What VUT learned at the 2023 EDHE Lekgotla and Studentpreneurs Indaba

By: Qhawekazi Memani – 21 September 2023

Recently, a special meeting of university entrepreneurs happened – the 2023 EDHE Lekgotla and Studentpreneurs Indaba under the theme: ‘Social Innovation for Societal Impact.’

Hosted at the University of Western Cape (UWC), the gathering was attended by representatives  from key sector stakeholders such as the Universities South Africa (USAf), the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).”

According to Ms Ndumi Lufele, the Director for Stakeholder Relations at VUT, the three transformative days shone the spotlight on the evolving landscape of entrepreneurship development. “Here, amidst the ivory towers of academia, voices matched in pursuit of knowledge, seeking to unravel the threads of emerging trends, embrace new horizons, and distil the essence of best practices. Yet, with this illumination came a recognition of challenges faced by universities in nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit, “she shared.

In addition,” for VUT, the gathering unveiled an embroidery of insights, poised to weave a brighter future for its studentpreneurs. Notably, universities were urged to infuse entrepreneurship into the very fabric of education, to arm students with the skills to not only dream but to build.” Ms Lufele said VUT listened intently, understanding that the journey towards entrepreneurship is not solitary, but a collective dance of minds, requiring support and camaraderie.

She said during deliberations an important revelation was made – the existence of Activation Officers in other institutions, who are coordinators of entrepreneurship initiatives on campuses. “VUT, inspired and emboldened, has resolved to assemble a similar team of catalysts who will breathe life into the aspirations of studentpreneurs at VUT.”

Dr Speech Nelana, the acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) for Research, Innovation, Commercialization and Internationalisation (RICI) at VUT, who was also in attendance, said the EDHE Lekgotla is the perfect vessel for the transformation of Entrepreneurship Education. “In this year’s event, my spirit was ignited by the notion of Economic Activation Offices (EAO), a beacon that has illuminated the path for ten universities. VUT stands poised, ready to breathe life into its own EAO in the  not-so-distant future – a testament to our commitment to the entrepreneurial spirit.”