30 April 2024

UMP and TUT have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) bringing together the UMP Centre for Entrepreneurship Rapid Incubator (UMPCFERI) and TUT Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (TUT CED) to cultivate a fertile ground for collaboration in this field. 

The collaboration between the two institutions aims to foster mutual support in developing educational materials and short learning programmes, as well as in exchanging and co-delivering these materials where relevant; additionally, the agreement will streamline access to networks and markets for entrepreneurs.

The strategic partnership entails the exchange of staff as guest lecturers specializing in business management and entrepreneurship development, facilitating the exchange of students and entrepreneurs, and providing support to individuals for project work at both institutions.

UMPUMP Vice-Chancellor Professor Mayekiso and TUT's acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation, and Engagement, Professor Mokgalaka.

UMP Vice-Chancellor Professor Thoko Mayekiso said: “As an engaged University, our institution places great value on partnerships, collaborations, linkages and networks. We have identified partnerships as drivers and enablers in achieving our Vision, and strongly believe that partnerships are mutually beneficial and characterised by reciprocity and mutual respect.”

Over the past five years, TUT CED has been providing comprehensive solutions for entrepreneurs at various stages of business development, supporting them from the conceptualization phase to commercialization, and offering opportunities for funding and access to markets. TUT CED is committed to aiding UMP in implementing its ESD programme, coordinating its B-BBEE Unit, and fostering collaborative research projects and researcher exchanges as mutually agreed upon.

TUT's acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation, and Engagement, Professor Ntebogeng Mokgalaka, highlighted the synergy between the two institutions, emphasizing their pivotal role in shaping future-ready graduates.

“We would like to impart students with skills and competencies that make them relevant for the future world of work. The centre is dedicated to entrepreneurship development, fostering an environment where entrepreneurship is nurtured and promoted.”

She further explained that the CED is strongly focused on addressing sustainable development goals. “We are looking at enhancing good health and wellbeing, solutions for affordable apt enabling, also providing support for industry innovation and infrastructure and also to reduce the penalties but also to make sure that we foster responsible consumption and production equally.”

UMPUMP and TUT Executive Management Teams, following the signing of the MoU.

UMPCFERI centre manager and lecturer at the School of Development Studies, Prof Kanayo Ogujiuba, added that the centre operates on five services, which include: Mentorship, Coaching on Recordkeeping, and Accounting, Coaching on Marketing Strategy Development, Business Compliance Planning and Registration, and Business Plan Development. 

Professor Ogujiuba explained that the centre also assists the incubates with understanding the importance of business records, how to generate basic source documents and interpret financial statements. Interventions are usually face-to-face and then follow-up sessions can be through mail correspondence. Incubates are shown how to keep the following record either manually or electronically on MS Excel.

Coaching on Marketing Strategy Development seeks to help incubates develop a framework for business operations that match industry opportunities so that the incubates can successfully pursue targeted markets.  

The MoU will ensure that both Universities advance entrepreneurship development based on the following strategic objectives:

  • Provide holistic support to individuals, communities, and emerging entrepreneurs by equipping them with specialised technical skills, business and entrepreneurial skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to run successful enterprises in their respective sectors.
  • Research to support future enterprise development and better understand what is needed to ensure a high success rate of entrepreneurship development.
  • Provide co-sharing infrastructure to support entrepreneurial development.
  • Develop capacity through the joint organisation of seminars, workshops, symposia, and technical conferences in areas of mutual interest.

The two institutions will also provide capacity development through simulated workshops and training to improve business and entrepreneurship abilities and provide business coaching and mentorship.

Story by Cleo Makhaga. Pictures @CLphoto