The Student Women Economic Empowerment (SWEEP) programme – the brainchild of Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE), kicked off its inaugural Economic Activation Workshop with a bang on Tuesday.

Setting the stage for the three-day event, Dr Norah Clarke, Director: EDHE, said now that this workshop was being hosted online, any woman studying outside of South Africa’s public university sector was also welcomed, as was any woman eyeing a comfortable corporate job but needed to have a back-up plan. “This workshop is about positioning student women for economic activity through SWEEP. It is for women who are looking to make an income through entrepreneurship and who need to put plans in place to make a decent living for themselves. If you are such a woman, SWEEP is for you. We want to guide you through this process.”

In a poll conducted at the beginning of this online workshop, 93% of the participants expressed a wish to have a business venture; 14% wished for some flexibility while earning money, while 35% wanted to be their own boss.  This feedback spurred an online conversation on what was necessary for a successful business. The attendees identified mentorship as an area of critical importance.