False Bay TVET College, along with the Minister of Small Business Development, Lindiwe Zulu, have launched a Centre for Entrepreneurship aiming to grow on encouraging reports that show an increase in entrepreneurship in recent years. Stats show that 43% more women joined the entrepreneurial ranks in 2012 and South Africans are generally becoming more confident in starting their own businesses.
Growth in the number of entrepreneurs is often overshadowed by the challenges that these South Africans face, and there is still a disconnect between entrepreneurial intent and actual entrepreneurial activity. This is why False Bay TVET College has taken steps to promote an entrepreneurial culture, looking forward to seeing this take centre stage in the country’s economic development plans and cash in on emerging confidence.
Cassie Kruger, CEO and Principal of False Bay TVET College was excited to see the Centre of Entrepreneurship open its doors saying, “The opening of a centre like this at our college has always been one of our goals.”
He points to the three goals in the college’s mission statement:
- The main mandate of the college is to create employable students
- Qualifying students to be able to access universities
- Developing entrepreneurs
“We feel that studying at the college should also be linked to potential opportunities when leaving too. We have never seen success in a piece of paper – we always monitor the students after they leave us, Kruger said. “In doing so, we can see that we have not succeeded in the last mission, which is why this centre was opened,” Kruger said.
Manager of the Centre for Entrepreneurship Steve Reid said, “The discussion to open this centre began in 2014 with the Ministry for Small Business Development. This Centre for Entrepreneurs is the second in the country, with a third on its way.”
Zulu’s goal is to create 30 of these centres around the country.
“With this centre, the college will strive to equip students with a business and tech savvy mind, as well as ensure their business model and outlook is correct. But mainly we want to focus on the entrepreneurial thinking of each student and what we call ‘growth entrepreneurs.’”
Reid explains the selection process for applying to join the centre.
“We have about 10,000 to 12,000 students across all campuses. It is naive to think that every one of those students want to – and should – be an entrepreneur. So we will be looking for those who show the attributes and the characteristics of an entrepreneur; and have the perseverance to stay the journey.”
“Businesses and commerce can get involved with the centre by mentoring the students and providing the market linkages and market opportunities in their own supply chain. Many entrepreneurs start a business, and only then will they go and look for a market – which is not always there. This is one of the reasons why they are not successful,” Reid said.
“We are currently building a working relationship with the Cape Chamber and other stakeholders in the Corporate market.”
Zulu said, “I am confident that this centre will continue to grow and develop entrepreneurs in this area and also serve as a hub for information and training. It is my fervent wish that this centre will open new avenues for currently dormant and potential entrepreneurs. We must promote entrepreneurship as a viable career path as we continue to build a nation of entrepreneurs. We must inculcate an understanding that starting a business is not something you do because you have run out of options and you find yourself unemployed. Entrepreneurship must be a conscious and solid decision.”