Most people think that you do not need to learn entrepreneurship because starting a business is a simple case of having a business idea, securing funding, and then turning a profit, right?
Statistics show that most South African businesses do not survive the first two years of their existence. So, what does this tell us?
Entrepreneurship requires an innovative person with the ability to create businesses (amabhizinisi angamavulindlela) that find new ways to solve problems in their societies. The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) is passionate about developing this entrepreneurial mindset through our entrepreneurship majors.
As a Management and Entrepreneurship lecturer, my job is to share best practices and theory, expose you to the entrepreneurship world, and be a mentor in your entrepreneurship journey.
Those who are familiar with me know that my work, research, and solutions are always centred on the small-, medium-, and micro-enterprise (SMME) space.
Why am I so passionate about entrepreneurship? As unemployment rises and we face new diseases, new economic problems, and societal reforms and expectations, the future of the world relies on innovative thinking and entrepreneurship.
While many of the youth graduating from higher education are socialised to expect employment opportunities to be readily available to them when they complete their qualifications, the fact is that many of them will not find employment; thus, they need to be equipped to create and sustain their own ventures.
The informal sector encompasses an endless list of jobs such as mechanic , electrician and traditional healer (medicines and spiritual consultation). It also includes restaurants, shebeens, food stalls … These are the businesses that are worth billions to the economy and feed millions.
In entrepreneurship, the solution that you create is the innovation that becomes essential to your business.
A solution is not an event, but something that evolves with the changing times. To be part of a world that is forever changing requires people who are able to accept change as inevitable and forever walk the path of transformation.
A major in entrepreneurship develops ‘Entrepreneurship Intention’ in our students. Students who have these skills have a higher probability of starting their own innovative businesses. They are also more prone to work in collaborative environments to create bigger and better solutions. As employees, they become an invaluable asset in a company.
There are many careers and opportunities open to a student of entrepreneurship. These include but are not limited to the following:
- Business owner;
- Consultant to other firms on strategy;
- Business strategist for organisations;
- Economic researcher;
- Entrepreneurship academic;
- Enterprise development strategist; and
- Entrepreneurship development officer
As UKZN, we have nationally recognised academics who are leading in research, and the teaching and learning of entrepreneurship. They participate in entrepreneurship development activities for students and have a reliable network within the entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Not only do you learn from staff, but also from other students. Some of the students in your class will themselves be business owners and many of the graduates we bring in for guest lectures actually developed their business ideas when they were still students.
Entrepreneurship is a career and like every career, you need to learn the skills for success. The vision is to create and promote awareness about entrepreneurship as a career, equip students with essential skills and knowledge in entrepreneurship, stimulate innovation, and grow a community of young entrepreneurs. You can be a part of this.
The following list comprises the degrees offered by the School of Management, IT and Governance which embed entrepreneurship in the Management major. This major is one of two that students can choose to complete a BCom General Degree. The Management major can be coupled with the following majors within the College of Law and Management Studies:
- Human Resource Management
- Information Systems & Technology
- Marketing Management
- Supply Chain Management
- Public Administration
This major can also be coupled with chosen humanities majors from the College of Humanities.