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Change the world


Fifteen female student entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to assess their growth as part of a pilot programme by Chaya Legal, in partnership with Nelson Mandela University’s Madibaz Entrepreneurship Hub.

The Hub's student entrepreneurship specialist, Karen Snyman, said the She Journeys Programme aimed to equip female student entrepreneurs who were seeking identity and purpose in their personal journeys.

“Our approach is to develop a community of women who recognise value in their unique identities and life stories, so they may pave a meaningful way that leads to victories in business, career and life.

“Female student entrepreneurs face unique challenges, having to juggle their academic, business and personal lives,” she said.

Attorney, conveyancer and founder of Chaya Legal, Varonique Philander, 32, said Snyman had approached her in August 2020 to get involved in presenting an entrepreneurship empowerment programme to female students at NMU.

“I love entrepreneurship and business, and the reason I’m so passionate about it is because I truly believe it is the answer to all our social woes as a country.

“We need more small businesses to create employment, and as a female entrepreneur I truly believe that entrepreneurship allows and enables one to become financially independent.

“As a woman, it’s such an important thing to see empowerment not only in terms of rights and of getting a place at the table, but to get a voice to speak up.

“It is also vital to be financially emancipated and to be able to fund things that you desire; to be able to pay for the things that you need.

“I truly believe that business enables women to be able to do that.

“That’s really my passion — to see more female entrepreneurs become successful and be supported along the way.

“I am a Nelson Mandela University alumnus and it means a lot to give back.”

Philander said that entrepreneurship programmes were usually focused on hard skills, “so we wanted to look at the internal things that we don’t normally talk about when you want to become successful”.

“There’s something a bit deeper that is required to achieve those goals and that is the internal.

“We’re excited about testing and piloting it with the students, and seeing what feedback we will be receiving.”

A new topic will be introduced each week.

A live online session will also be included each week that will alternate between coaching feedback and a live masterclass.

Philander said the programme would culminate in an online graduation.

This article appeared in The Herald (South Africa) on 20 August 2021 written by Roslyn Baatjies


Contact information
Mrs Karen Snyman
Specialist Student Entrepreneurship
Tel: 0832711909