As MUT forges ahead with its plan to become an academic institution with a strong entrepreneurship leaning, the Department of Co-Operative Education (Co-Op) has already started laying the foundation for the realization of this vision. During this year’s Career’s Day, Co-Op invited companies that would assist students and graduates with the necessary business skills to become entrepreneurs.
Among the 45 companies that attended the 2019 Careers Day from 9-10 May were small businesses and the Black Management Forum. Fundiswa Nofemela, the Director of the Department of Co-Operative Education said they wanted to contribute to what Prof Marcus Ramogale, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning, has been saying about entrepreneurship being the future for graduates. “Prof Ramogale said it throughout the five days of graduation that MUT had graduates that had created their own businesses, and were doing well. The Black Management Forum provided CV clinics to students to maximize the chances of them securing jobs,” said Nofemela.
Some of the companies that talked to students and graduates about business ideas were Mayine Agri-tainment and Zigqaje Trading Enterprise. Duduzile Mtolo, the founder of Zigqaje Trading Centre proudly displayed her beadwork which are used as accessories. She lives at Emhlabeni, an informal settlement a stone throw away from the University.
Fika Khumalo, the founder of Mayine Agri-tainment, said she loved coming up with new ideas all the time. “I am a very creative person. I started this innovative business five years ago,” said Khumalo. Khumalo’s business processes agricultural products from her garden into different end-products. Some of these are beetroot wine, detox tea, eczema ointment for dry skin, and tissue oil from herbs. She started farming in 2014, and in 2015 she followed it up with processing beetroot into wine. Two years later she started manufacturing skin products. These are the results of the research she conducted for her business despite being an electrician by profession.