NWU Vaal Student Entrepreneurship Competition – students graduate as job creators

Annette Willemse -- Wed, 04/15/2015 - 07:50

NWU Vaal Student Entrepreneurship Competition – students graduate as job creators

“Graduates are continuing to become job seekers rather than job creators, and as a forward-thinking university, we are working tirelessly to vest a culture of entrepreneurial ethos within our student community and therefore pro-actively shaping the next generation of entrepreneurial giants.”

This is according to Ms Clarise Mostert, a lecturer within the School of Economic Sciences within the Faculty of Economic Sciences and Information Technology on the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU Vaal).Clarise is also a coordinating member of the Campus’s annual Student Business Competition as hosted by the bHive Enterprise Development Centre (bHive EDC). The latter refers to a dynamic unit within the Faculty of Economic Sciences and Information Technology and when it comes to entrepreneurship and the value thereof – not only for start-up business owners but also for graduates, the Centre is making its impact felt.

The semi-finalists for the 2015 Student Business Competition have been announced.
Pictured with the group is Clarise Mostert (middle)

The annual Student Business Competition serves to encourage students to become future employers and henceforth job creators.  After sorting through piles of entries, a group of 17 young and upcoming entrepreneurs – all students from the NWU Vaal, were chosen as semi-finalists for the 2015 rendition of the competition. The semi-finalists represent students from both the faculties of Humanities and the Faculty of Economic Sciences and Information Technology.

According to Clarise student spinoff companies are of interest to all progressive universities, particularly those that support research and teaching programmes in the field of entrepreneurship – such as the North-West University. “These entrepreneurial ventures provide tangible evidence that students acquire viable entrepreneurial skills while studying at the University,” says Clarise and adds that young entrepreneurs contribute to regional economic development, help to commercialise knowledge that otherwise would go undeveloped and help the University attain and expand its core mission undertaking. In the case of the NWU Vaal, the importance of entrepreneurship is valued as part of the Campus’s mission statement and as such students are encouraged to embrace an entrepreneurial ethos.

More about the Student Business Competition

The competition runs over a period of two semesters to allow participants sufficient time to work on their business pitch whilst benefitting from several workshops aimed at strengthening both the academic and practical understanding of entrepreneurship.

One of the on-Campus partners closely involved with the Student Business Competition is the student affiliated body, Young Entrepreneur Business Organisation – or YEBO as it is better known. As an affiliated body to the Campus’s Student Representative Council, YEBO aims to improve entrepreneurship awareness among students and by doing so influence young people – especially university graduates, into having a positive outlook on business ownership. Apart from marketing the Student Business Competition amongst their peers, the team from YEBO is also pro-actively working towards finding a solution – in the form of entrepreneurship, for graduate unemployment.

The competition will be decided over several rounds during which the participants have the opportunity to view their scorecards in order for them to monitor their performance. The final round will see the top five entrepreneurs competing for a place on the winners’ podium.

Each participant will be assigned a mentor to coach him/her during the course of the competition. These mentors are all knowledgeable experts in their respective fields of focus and will add value to the existing body of knowledge in terms of entrepreneurship. The mentors are: Johann Landsberg, Clarise Mostert, Natanya Meyer, Jani Jooste and Charles van der Vyfer.