Nelson Mandela famously said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” I have repeatedly seen the positive impact education has made in people’s lives and how it changes everything for the better. At SYSPRO we have always known the value of education and supporting the youth in growing their skills in networking to become the business leaders of tomorrow.
A common problem among young entrepreneurs is that they don’t know how to present their ideas to potential investors and are not well connected enough in the business world to help their ideas gain momentum.
Recently we sponsored an interaction seminar at Nelson Mandela Bay University (NMMU) to help students build business skills and give these aspirant young entrepreneurs networking opportunities. Business networking is a vital component of entrepreneurship and part of the seminar included introducing students to established entrepreneurs and teaching networking skills and how to create an elevator pitch to possible investors.
Students from all over the world including Germany, Belgium, Lesotho and South Africa came together to brainstorm and exchange cultures and business ideas. Activities included a Dragons Den session, visits to local business incubators and inspirational talks.
Our guest speakers covered a range of topics including: sources of funding and how to approach potential investors, the importance of technology in today’s society and why entrepreneurs need to know about intellectual property and how it can be protected.
Our sponsored students also jointly came up with innovative business concepts in the areas of IT, Green Industry and Social Entrepreneurship and took some solid steps down the path of becoming fully fledged businessmen and woman, including a lengthy interactive business “speed dating” session with local entrepreneurs.
Thinking of the student’s enthusiasm for learning new skills I will conclude with a quote from another global icon, Mahatma Gandhi: “Learn as if you were to live forever.”