New entrepreneurs graduate

New entrepreneurs graduate

Graduates for the VUT-Sasol Entrepreneurship Programme

Selina Rapulane

On Friday 13 October, the Vaal University of Technology Southern Gauteng Science and Technology Park was honoured to celebrate the VUT-Sasol Entrepreneurship Programme Graduation Ceremony.

This programme was initiated by Sasol and VUT with the aim of helping youth from disadvantaged backgrounds by equipping them with practical skills and knowledge about entrepreneurship.

The programme is for learners between the ages of 18 and 30 who only have a Grade 12 certificate, but a passion to develop their own businesses. This opportunity offers them a once-in-a-lifetime chance to upgrade, upskill and then put their new-found knowledge into practice.

The ceremony kicked off when Mr Heinrich Van der Merwe: Operations Manager at VUT Science Park, on Behalf of Prof Gordon Zide: Vice Chancellor and Principal, gave the welcome address. The programme was directed by Mr Moeketsi Montshtsi: Public Relations Coordinator.

Dr Joe Molete: Executive Director at VUT Science Park then shared the background and impact of the programme from his own perspective of entrepreneurship.

To enhance the joy and motivational spirit of the ceremony even further, video clips showing stories from the previous cohort were played. Shortly after, a play by the McubedH company reminded graduates that they need to protect their ideas and patent them because they can be stolen.

The Keynote Address was delivered by Mr Sibusiso Luvuno from Sasol. He mentioned that as this is the graduation for the seventh cohort, he believes that they are special as seven is a lucky number.

“This is one of our flagship programmes and we at Sasol, in partnership with VUT, are proud that we are involving ourselves in community projects. Sasol acknowledges communities and, with the resources we have can channel them to help them in offering skills for creation of employment,” he said.

Mr Itumeleng Matshego: Managing Director, Legratron Electronics, then gave a motivational talk to the graduates.

In closing the ceremony, Mr Tshepo Mahanuke: Reverse Engineer Specialist, gave the acknowledgements.

In celebration: Graduates for the VUT-Sasol Entrepreneurship

Since 2014, the programme has produced 200 graduates, 53 of whom are running their own businesses, while 36 are pursuing their studies and 31 are employed.

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