EDHE Award 2023

  • Date: 01 December 2023

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) in collaboration with Universities South Africa (USAf) through the Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) programme is hosting the national EDHE Entrepreneurship Intervarsity finals on the 30th of November, followed by the prestigious EDHE Awards 2023 on the 1st of December 2023. The event will be hosted at the Southern Sun OR Tambo, Kempton Park.

The three strategic pillars of the EDHE programme, aligned with the UCDP, are to support:

  1. The development of student entrepreneurship;
  2. The development of entrepreneurship through teaching, learning and research; and
  3. The development of entrepreneurial universities.

The EDHE Awards 2023 event is aimed at announcing and celebrating the 24 national finalists in the 5th annual EDHE Entrepreneurship Intervarsity and recognising the remarkable contributions of other key contributors to entrepreneurship development in higher education. These include the 5th annual Deputy Vice-Chancellor Award for exceptional institutional support for entrepreneurship development in 2023, and the 2nd Entrepreneurship Learning & Teaching Excellence Award.

The national finals of the EDHE Entrepreneurship Intervarsity Finals will be held on Thursday the 30th of November, from 10:30 – 17:30. The four existing businesses category winners in the EDHE Entrepreneurship Intervarsity 2023 will be announced, one of whom will be the ultimate winner and the national EDHE Studentpreneur of the Year 2023. The winning university of the EDHE Entrepreneurship Intervarsity 2023 is also announced and awarded.

Students from all 26 public universities participated in the EDHE Entrepreneurship Intervarsity 2023. The number of successful submissions in the competition has grown consistently over the years, from 1155 in 2019 to 1545 in 2020, 1468 in 2021, and 1682 in 2022, 1,266 in 2023. 577 of the 2023 successful submissions were from student women in business, which underlines the continued under-representation of student women in entrepreneurship. 823 of the 1266 successful entries in 2023 were accepted by the university Student Entrepreneurship Coordinators to participate in the internal rounds within their universities. A maximum of 10 contestants were allowed to represent each university at the regional rounds taking place from 18 September to 27 October 2023. 24 finalists from the 6 regions will compete to walk away with prize money to the value of R100 000 and the coveted title of national Studentpreneur of the Year 2023 at the national finals.

The breakdown of the successful submissions in the different categories is as follows:

  • Category 1: New Business Ideas: This category received 704 submissions and is aimed at students who are still considering entrepreneurship but have a promising business idea.
  • Category 2: Existing Business – Tech: This category received 79 submissions and is intended for those who are passionate about technology-based businesses.
  • Category 3: Existing Business – Social Impact: This category received 101 submissions and caters for social entrepreneurs, offering an opportunity to pitch their startups that focus on social impact.
  • Category 4: Existing Business – General: This category received 332 submissions and is available for any other type of business accepted according to the competition Terms and Conditions.
  • Category 5: Research-Based Businesses: Finally, the competition organisers have recently introduced a category that is designed to encourage the commercialisation of research by both students and university staff. This new category received 50 submissions and seeks to foster innovation and support the development of research-based startups.

The EDHE Entrepreneurship Intervarsity 2023 is a platform designed to identify, recognise and showcase the top student entrepreneurs at South Africa’s 26 public universities. The primary objectives of the Intervarsity are:

  • To identify the top student entrepreneurs at each university;
  • To identify the top student businesses at each university; and
  • To encourage universities to better support student businesses and entrepreneurs.

For the fifth year, the noteworthy contributions of key staff members to entrepreneurship development in higher education are recognised through several awards, i.e.:

  • The four category winners of the EDHE Entrepreneurship Intervarsity 2023;
  • Sponsored prizes from the SAB foundation for the Social Impact and Research-Based Businesses Category winners;
  • EDHE Studentpreneur of the year 2023;
  • Winning university of the EDHE Entrepreneurship Intervarsity 2023;
  • The coveted special EDHE DVC Award in recognition of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor who has facilitated exceptional institutional support for entrepreneurship development in 2023;
  • EDHE Rising Star DVC Award in recognition of remarkable progress in support of entrepreneurship development in 2023;
  • Recognition of contributions by the national Chairpersons and deputy chairpersons of the EDHE Communities of Practice (CoPs) in 2023, i.e.;
  • Studentpreneurs CoP (only students);
  • CoP for Student Entrepreneurship (staff supporting student entrepreneurship);
  • CoP for Entrepreneurship Learning & Teaching;
  • CoP for Entrepreneurship Research;
  • CoP for Entrepreneurial Universities; and
  • CoP for Economic Activation Office.

Friday 1 December 2023, EDHE Awards

Audience: 200 – 250 guests (by invitation only)

Audience composition: stakeholders in the higher education and entrepreneurship development space, executives and other leaders at South African universities, EDHE Entrepreneurship Intervarsity finalists and previous winners, private sector stakeholders including the EDHE partners, and media representatives.

  • 11:30 – 12:30 Arrival & registrations
  • 12:30 – 17:00 Awards ceremony (Entrepreneurship Intervarsity winner announcement)
  • 18:30 – 19:30 Dinner (for booked sleep-over guests only)
  • 19:30 – 20:30 Informal mingling at the pool area (Student Entrepreneurship Coordinators & students)
  • Saturday 2 December 2023
  • 7:00-9:00 Breakfast in the restaurant
  • 10:00 – 11:00 Check-out & Departure

A comprehensive program will be shared closer to the event date.

EDHE Awards 2023 Highlights video

Contact Details

EDHE Rising Star DVC Award in recognition of remarkable progress in support of entrepreneurship in 2022 winners