The Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Luleka Mkuzo has been shortlisted as one of the finalists for the FAIRLADY SANTAM WOMEN OF THE FUTURE AWARDS 2019, under the category: Social Entrepreneur 2019. This category is for people making a difference in their communities, who have businesses that have finished 1000 days as this statistically is the most challenging period for businesses to survive. The winners will be honoured at a prestigious ceremony in Johannesburg on Friday, 16 August 2019.
Mkuzo is currently working towards her qualification of Doctor of Philosophy Management Sciences, in the department of Entrepreneurial Studies and Management. She is also the founder of Ur-global Mentoring Network – a mobile computer training solution that utilises a school’s infrastructure to teach computer skills to students, teachers, community leaders and members in rural communities.
“It’s a huge achievement for me and the company, we are very appreciative of the shortlisting. Our work is in a very isolated restrained resource environment, we do our best to get support and exposure. Being shortlisted for this award has given us an opportunity to be featured on a national platform which exposes what we do in a scale we could not on our own. It shows us that we are seen and what we do is valuable,” she said excitedly.
The prizes awarded to the three winners are R80 000 in cash to the Woman of the Future, R50 000 each in cash to the Rising Star and Social Entrepreneur and, to all the winners, an invaluable mentor-ship session with one of the judges, a luxury Beauty Hamper from Clarins, a short course from the IMM Graduate School worth R15 000, a Karissa business bag and spinner from Samsonite worth R7 298, a ladies watch from Obaku worth R2 195, R1 000 shopping voucher from Superbalist, a voucher from Camelot Spa and a media training session.
For Mkuzo, speaking more on her company, she added that her biggest milestones this year has been the partnership with DUT which came on board to help her company with facilitator training. She believes that DUT being one of the leading universities in technology the partnership is critical as facilitators will be equipped to include industry 4.0 required skills in the Ur-global curriculum. “We have also just finalised our Advisory Board, it is inclusive of our rural chief, representatives from academia, municipality and corporate it models diversity and inclusiveness for sustainable development,” she added.
In terms of her future goals, Mkuzo aims to complete building phase 1 of the centre by the end of 2019, and to launch it as well. “It will run parallel to our mobile unit and house many guests from around the world coming to rural communities to share their technology knowledge and skills,” she said.
Pictured: Luleka Mkuzo