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The Durban University of Technology (DUT) Midlands Entrepreneurship Centre and Student Desk shared entrepreneurial knowledge and skills to 144 primary and high school learners during the Kasi to Kasi (K2K) Entrepreneurship Development Information Sharing Session held recently at the Cristianenburg Sports field in Clermont.  

The aim of the day was to create a platform for the institution to provide the youth with information related to youth entrepreneurship development and inculcate the culture of entrepreneurship amongst the youth while also providing career guidance because indeed ‘Lugotshwa lusemanzi’ (a person is easily moulded while they are still young).  

The late Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini’s son, Prince Nhlanganiso Zulu, Mr Thami Zondi, Director for the Youth Economic Empowerment Programme of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental affairs (EDTEA) , Ms Nwabisa Dano, Director of Economic Development in the Youth Directorate in the Office of  the Premier, Mr Thobani Thusi, Student Advisor and Liaison Coordinator from DUT Midlands Entrepreneurship Centre, Ms Nikiwe Mkhonza  from the National Youth Development agency (NYDA), Ms Sitandiwe Dimba from Ithala Development Finance Corporation (IDFC), Miss Noxolo Mnikwane from National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) and Mr Calvin Ntenga from Ntenga Foundation, were all amongst the people who shared critical information about entrepreneurship and business opportunities to pupils.  

The main goal of the Kasi 2 Kasi schools programme is to drive a township and rural focused development programme which seeks to shape and grow learners and communities that are around where they live and learn. Dr Lwazi Nqetho is the mastermind behind the great and impactful K2K project. 

The four-day programme was sponsored by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs (KZN EDTEA). It was packed with invaluable information to empower the youth on the following areas:  Leadership and Character Development, Entrepreneurship/Enterprise Development, Artistic Skills Development, Tourism and Hospitality Development.   

The Entrepreneurship Centre joined the initiative on day two and kick started their presentation with a Spaghetti and Marshmallow tower challenge which stimulated strategic and entrepreneurship thinking, as to ensure that pupils thoroughly comprehended the fundamentals. The game taught the learners the significance of teamwork, management of business resources and analysing target market in a business.   

The Centre’s Student Advisor and Liaison Coordinator, Mr Thobani Thusi when doing a presentation about the fundamentals of entrepreneurship stated that it always starts with an idea and the programme served as a great platform for learners to ignite their minds with business ideas in order to be future business leaders and to ultimately contribute towards the growth of the country’s economy.   

Thusi further shared information on the Centre’s entrepreneurship programmes that have been created to incite youth development.  

The Kasi to Kasi Project is in line with the Midlands Entrepreneurship Centre’s Adopt A School Project which is about adopting local schools and educating them on entrepreneurship while they are still young. Through this programme, the Entrepreneurship Centre has adopted four local schools in the Greater Edendale Community where the DUT Midlands, Indumiso Campus is located.   

Ms Mabaso from the Ithala Corporate Social Investment division said young learners are leaders and employers of the future. “It all starts with you. Use the information that you have received today to ignite your mind and start your business. Think differently and take leverage of every opportunity,” she said.   

Founder of the Ntenga Foundation, Mr Calvin Ntenga pledged to adopt three learners for a business mentorship programme.   

The programme was deemed a success with students saying that it was very informative and they were inspired to start their own businesses.  

Pictured: DUT Midlands Entrepreneurship Centre’s Student Advisor and Liaison Coordinator, Mr Thobani Thusi engaging with the pupils during the Kasi to Kasi Schools Project. 

Sindisiwe Ndlovu 

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