Student entrepreneurs tend to be obsessed with writing business plans, how to access money, register their company, set up a bank account, and with buzzwords such as “business modelling”.

Yet these obsessions, said Dr Johann van der Spuy (above), lecturer in the School of Economic and Management Sciences at Sol Plaatje University (SPU) in Kimberley, didn’t really matter. They were “icing on the cake” and “nice-to-haves”, he said, adding that as academics they played a role in emphasising things which aren’t that important.

Van der Spuy, former director of the Mamelodi Business Clinic at the University of Pretoria, was speaking to a virtual and in-person audience of students and entrepreneurship academics at the fifth Student Entrepreneurship Week (SEW).