Alumnus connects business dots for young entrepreneurs

Marelize Santana -- Fri, 10/05/2018 - 11:40

Alumnus connects business dots for young entrepreneurs

The North-West University (NWU) is passionate about entrepreneurship and proudly acts as an enabler for the next generation of successful entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs such as Nkateko Rafael Khoza.

For Nkateko, the managing director of Nessa Engineering, life has taken him on an exciting rollercoaster ride from obtaining a BCom in bank risk management from the NWU, several successful business mergers and acquisitions, investment banking, property asset management and more recent the engineering sector.

Heading-up a medium to heavy steel fabrication company is no small feat, especially considering that the South African steel industry is under severe pressure because of cheap steel imports.

The flipside of the coin is that the sustainability of the steel industry is essential to underpin the country’s economic development goals and support the growth of numerous key sectors. In a time when many fear for the future of the industry, Nkateko is optimistic and excited. He knows that opportunities are rife for resilient entrepreneurs with a gusto for innovation.

During a recent collaborative initiative between the Alumni Office and the bhive Enterprise Development Centre (EDC), Nkateko took to the lectern to share his experience as an entrepreneur with undergraduate students, young start-up entrepreneurs and members of the Vaal Triangle business community.

Nkateko – who also holds an MBA degree from Wits University – is a devotee of the principle of lifelong learning. He motivated students to use their academic skills and know-how as a basis from where to start building their entrepreneurial careers.

According to Nkateko, entrepreneurial careers transcend specific job titles, career paths, and industries. While it can mean starting a new business, entrepreneurial careers can be found or created in just about every field, industry, and organisation.

“My degree has enabled me to grasp concepts such as financial modelling, feasibility studies, project financing and capital structuring, all elements that I work with on a daily basis as an entrepreneur,” explained Nkateko. He added that a university qualification should be viewed as an added value to an entrepreneur’s repertoire.

To date, Nkateko has been involved in the establishment of several start-up ventures, most notably Ivanta, which operates in several countries across the African continent. He also serves on the executive boards of several company bodies.

After his address, he joined in a panel discussion with several local business professionals on topics such as the fourth industrial revolution, the importance of the Vaal Triangle as a significant node in the province’s industrial sector.

* The bhive EDC represents a dynamic hub of entrepreneurial activity in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences.
 
The panel discussion was led by Johann Landsberg (Manager: bhive EDC). The panellists were, from left, Nkateko Khoza, Leonie Greyling (Entrepreneurship Development Professional), Olivia Vaughan (Vice Chairperson: Women’s Golden Chamber of Commerce) and Hannes Malan (NWU Technology Transfer and Innovation Support).