2021 EDHE ENTREPRENEURIAL INTERVARSITY COMPETITION: UFH Studentpreneurs Set Their Sights on Winning the Grand Prize

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Entries for the Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) Entrepreneurial Intervarsity 2021 competition are closing on 30 April.  So far, several UFH Studentpreneurs are eyeing the R100 000 grand prize and have already submitted entries.

In its third year running, the competition is an initiative of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and Universities South Africa (USAf). It aims to identify top student entrepreneurs at South African universities, recognise and showcase their businesses and invite potential investors.

UFH EDHE competition coordinator, Dr Tendai Chimucheka said compared to previous years, there is an increase in the number of entries from the university. The majority of entrants are in the ideas category and others are in categories for existing businesses.  More students are expected to enter as the closing date approaches. The closing date for entries is 30 April.

UFH has been participating in the competition since its inception in 2019. In the first year, two students: Tinashe Mutema with his idea of ‘The App’ and Siyasanga Ntsokotha with his idea of ‘Clean my City’ participated in the innovative ideas category. The pair went up to the regional level of the competition where they competed with students from other Eastern Cape Universities. That year, the Eastern Cape regional competition was hosted by Nelson Mandela University.

In 2020, UFH had three entrants also participating at regional level. They were: Siphamandla Nyambo with her idea of ‘ Africa Print and Home Accessories’, Sibulele Ngozi competed with his existing business ‘Hlomubomi Pty Ltd’ and Sivuyisiwe Tyelbooi competed with his existing business ‘Heyla Group’.  The 2020 regional competition was hosted virtually by Rhodes University

Dr Chimucheka is optimistic that this year, will be the year that UFH students would make it to the national round of the competition. “2021 is promising and we may have our own competing at the national level,” he proclaimed.

Competition rules and procedures

The EDHE Entrepreneurship Intervarsity is open to university students from all of the 26 South African public universities who currently registered undergraduate and postgraduates across all disciplines. Full-time and part-time students are also welcome to participate.

It runs in four stages, beginning with registration and confirmation of accepted entries. The second stage entails competitions at institutional level, followed by regional rounds (at Provincial level), all culminating in the national finals earmarked for October 2021.

Categories:

Category 1: Business Ideas

Category 2: Existing Business – Tech

Category 3: Existing Business – Social Impact

Category 4: Existing Business – General

Opportunities and Prizes:

Successful entrants stand to gain the following:

  • Training and mentoring from experts which will prepare them for the future world of business. There are also networking opportunities with business leaders and fellow studentpreneurs.
  • There are monetary prizes for each category. The overall winner will receive R100 000 and winners for each category will scoop R20 000 each.
  • There is also a monetary prize for the winning university

According to Dr Chimucheka whose passion for his studentpreneurs and the competition is palpable, the environment created by EDHE in these competitions inspires students to pursue entrepreneurship as a career. “Participating students will have an opportunity to see what others are doing in their universities in terms of pursuing their own entrepreneurial goals.”

Sharing some advice for aspiring entrants, he emphasised the importance of proper preparation. “To those entering the competition, it is important to prepare. It is advisable to familiarise yourself with business pitch competitions of this nature, and also to seek advice from academics who are able to assist. This is an opportunity not to miss. It’s an opportunity to shine”, he said.