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Change the world


As the 6th annual Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) Lekgotla commenced this week, Nelson Mandela University’s Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor AndrĂ© Keet, highlighted the importance of the conference in creating a space in the world of business where transformative solutions to pressing challenges confronting the marginalized groups in our society can be addressed.

Hosted by Nelson Mandela University, the theme for this year’s Lekgotla is #movetomarket. It is informed by the importance of commercialising research, as well as the significance of positioning student entrepreneurs for active participation in the economy by entering the market with their products and services.

During the welcoming address, Professor Keet posed the question regarding the kind of entrepreneurship that will be required to help society solve these challenges that marginalized groups face, and what schemes can be introduced to provide a way to move forward despite these challenges. 

He said he hoped that the Lekgotla further positions the university to build on entrepreneurship and social innovation, as this  “forms part of our transformative journey to reshape our university as a catalyst for sustainable and impactful societal change”.

Professor AndrĂ© Keet went on conclude by saying: “This 2022 National Lekgotla hosted by our university presents us with the opportunity to learn, reflect and connect with the experiences, knowledge and practices from the growing movement of entrepreneurship in this sector.

“This meeting represents an important message – a promise to our nation that meaningful alternatives are being sought to drive an inclusive narrative of progress. Given our challenges, I am convinced that the 2022 Lekgotla will be positively disruptive in dealing with the issues that hinder the growth of collaborative networks and entrepreneurship development across our sector.”

Universities South Africa (USAf) chief executive officer, Professor Ahmed Bawa, also addressed the audience during the opening ceremony.

He said the theme #movetomarket is one that is held close to his heart, as it represents something South Africa has been grappling with for a long time. He encouraged those attending the conference to keep a broad perspective when it comes to meaning of “move to market”.

Professor Bawa acknowledged the role that the pandemic played in the world of business and academia before he went on to list some of the lessons that can be taken away from the pandemic. These include the need for partnerships in order to solve challenges facing society, that there is no longer just one way of doing things and lastly the need to be focus on the fundamentals of society such as social justice, democratic participation and building equity and inclusiveness.

He also highlighted each of the different topics surrounding the theme of #movetomarket, which consist of entrepreneurial thinking and skills development amongst graduates, innovation and the development and designing of an ecosystem where entrepreneurship can thrive.

Professor Bawa concluded his opening address by posing the question: “Universities are not just delivery agencies but rather they play an important role in society by producing future entrepreneurs. Therefore, how are universities integrating entrepreneurship into core activities?”

The three-day Lekgotla had a jam-packed program that consisted of more than 100 speakers, providing current and future entrepreneurs with the opportunity to engage with one another and share stories on their experiences thus far in the world of business.

The audience appeared to be on the edge of their seats waiting to learn from each of the different speakers once the opening ceremony concluded. Guests seem eager to network with one another and play a role in advancing entrepreneurship in both universities and the nation as a whole.

The EDHE is the national platform for the advancement of entrepreneurship at universities, which has become rather critical in light of the staggering youth unemployment rate.

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777