Graduate School of Business and Leadership academic, Dr Tony Ngwenya, who hails from Pietermaritzburg’s Imbali, a township in Pietermaritzburg, has been awarded a Doctor of Business Administration degree.
Ngwenya joined academia as a participant of the Accelerated Academic Development Programme (AADP) in 2014. The programme is a UKZN initiative created to help increase the number of Black South Africans with PhDs.
The main requirement of the AADP is to complete a doctorate within a period of five years and Ngwenya achieved just that!
‘The University played a crucial role in my achievements in terms of providing resources, time flexibility and ensuring an atmosphere conducive to learning. I am very grateful for that,’ he said.
In recent years, Ngwenya has taught postgraduate students and participated in conference proceedings in the area of innovation and entrepreneurship.
His passion for enterprise development led him to conduct research titled:The Impact of the Department of Small Business and Development (DSBD) on the performance of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) in Durban, South Africa. The study was supervised by Dr Wellington Zondi.
In his study, Ngwenya says that in both developed economies and emerging markets, institutions such as the DSBD play a pivotal role in the purposeful and systematic support of SMMEs. In the South African context, the DSBD is the custodian of the SMME aspirations providing strategic interventions in terms of support, development and empowerment, however, the impact on the beneficiaries was not reflecting.
His study revealed that the DSBD should seriously consider the creation of a monitoring and evaluation unit with resources such as human capital and material capacity, to drive the implementation of regulatory interventions on behalf of the SMMEs.
‘I want to make a constructive contribution in curriculum recalibration of entrepreneurship as a field of study and do research that stimulates innovative, creative and inventive disruption that has been rather stagnant in our economy during the previous Industrial Revolution,’ said Ngwenya.
Before becoming an academic, Ngwenya worked for organisations such as Business Partners, Lima Rural Development Foundation, BP Petroleum, United National Breweries, Mhlathuze Water, the Umsobomvu Youth Fund and Mtimande Business Solutions spanning more than 15 years.
Ngwenya says his family, friends and colleagues have been a source of inspiration which enabled him to stay focused on completing his research.
Words: Hazel Langa
Photograph: Rogan Ward