The Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Community Engagement team engaged women, including refugees and informally employed local ladies in an entrepreneurial skills development workshop at Steve Biko Campus, recently.
The workshops were built on the success of a sewing and design skills sharing project involving fashion students from DUT in partnership with Thusa Batho Sewing 4 Africa trainees on a collaborative project.
The purpose of the current project is to engage the community members, fashion students and academics to work together to enhance both the sewing and entrepreneurial skills of female community members. The workshop is a result of collaborative partnership which includes Thusa Batho Sewing 4 Africa, DUT academics, Dr Ivan Govender (NRF Grantholder) and Mr Khaya Mchunu and an independent researcher Dr Tinashe Mutero.
Invited guest, Ms Lihle James spoke about how she started and is growing her Ndim Ndim brand from a shared student residence. Her sentiments were also echoed by Mrs Batho, a graduate of Sewing for Africa, who is the business of sewing and selling Church uniforms. Ms Julia Franco the head of SHWE: The Wearable Library spoke on the importance of entrepreneurship in South Africa. She also urged attendees to be creative in finding markets and advertising their wares by sharing how they conduct their business at SHWE via social media. In Concluding the event, Ms Zanele Mabaso spoke about the opportunities in tourism. Underlying her talk was the need to venture into areas that historically are male-dominated.
The business skills workshop allowed participants from different social and economic backgrounds, postgraduate students, academics and practitioners to share knowledge and plan a way forward to become successful entrepreneurs.
Pictured: Delegates from Sewing 4 Africa, Lindelani community and DUT.
Dr Ivan Govender