VUT STUDENT AND SEW 2021 WINNER’S BUSINESS VENTURE BECOMES A REALITY
By Qhawekazi Mmeani 13 May 2022
Vaal University of Technology (VUT) graduand, Emmanuel Omokhegbe, is the winner of the Student Entrepreneurship Week 2021 (SEW) competition.
Winning the competition is not the only achievement that Emmanuel is celebrating. He is due to graduate with a Diploma in Biomedical Technology during the 2022 winter graduations. Emmanuel is Chief Executive Officer/ Co-founder of a company, Astudentsdream. He is also a prospective Medical student.
A self-taught programmer, skilled in four computer languages: Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), Python and Structured Query Language (SQL, he is currently learning two more Flutter and Dart. As a result of his enthusiastic and passionate drive for learning, Emmanuel has over 50 certificates that he’s achieved from various online platforms which include: Havard, Udemy, Coursera, and others. He is also an innovative entrepreneur with tons of business ideas and is always in search of great like-minded people to work with.
As an individual, Emmanuel deems himself versatile and full of love for learning, and the most inquisitive person in the room, with hands up in the air trying to know more. “My dream is to be a Medical Doctor. after three degrees, I’m finally close to realizing that dream. I’m currently working on my application to the University of Witwatersrand for the Gemp programme,” he said.
RECENT BUSINESS VENTURES
“2017 was a remarkable year for me because it was the first time for me to venture into entrepreneurship and I fell in love with it. At that time, I was fledgling and inexperienced without any knowledge whatsoever of what it meant to be an entrepreneur, but that didn’t stop me. I started setting aside days every week, when I would brainstorm and think of ideas, “he said proudly.
Towards the end of 2020/ beginning 2021, Emmanuel came up with the idea of Astudentsdream and together with his partner, Nontobeko Tlou, they established the company. The idea emanated from talks Emmanuel would have with his peers. He noticed that a large majority of them, 80-90% didn’t know what and why they were studying their specific courses. “That baffled me, because it made me think to myself, why waste time on something you don’t like or not passionate about, when you could be achieving something greater. It was for that reason that we established Astudentsdream,” he said.
ABOUT ASTUDENTDREAM AGENCY
Astudentsdream is a registered Education Consulting Agency which focuses on providing educational services for African students. The goal of the agency is to meet the needs of students, especially high school learners. The agency uses a booking system. Prospective students may book for a consultation. A student advisor, who is a psychologist, is our first point of contact with the student. This initial contact is followed by a series of activities ranging from interviews, aimed at helping students to determine their passion, best career choices and the roadmap they need to take to achieve success. This is followed by applications to at least 10 universities on behalf of the students, taking into consideration the student’s Admission Point Score (APS) and give them the best outcome and suggestions for study choices. Moreover, the agency also applies on behalf of students for scholarships, bursaries and NSFAS. The company also helps further with registration and residence applications. Once the student is admitted the company allocates a mentor for that specific student, who will guide the student throughout their journey in university, by providing tutorship services up to regular checkups and follow-up. Upon graduation, the company provides a gift for students.
Emmanuel highlighted that they are in the process of developing a second approach which is almost like Astudentdream, the student can opt to take our personalized test instead of being interviewed by the Student Advisor. The test will calculate their score and make inputs based on their strengths, weaknesses hobbies and proclivities and then create an algorithm for the best suitable course with a high degree of accuracy.
Currently, the agency is in partnership with two companies, Advantage Learn and ekasiLabs (innovation Hub) which have been assisting them as incubators. They are also working on several partnerships, one of which involves Crimson Education, for students in South Africa who wants to study abroad in the US, UK or Australia.
GREATEST WORK IMPACT
“One of the greatest impact of my work is how much my passion has ignited the passion of several others as well as motivated people into chasing their dreams. I’m a believer of dreams and there’s nothing cliche about chasing it no matter how big or small they are. Even though Astudentsdream is growing and only just starting out, we have helped several students get into their dream studies and universities. And when you study what you love, you have more motivation and drive as compared to one who isn’t,” shared Emmanuel.
EMANUEL’S ADVISE TO ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS
My advice to young students like me is that the sky is only a stepping stone for what you can achieve, especially once you put your mind to it. There might be trying times, there might be bad ideas, there might be wrong people around us, but never let any of these things weigh you down. Never settle for less. Also I’d like to appreciate some of my close friends who have been with me for the past 5 years, they’ve supported and believed in me. I also appreciated the VUT for giving me an opportunity like this to tell my story. Thanks once again and I hope my story encourages anyone going through any situation, to never give up, either on themselves or their ideas.