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Wits’ entrepreneurs succeed at the EDHE Intervarsity Gauteng Regional Rounds

- Wits University

Two Witsies have emerged triumphantly, in the Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) Intervarsity Gauteng Regional Rounds.

Hosting #EDHE

Witsies leading in student entrepreneurship who run small to medium sized businesses were given the opportunity to showcase their businesses through pitching at the 4th Annual National Entrepreneurship Gauteng Intervarsity Regional Rounds hosted by the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg coordinated by the Development and Leadership Unit, a Division of Student Affairs.

The programme runs in partnership with the Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) programme which was birthed in late 2016 from within the University Education Branch of the Department of Higher Education and Training. Student led movements such as Fees Must Fall #FMF, Rhodes Must Fall #RMF and OpenStellenbosch #OpenStellenbosch, brought forward issues pertaining to academic exclusion, financial exclusion and as a result brought to question the way in which student agency is cultivated at universities, and in particular, whether students are equipped to take control of their future.

Institutions of higher learning are thus tasked with the responsibility to equip their graduates with defined attributes to ensure their competitive emergence in industry. There is now the commitment by institutions of higher learning to incorporate this discipline in co-curriculum programmes that infuse entrepreneurial theory and praxis. This has sparked conversation that the next generation of students should look into being employers themselves, especially in a country like South Africa with an official unemployment rate that currently sits at 34,5% as of 1 June 2022 according to Statistics South Africa.

The Gauteng Intervarsity Regional Rounds which took place at the Wits Digital Innovation Hub, the Tshimologong Precinct, saw young student entrepreneurs representing institutions of higher learning across Gauteng, such as the universities from Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), University of Pretoria (UP), University of Johannesburg (UJ), University of South Africa (UNISA), Sefako Makgatho Health Science University (SMU) and The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) demonstrate. At best, the competition spotlighted the excellence young people can conjure up when given opportunities. These students pitched their businesses in the categories of: “New Business”; “Existing General Business”; “Business with Social Impact” and “Existing Business – Tech”. At the end, the judges could only select four (4) finalists in the Gauteng Regionals to represent the province at the finals takin place in November; winners that emerged were made up of two students from Wits University, a student from the University of Johannesburg, and a student from Tshwane University of Technology.

For us, at Wits, we are immensely proud of Witsies Faith Mokgalaka, founder of Puno an Agri-Fintech company, and Lehlogonolo Kgopa founder of Eggsclusive an egg supply business catering for students in the university and surrounding areas of Braamfontein.

In these two semi-finalists, and the rest of the Wits studentpreneurs who participated in the EDHE Gauteng Regionals we see the best of Wits, and are inspired by their courage to demonstrate innovative thinking towards solving social contemporary issues such as unemployment and subsequent inequality resulting from that. They personify our centennial message – Wits. For. Good, by contributing to solutions for the good of all people. In addition to creating new knowledge, we proudly celebrate these originators, innovators and critical thinkers – those who actively shape the 21st Century for the future: For Good.