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CEDA University Challenge To Grow Manufacturing

PAULINE DIKUELO
University challenge winner PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
The Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) seeks to grow the manufacturing industry by courting the CEDA/DBSA University challenge participants to come up with the innovative solutions.

Speaking during this year’s awards ceremony, the agency’s CEO Thabo Thamane said they intend to encourage active participation of the youth in growing the economy through this challenge.

“The agency has therefore during this cycle of the competition, aligned the theme of the competition to one of its strategic initiatives of growing the manufacturing sector of the country,” he said.

According to Thamane, the manufacturing sector has the largest potential for employment creation with SMMEs in the lead hence this alignment. He said a majority of the contestants submitted applications based on interventions aimed at the manufacturing sector pointing out that from the top 10 submissions, three solutions are in the sector. 

He further highlighted that the aim of the challenge going forward is to evolve it making it dynamic, ensuring that it aligns to national priorities.

“We are going to engage industry experts to review the challenge in order to guide the application process and improve the quality of the submissions and practicality of the ideas in order to ensure that they are implementation ready,” he said.

On award night, Ludo Ntshiwa was crowned the third winner of the challenge since inception, walking away with P350,000 inclusive of the P300,000 cash prize and an additional P50,000, because she is

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female in line with CEDA’s commitment to promoting entrepreneurship amongst females.  Her project plans to produce biomass briquettes from raw materials such as organic waste, industrial saw dust and agricultural waste.

As part of the package, the winner will be enrolled into the Entrepreneurship Development Training programme to provide them with the ability to recognise commercial opportunities, provide them with skills to enable them to better organise and manage their businesses.

The contestants will further be linked with industry experts who will provide mentorship as well as valuable business linkages.

Furthermore, they will be taken through financial literacy training for them to have a basic understanding of banking, savings, credit and debt management.

In addition to the cash prize and the already mentioned interventions, the winner and last year’s winner will be enrolled in the Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp (GBE) to be held in Bangkok, Thailand from April 13 to 16, 2020. The primary aim of GEB is to provide participants with overwhelming lifetime experiences to develop the necessary entrepreneurial skills to start their own ventures.

GEB is the platform to interact with mentors, successful entrepreneurs who are willing to hear what budding entrepreneurs are thinking of and guide them on the right path to making a successful startup.

 



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