The School of Management Information Technology and Governance (MIG) recently hosted its SHAPE (Shifting Hope Activating Potential Entrepreneurship) business exhibition and awards ceremony.
The event celebrated the completion of a 14 week entrepreneurship workshop that aimed to instil a culture of entrepreneurial self-confidence among students through various support interventions. These interventions included creating business friendships between aspiring young entrepreneurs and established entrepreneurs.
On arrival, students were given money coupons which they gave to the different business displays that appealed to them. The business exhibition with the most amount of money coupons was awarded a prize.
Business exhibition winner Ms Angel Arendse, the director of Berta Corporate Trading, an organisation that deals with branding and signage, says the one thing that motivates her to continue building her business is the lack of jobs in South Africa.
‘Wanting to create job opportunities for other small businesses and people who aren’t working was the main reason I started my business. I do a lot of community work so I like to employ people from the community and the intention is to grow so more people can be employed,’ she said.
Guest speaker Dr Simon Taylor, who is the manager of the Regional Local Economic Development Project Manager at UKZN gave a short presentation on the fourth industrial revolution and how it will impact the world’s economy.
‘The days of someone giving you a job are over, the only opportunities we will receive are the ones we create for ourselves’ he said.
The Director of UKZN InQubate Ms Suvina Singh delivered a presentation titled: Supporting Student Entrepreneurship. The presentation highlighted the role played by InQubate in developing student business ideas while providing the necessary tools to implement those ideas.
SHAPE graduate Mr Lindani Ngubane said the experience was enriching and eye opening as it gave him the opportunity to learn more about himself, his goals and about his strengths as an aspiring entrepreneur.
‘SHAPE also presented an opportunity to learn how other entrepreneurs handle certain situations and challenged my current knowledge about entrepreneurship. This self-awareness will be beneficial in the journey of becoming an entrepreneur,’ he said
As a token of appreciation for supporting the programme, MIG’s Acting Dean and Head of School Professor Brian McArthur was given a wooden plaque by the SHAPE team with inspirational messages from the students.
‘I look out and I see joy, I see confidence, I see energy. I have to give credit to the whole SHAPE team for what they have managed to achieve in a very short while. The SHAPE programme is about fitness and it’s about the agility of mind and of spirit of seeing the opportunity,’ said McArthur.
Programme champion and MIG academic Dr Thea van der Westhuizen said ‘Almost 200 participants qualified to receive a certificate of attendance. We are grateful that from this group, 73 new business concepts have been prototyped and ready to be incubated. We are grateful for the support of UKZN’s Teaching and Learning Office, as well as SMIG’s SMANCO, together we are developing young leaders and foster entrepreneurial hearts, minds and hands.’
Words by Sibonelo Shinga firstname.lastname@example.org