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Fostering entrepreneurship, whose role is it anyway?

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Patrice Motsepe (Appropriated from Graysaber.com)

 

Whose responsibility is it to foster the spirit of entrepreneurship amongst young people? I can submit without any shadow of doubt that entrepreneurship is a life blood of society. For citizens to prosper in any given territory, a country needs to offer itself as a supporting base and enabling environment for entrepreneurship. For this to happen, a society will need to reward innovative thinkers, identify mavericks and offer them all the support necessary for entrepreneurs to prosper in their quest.

Cameron Herold in a Ted Talk he delivered in Boston in 2009, he argues that parents must take it upon themselves to foster the spirit of entrepreneurship in their children. He couldn’t be further from the truth – just imagining the multiplier effect that would emanate from such a teaching, should every single household engage in it.

An article published by Finweek on the 14th of February, and titled “An academic role in fostering entrepreneurship”;Constant Beugre (cited) said that she is of the opinion that due to lack of entrepreneurship courses in African universities, these institutions should be involved in training people to create new ventures.

Now what I find rather fascinating about Beugre’s submission is that she holds a view that suggest that academic institutions should play a role in training new breeds of entrepreneurs.  It is particularly interesting to me on two grounds, first, how do you convince young people to not join big companies and start their ventures instead; and secondly what form of support mechanism would these universities offer these young people for them to be successful as entrepreneurs in the face of great uncertainty.

There are obviously reasons that prevent any aspiring, young entrepreneur to enter the market. Factors such as the following springs to mind: stringent labour laws, government policy bottlenecks, lack of funding and lack of environment in which “a noble business failure” is celebrated and seen as a valuable learning experience.

I also hold a similar sentiment by Beugre that academic institutions should offer a training ground to foster the spirit of entrepreneurship. A leading research university In South Africa, The University of Stellenbosch is offering that pad where student entrepreneurs can test their ideas. To delve further into the Stellenbosch case, the university recently launched an initiative called the launchlab, an incubation hub where student entrepreneurs can make use of at a nominal fee.Furthermore, to prove that the University of Stellenbosch is indeed playing a role in fostering entrepreneurship, its technology transfer company in association with the university centre for leadership development (The FVZS) run a business idea competition on an annual basis where students are invited to enter the competition by submitting any ideas they have. They need not submit business plans, just plain ideas.

Moreover, three students, (whom I desire not to mention for anonymity reasons) started a pitch in event, where students are invited to pitch their ideas to panel of judges. The person with the best idea stands a chance to win cash prize to turn his idea into a tangible form. There is no reason to doubt that students making use of these initiatives will leave Stellenbosch University very equipped to run their own enterprises.

Let me invite you to ponder on this, South Africa has 23 public universities (and some of them do offer entrepreneurship courses), another two in the pipeline, and some 50 public Further Education & Training colleges, what would happen if all these institutions replicate the model employed by the University of Stellenbosch and its students? How many well-equipped risk takers can come out of universities year in and year out? I can only think of a snow-ball effect!

Are we then safe to conclude that the institutions of higher learning have a rather positive role to play in fostering the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship? I think so!

I dream of a South Africa where innovation and entrepreneurship is admired, business failure encouraged and government policy bottlenecks relaxed! I dream of an innovative country.

“Dare to innovate”

Twitter: @Dumirocks

©2013

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Posted by on August 20, 2013 in Business

 

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The most innovative entrepreneurs in the digital era….

When I think about innovation, I think about something new, unique, fresh, creative or just a brilliant idea. Innovation is a new term that every company which is in the face of restructuring adopt.  INNOVATION IS POWERFUL….!

Well, here I am bringing you four people I think are the most innovative people in the digital era. Some of the people mentioned here made life of Generation Y’ers more fun, more bearable and/or more difficult for that matter. You will soon find out who those people are? Some of them made everybody looks smart. Unfortunately others made Generation Y’ers to abuse the Queens Language.

It is because of their bright minds, that made them where they are today. They were innovative enough to make their millions in no time. Okay, all of them have something in common, they give our fingers something to do.

The first entrepreneur, to take the tittle is the most loved Mark Zurkerberg. Mark is also Generation Y’er, born in 1984, he remain the youngest billionaire on earth. He is the founder and the CEO of Facebook, the networking site with most members. He takes the tittle first, because if facebook was a country it  would be the most populated country on earth following India and China.

The second innovators to walk with a price has to be google founders, Larry page and Sergey Brin. Google went public in 2004, and from there everybody seem to know everything and for that, they are the most innovative entrepreneur in today’s life according to Dumirocks. Watch the video, the world according to google and you will see that this guys are set to be ridiculously rich. Oh yes am feeling lucky!!!

The third is Steve Jobs. This man, and his co-founders made life difficult for most people in a sense that people seem not to know that Apple is actually a fruit and not a gadget. His company’s tagline “Think Different” just prove the fact that being innovative pays. Watch his inspiring video and listen to his three interesting stories and learn from him how to live before you die.      

And lastly, our very own(South African), Herman Heunis takes the crown. Herman Heunis is a founder of MXIT, oh, yes the social networking site which is responsible for ruining my spelling ability and the way I use the English grammar. He gets the crown because it is his mxit that gave birth to the so called MxIt LaNgUaGe. How many of you are lolling at this moment. LMAO, m cying Herman Heunis s de gr8test innova8r of  al tyms. Now this is classic.

It is all of the aforementioned entrepreneurs that make me believe that by joining the revolution, to think different and to connect to people, one can really make the difference in this world. Take note that the italised words are the slogan of MXIT, Apple, and facebook respectively.

“Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.”_____Peter Drucker.

This guys just proved him (Peter Drucker) right!!!

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2010 in Business

 

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