Creating job opportunities for SA’s youth
- Wits University
The Wits Entrepreneurship Clinic gets going with programme to drive innovation and entrepreneurship.
The new Wits Entrepreneurship Clinic, based in the School of Business Science, is part of the newly formed Innovation for African Universities (IAU) project, part of the British Council’s Going Global Partnerships programme.
A new programme, the Wits Entrepreneurship Clinic Accelerator Programme (WECAP), is a structured entrepreneurship clinic/accelerator setup providing entrepreneurial support and guidance. It will be implemented by the Wits Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in partnership with Wits University, the African Circular Economy Network (ACEN), and The University of Edinburgh.
WECAP aims to strengthen the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem and improve student employability outcomes in South Africa.
The Total Entrepreneurial Activity score in South Africa is approximately 11%, while unemployment amongst South African youth grows at an alarming rate of 63%. This is due to the little support for entrepreneurship as a career trajectory historically at the university level despite its significant establishment.
Due to the increasingly poor economic outlook, youth employment will not improve immediately. This, together with burgeoning poverty levels, suggests that employment alternatives need to be explored. Young entrepreneurs are one of the country's best hopes of solving the jobs crisis, which the Covid-19 pandemic has worsened in an environment of weakened economic growth.
WECAP will give a clinic programme focused on experiential learning and evidence-based management, together with a structured mentorship programme, to develop students’ business acumen and improve their overall employability through exposure to and solving of business problems confronting students, staff, and external entrepreneurs.
WECAP also intends to provide professional and quality business advisory services to the university and its surrounding communities to accelerate viable entrepreneurial opportunities. At the same time, data and research-centric entrepreneurial methodologies such as lean-start-up, evidence-based management, and design thinking will be adopted to accelerate businesses.
The work of the WECAP partnership will be submitted to form learnings that will contribute to formulating a policy framework for universities under South Africa's Department of Higher Education and Training.
About the Innovation for African Universities Programme (IAU)
The IAU programme is implemented by the Centre of Excellence (CoE), a partnership between the City, University of London, Nairobi, and ChangeSchool UK.
The Programme comprises 24 UK universities, Sub-Saharan African universities, and entrepreneurial ecosystem organizations. The Programme is running in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana & South Africa.
We wish this project well as we unite to grow and innovate Africa for youth employment opportunities. We're looking forward to working in partnership with WECAP to exchange knowledge and ideas to strengthen the role of universities in entrepreneurship ecosystems – British Council
To find out more: www.britishcouncil.org/education/he-science/news/entrepreneurship-projects-Africa-have-been-announced