Jabo Dlamini, Tumelo Thulo, Kenny Dlamini (MJV DE BOI), Sabata Terence Sithibe, Martha Ikome, Bonolo Phiri, Tshepo Joel Khosana
On Thursday, 15 April 2021, The Vaal University of Technology’s Technology Transfer Office (TTO), at the VUT Southern Gauteng Science and Technology Park (VUTSGSTP) in collaboration with the National Intellectual Property Management Office (NIPMO) held a two-hour Webinar on the VUTSGSTP Facebook page, in celebration of the World Intellectual Property (IP) Day.
IP Day is celebrated every year in April and this year’s theme was IP and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs): Taking your ideas to market.
Mrs. Martha Ikome: IP Advisor at VUTSGSTP opened the virtual celebration and welcomed everyone who was able to be part of the event. “The purpose of this event is to provide an overview of the importance of IP, as well as provide a guide on how SMEs can use IP to navigate and better manage the twists and turns that pave the road to commercialization. At a time when the imperative of economic recovery is high, World Intellectual Property 2021 shines a light on the critical role of SMEs in the economy and how they can use IP rights to build a stronger, more competitive, and resilient business”, she said.
She further explained that, “The webinar seeks to be an interactive session that will provide stakeholders an opportunity to share their experience, as well as raise specific concerns. We are particularly grateful to SJAS Production for making today a reality”.
One of the special guests, Mrs. Semakaleng Moeketsi, was pleased to be part of this year’s World IP Day and sharing her perspective on maintaining a good business image. “I am one person, when it comes to ideas or concepts that have to do with the creative space, I listen, and I don’t mind sharing. So many people are being taken for granted because they don’t know that their ideas can be protected”, she said.
She added that, “People do not know that when they have an idea, they need to find a way to protect it so that tomorrow it’s not stolen. People who are doing business should take their social media platforms as a way of selling their ideas out there. Technology has made things very simple; they should use it to their advantage”.
Her last words were directed at idea generators, especially those in the creative space. She advised them that they should not share their ideas with anyone until they have protected them as this is how most people were robbed of their intellectual property.
Mr. Nchaga Samuel Mosea, who is a renowned business owner around the Sebokeng area, expressed himself on the challenges that he comes across daily in his business. “Since I am a funeral parlor owner, I deal a lot with people’s emotions. Sometimes people are not easy to deal with, but I always practice gratitude and see every opportunity as growth. This way, there is no point in feeling bad about the situation”, he alluded.
Mr. Martin Manmohan from DRIVIO shared his insights on research and development, as well as applying for funding. He advised people who are passionate about growing their businesses to apply to the government agencies for funding because as entrepreneurs, they need to understand their financials.
Artists for the day included MJV DE- BOI, Jabulile from the Vaal, and Bonolo Phiri.
With all the words of encouragement and wisdom shared by the guests, one thing worth noting is that it is never too early nor late to learn, and there is nothing stopping anyone from reaching their optimal level. Doors of learning on how to protect ideas and registering businesses are always open at VUTSGSTP.
Vote of thanks was given by Mr. Hendrik van der Merwe: VUTSGSTP Operations Manager.