Student Entreprenuership Week

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The 2019 Student Entrepreneurship Week was held between 30th September and 5th October on the Alice campus.Themed Entrepreneurship Is A Career, the week-long lunchtime sessions were hosted by the Faculty of Management and Commerce, following a mandate by the Department of Higher Education and Training to universities to enhance student entrepreneurship across all faculties.  Every year, universities are expected to hold a student entrepreneurship week where participants are given knowledge and skills on how to start a sustainable business.
 
The programme was coordinated by Dr Tendai Chimucheka,  Senior Lecturer In Business Management and the sessions were open to all students and student clubs, including Enactus and FIFCO. Throughout the week a number of UFH staff gave presentations which equipped students with entrepreneurial skills.Dr Ellen Rungani, Senior Lecturer and Head of Business Management Department was the Guest Speaker on days 2 and 5 of the programme.  Speaking to This Week @Fort Hare, she said the purpose of the workshop was to give information and inspire those who aspire to own their businesses in future. “Student Entrepreneurship Week prides itself as an alternative education forum where students and budding entrepreneurs can access actionable, experiential knowledge and tools for building sustainable businesses”, she said.
 
On the first day, Mr Simphiwe Soga, Eastern Cape Provincial Manager of Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) gave an in-depth presentation about SEDA - an agency that supports entrepreneurship and small business development both at national and provincial level. He urged students to become entrepreneurial and pursue opportunities available in the province.On one of the days, students were  taught how to pitch a business plan to a potential investor within the shortest possible time - a concept known as an Elevator Business Pitch. They were given a minute each to present a business idea. 
 
On the last day, student entrepreneurs on campus were invited to share their stories, highlighting successes and challenges.  This was intended to serve as motivation to budding student entrepreneurs.  Mr Thandikaya Matokazi, a former member of the Student Representative Council and now a professional photographer, shared his journey with participants.  “When you are serious and passionate about the business you want to build, it becomes easy to achieve and sustain your goals”, said Matokazi.  He used his SRC stipend to buy a camera and other equipment which he needed to start his business.  He advised students to ignore the noise and negative comments around them and focus 
on hard work and achieving their goals.
 
During her presentation, Dr Rungani encouraged students to hone their elevator pitch skills in preparation for the upcoming annual Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) Intervarsity competition.