The high level of unemployment in South Africa necessitates the introduction of measures to stimulate entrepreneurship development at universities. Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are well placed to catalyse entrepreneurship and innovation for the development of a new economy. A vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem at universities would encourage students to consider entrepreneurship as a career path.
The Department of Higher Education and Training has implemented a project to develop an entrepreneurship ecosystem at HEIs that would promote the development of student and graduate entrepreneurs, along with entrepreneurial universities. This initiative is mandated at the highest level and is headed up by Dr EL van Staden, Chief Director: University Academic Planning and Management Support, assisted by a dedicated project manager, Dr Norah Clarke.
A number of stakeholders in the university entrepreneurship space have been engaged as part of an initial fact-finding mission and a framework and action plan for entrepreneurship development in higher education has been developed.
One of the first actions prioritised by the relevant Task Team is a Lekgotla on Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) for leaders and key stakeholders in the field. The purpose of the Lekgotla is to establish a Community of Practice, while putting the necessary structures in place to drive entrepreneurship development and sharing of best practice.