UJ set to grow a culture of entrepreneurship

​​Hundreds of bright-eyed students who are passionate about entrepreneurship have flocked to the launch of an initiative offering students with promising business ideas an opportunity to transform their ideas into business enterprises at the Soweto Campus of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) on Wednesday, 31 July 2013.

The Vice-Chancellor’s Student Innovative Business Idea Awards, an initiative, in partnership with the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), focuses on developing fledgling student business start-up ideas and nurturing business skills and life skills in equal measure among UJ students between the ages of 18 and 35, thus growing future-fit entrepreneurship. Annually, the University will be investing more than R300 000 towards the Awards in order to help students ignite the growth of entrepreneurship.


“The aim of the awards is to grow a culture of future-fit entrepreneurship,” said Professor Daneel van Lill, Executive Dean at the Faculty of Management. “We at the Faculty of Management have set has set itself the task to nurture a culture of student entrepreneurship by offering interventions, such as the student innovation business ideas awards, that could be a strong launch-pad for student businesses.


“Students who face a future without prospects of formal employment stand a chance to benefit from this new student entrepreneurial initiative that forms part of the University’s Centre for Small Business Development (CSBD),” says Molotsi Moipone, the Director of the CSBD.

Participating students will need to submit their business idea before 31 August. The summited plans will be reviewed by a panel of judges that include representatives from the University’s Vice-Chancellor’s office, business partners and industry. The student with the best business idea will receive the R100 000 cash-prize sponsored by the NYDA, and second and third place will each receive R50 000 and R30 000 respectively. Furthermore, seven participants will each receive R20 000. The prize money must be used for business set-up costs. The top 10 finalists will be announced during an awards ceremony on 28 October 2013.

According to Molotsi, budding entrepreneurs can benefit from day-to-day help and advice and share ideas with other future entrepreneurs. “Students can undergo business idea generation and business planning idea training programmes that assist in building both entrepreneurial acumen and self-confidence in students. This dual emphasis is a key part of the philosophy behind CSBD. We believe that by building self-confidence alongside functional skills, our students will be in a better position to overcome challenging obstacles. The learning will thus be deeply grounded in students’ own lives and realities,” says Molotsi.

Contact the University’s Centre for Small Business Development on 011 559 5649/ 5511, for more information on the Vice-Chancellor’s Student Innovative Business Idea Awards or how to qualify for this initiative

Read the VC’s speech​.

Watch the full event:


Video 1: Welcome: Prof Daneel Van Lill, Executive Dean, Faculty of Management, UJ http://youtu.be/TGyD8hUl4zs

Video 2: Address: Prof Ihron Rensburg, Vice Chancellor and Principal, UJ http://youtu.be/Z4xXJxz73wc

Video 3: Address: Mrs Tamari Mavasa, Executive Manager, Economic Development, NYDAhttp://youtu.be/IIgPWIMm3CI

Video 4: Address on Innovation: Dr Margaret Mkhosi, General Manager, Technology Innovation Agency (TIA)http://youtu.be/slP4c-_XfdI

Video 5: Word by SMME: Mr Litabe Shadrack Moeletsi, Owner, Litabe Technlogies Pty Ltdhttp://youtu.be/NU9s9zsADOo

Video 6: Competition process: Ms Moipone Molotsi,Director, Centre for Small Business Development, UJ http://youtu.be/ASCx9U6hSmY


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