VUT STUDENTPRENEUR, A VISIONARY WITH A PASSION FOR IMPACT
By: Puleng Maphisa – 07 December 2023
Tumisho Thobejane, a young and ambitious entrepreneur, hails from the vibrant community of Katlehong. Growing up in this dynamic environment has instilled in her a deep-rooted passion for problem-solving, creativity, and a relentless drive for positive impact. Tumisho’s journey from Maitjibulo Primary School in the Hlahatsi Section to Thuto-Pele Secondary School in the Khumalo Section has been marked by a commitment to education and a desire to make a meaningful difference.
Currently pursuing an Advanced Diploma in Biomedical Technology at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT), Tumisho seamlessly blended her academic pursuits with her entrepreneurial spirit. Her social enterprise venture falls under the category of businesses that prioritize social impact. Her dedication to creating positive change led her to participate in the intervarsity competition, a platform that proved to be a significant turning point in her entrepreneurial journey.
She joined the competition by submitting an online entry. Tumisho’s business acquired attention during the internal rounds at the VUT Campus. Subsequently, it advanced to the regional rounds held at the North-West University (NWU), where she emerged as one of the twenty-four (24) finalists, with six (06) participants in each category. Notably, she clinched victory in the category and secured the second position overall, winning the prize amounting to R20 000, surpassing over 1000 entries. This remarkable achievement speaks volumes about her innovative approach and commitment to making a difference.
Tumisho’s entrepreneurial journey began in earnest when she joined EnactusVUT in 2019 and later became part of the EDHE (Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education) program in April of the following year. The business pitch competition within EDHE, offering a prize of R100,000, presented a unique opportunity for student entrepreneurs to network and collaborate.
Her business, Fooddable, was conceived within the nurturing environment of EnactusVUT. Here, Tumisho and her team learned the difficulties of starting a business and guided them towards building social enterprises. The emphasis on design thinking methodology and the implementation phase through the lean start-up approach proved instrumental in shaping Fooddable.
She said that without her teammates, this achievement could not have been possible. Still, she wants to acknowledge the presence and support of the following team members: Mulalo Seketa, Junior Namay, Aphiwe Lupalle, and Nkosinathi Sibanda.Fooddable is a food security enterprise with a mission to combat food waste from fast-food chains. The business envisions transforming potential food waste into nutritious meals for those in need and for individuals who may need help to afford their meals or are uncertain about their next source of sustenance.
While winning the EDHE competition is a testament to Tumisho’s entrepreneurial prowess, she focuses on using this achievement as a catalyst for positive change. Beyond praises and awards, Tumisho aspires to contribute to meaningful projects, foster innovation, and leave a lasting impact on social entrepreneurship.
She exemplifies the spirit of a young entrepreneur driven by a vision to address social challenges and create a more sustainable and equitable future. VUT congratulated her for being an inspiration amongst her peers.