Entrepreneurship 101

Posted on September 19, 2017


Would you like to change your life by putting your skills and knowledge to good use? Do you have the ability to think creatively? Would you like to be your own boss? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then you may have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

'Entrepreneurship is a skill that can be learnt, and all it takes to be a success is the ability to think strategically, achieving small goals in the beginning and having a long term outlook. You also need to be focused and able to devote time to growing your business,' says Prof Alex Antonites, Head of the Department of Business Management at UP. 'Most entrepreneurs fail because they do not have the necessary skills or support to continue once they hit a bumpy patch, but the need for entrepreneurs in South Africa has never been greater. At the University of Pretoria, we have developed a custom‑designed course and support system for our students. All they need to do is sign up for a free Professional Online Development (POD) course where they can learn these skills in their own time. The course is valued at R7 500 and teaches vital business skills to any registered student.'

Entrepreneurship is simply the ability to start your own business which offers a skill or product to clients. Being an entrepreneur allows you to work for yourself and not to depend on finding a job, which is becoming increasingly difficult in the current economic climate. The World Economic Forum estimates that the world needs approximately 75 million entrepreneurs in order for families (and society) to prosper.

In South Africa, approximately seven out of every hundred people are entrepreneurs, but we need between twenty and twenty-five out of every hundred people to be entrepreneurs to grow the economy and to generate jobs for others. For each student that becomes a successful entrepreneur through UP support, five people will benefit directly.

The UP support system for encouraging an entrepreneurial mindset is based on a multi-pronged ecosystem approach.

Firstly, students sign up for and complete the POD. The second phase, #Start_UP, will see the business plan or idea assessed and refined by business experts. The third phase is #Link_UP where (if applicable) a prototype will be designed with the assistance of the MakerSpace in the library in rapid incubation conditions (business start-up support, office and meeting space, market research, and industry-linked networking). Finally, the #Grow_UP phase will provide support on ways to grow your business in the future. By registering early for the course and starting on the path to becoming an entrepreneur, students have the opportunity to be successful business owners by the time they graduate.

The course is open to all students, regardless of their field of study. The skills and support offerings are transferable to any entrepreneurial environment, whether your business idea is based on selling for profit, or offering a product or service for social change and improving lives.

To get on the road to being a successful entrepreneur, sign up for the Entrepreneurship POD by enrolling on clickUP at www.up.ac.za/POD/Entrepreneurship right now.



- Author Shakira Hoosain

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