing service.
Singh noted that, ‘The EDHE Intervarsity Challenge is a wonderful catalyst for stimulating competition and is great fun, but for the InQubate team, it’s more about using opportunities like this to support the development of a growing youth economy in KwaZulu-Natal.’
UKZN Student Entrepreneurship Manager, Mr Khutso Ramontja said, ‘We will be engaging with all 28 applicants from the Internal University Round to determine whether development funding can be provided through the ENSPIRE programme to support the student businesses.’
Last year, two students, Mr Jabulani Nyembe and Mr Sihawu Kunene, reached the finals. Nyembe‘s company, Clinalytics (Pty) Ltd offers web-based computer software, Electronic Health Records (EHR), for general practitioners to store and analyse patients’ medical information. Kunene presented on the “Nene Device”, which is a security button for university and college students.
Ramontja also said that the ENSPIRE team will be working closely with the students going through to the Regional Round and providing coaching in order to ensure that they are well-prepared.