The Global Business Roundtable (GBR) is a global professional networking organisation with a key mandate to develop people holistically. GBR focuses on the following key areas of human development: business and financial development (including trade and investment); family and society issues; science and technology; education and intellectual development; sports, arts and culture; leadership, governance and politics; and media and communications. GBR has grown since its inception in 2009 to over 80 countries around the globe.
The eighth GBR was hosted in South Africa from 17 to 20 April 2018 at the Sandton Convention Centre. This year’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) conference focused on access to procurement opportunities, access to funding opportunities, training/development and incubation programmes and how small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) can enhance their access to local and global export markets.
Prof Evelyn Chiloane-Tsoka from the Department of Entrepreneurship, Supply Chain, Transport, Tourism and Logistics Management (DESTTL) was invited to speak about Unisa’s entrepreneurship training efforts and the role played by the institution in ensuring poverty alleviation through SMEs.
Chiloane-Tsoka explained the vital role entrepreneurship plays anywhere, more so in the development of an emerging economy. She explained her department’s efforts, which included hosting entrepreneurship public lectures on decolonising the entrepreneurial mind-set, and collaborative efforts with the Department of Higher Education in presenting Student Entrepreneurship Week nationally, as well the department’s annual SMME Summit. Previously, the department mentored backyard mechanics on best entrepreneurial practices with the Automotive Industry Development Centre.
The subject of entrepreneurship education has received much attention and it was explained that the Unisa entrepreneurship student was expected to demonstrate enterprise, innovation and creativity for idea generation for prototype products. Teaching and learning in entrepreneurship is geared towards producing knowledge and fostering skill development. This curricular development is informed by the industry needs through collaboration with advisory board expertise.
Chiloane-Tsoka encouraged the accelerated development of an entrepreneurial eco-system within universities which drives the rethinking of entrepreneurial education and ensures that entrepreneurship students leave university equipped with skills and knowledge to start something.
She believes Unisa’s contribution and expertise in the market provides an indelible position in that it allows everyone in Africa to take the opportunity of learning through our programmes.
*Submitted by Nthabeleng Mmako