MinisterLindiwe Zulu. Photo by Brenton Geach

Nicolette Dirk

“WE must strive to build a nation of entrepreneurs and not a nation of job seekers.”

This was the message Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu gave students at yesterday’s launch of the Centre for Entrepreneurship at False Bay College, Muizenberg.

The centre is a product of a five-year agreement between her department and False Bay FET College, and formed part of the department’s drive to have Further Education and Training institutions promote entrepreneurship education and training.

The event was earmarked as an important milestone in the department’s effort to unleash an entrepreneurial revolution in the country and to roll it out in Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain.

“The reason we chose colleges as opposed to universities is the fact that colleges are known for doing practical things, while other institutions tend to focus on theory. People learn better by doing,” said Zulu.

She added that she hoped the centre would open new avenues for currently dormant entrepreneurs. The college’s chief executive, Cassie Kruger, said that for the past two years they have partnered with various institutes, and today many of their students who have shown potential are studying at universities.

“We are very proud of what was achieved today with the department with a centre aimed at opening the doors for sustainable businesses,” he said.

Entrepreneurship is, however, still not the first choice for many students. The college’s deputy principal, Karin Hendricks, said many students still see it as a venture to fall back on rather than to pursue first time around.

This was also something noted by the department, with most people who start up a business treating it as something you do after running out of options, after finding yourself unemployed.

Cape Chamber Of Commerce and Industry representative Vuyisa Qabak said one of the challenges when it comes to entrepreneurship is young people wanting to be rewarded financially without first proving their work ethic.

As entrepreneurs, Qabak said, graduates must learn that business is all about serving others.

Qabak, the managing director of Abaphumeleli Business Consultants, was also one of the speakers at the launch and said he took control of his economic freedom before it was punned as the name of a political party.

“You have three exits after you graduate. You can either study further, find employment through your qualification, or you start your own business.

“In the work field, young people need to remember to take pride in the work they do. When you take care of the work, the money will take care of itself.”

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