Aspiring student entrepreneurs who have potential for innovation and economic development will be taught skills to start their own businesses, entrepreneurship development officer at Botho University (BU) has said.
Phatsimo Mosimanegape said the university has established an entrepreneurship laboratory known as e-Lab, where students will be encouraged to develop and pursue entrepreneurial ventures in areas related to their academic pursuits.
“The e-Lab is where students across the curricular spectrum will come together to share ideas, access resources and come up with innovative approaches to problem solving,” she said.
Mosimanegape noted that the development of the e-Lab is in line with the university’s commitment to inculcate the spirit of entrepreneurship by helping aspiring student entrepreneurs to work towards turning their business ideas into tangible business solutions.
Mosimanegape said the university appreciates and embraces the importance of innovation, commercialisation, entrepreneurship and creation of economic value for the communities.
“The e-Lab will enhance a culture of calculated risk-taking amongst aspiring student entrepreneurs, and that it will provide ecosystems that promote the ability to think creatively amongst aspiring student entrepreneurs,” she added.
She indicated that turning university graduates into entrepreneurs can be a successful strategy to stimulate innovation and economic growth, adding that this is especially vital in Botswana where emphasis is put on diversification for economic growth.
She emphasised that university graduates have enormous potential for innovation and economic development.
In its first phase of the e-Lab, Botho earmarked four students who will be
The selected students, who were shortlisted from the 12 aspiring entrepreneurs who had pitched their ideas, include Neo Lefela of Nexfex Solar Tech, Edmore Jackson of the Gamers Pub, Daniel Ncube, Bakang Legodi, Leandra Bowden and Bakang Madisa of Diligent Youngsters Insurance as well as Baalora Onkarabile of Pass Rate Doctors.
The selection was made by a panel of judges from renowned business organisations.
Mosimanegape said the e-Lab will mentor, incubate, connect and support the selected students for a period of one year, and facilitate their success beyond the university into the community.
“This is to bring together resourceful people or organisations who have expertise in entrepreneurship and incubating the university in establishing its own hub that will nurture student-owned small businesses,” she explained. She added that this is a pilot phase and that with its success, the e-Lab will also reach out to the unemployed youth who are keen on entrepreneurship.
All the selected students told Mmegi Business that they have passion to become entrepreneurs and that the e-Lab will help them achieve their goals.
It is understood that the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) and Youth Development Fund (YDF) have pledged their support for the aspiring student entrepreneurs.