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Post – Event Press Release: 2020 Enactus South Africa Virtual National Competition

The Enactus team from the University of KwaZulu-Natal was crowned as the 2020 Enactus National Champions after participating in the first Enactus South Africa Virtual National Competition.

During this time of instability, a total of 16 Enactus university teams made it through to advance and participate in the Enactus South Africa National Competition this year. They embraced the new normal and took the internet by storm with new ways to innovate, collaborate and become better leaders. Enactus is a true example of seeing opportunity where everyone else sees a challenge.  Under the theme, “LEAD CHANGE,” Enactus transitioned this event from a contact to a virtual competition experience.

The Enactus team from the University of KwaZulu-Natal was crowned as the 2020 Enactus National Champions after participating in the first Enactus South Africa Virtual National Competition. This year’s competition was held on the LaunchPad6 Platform and all Enactus South Africa Digital Platforms on 15th to 16th July 2020. The host sponsor was Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited, with MTN, AIG, Ford, CHEP, Nedbank and Unilever as event sponsors.

To curb any possible challenges, judges to the Opening Rounds of the competition were given a longer adjudication window which extended from 09:00 on the 13th July to 09:00 on 14th July. Eight (8) of the 16 teams advanced to the Semi-final Round of competition that was adjudicated from 15th July at 08:00 to 16th July at 08:00. From this, four teams advanced to the Final Round. The results of this final round confirmed Vaal University of Technology as 3rd runner-up, University of Venda as 2nd runner-up; Durban University of Technology (the defending 2019 champion team) as 1st runner-up. The University of KwaZulu-Natal was crowned as the champions. The team will represent South Africa at the Enactus World Cup 2020. This will be an online event and they will be up against winning teams from 35 countries from 8th to 12th September 2020.

Their winning is an inspiring story of university students that are making a difference in their communities through the power of entrepreneurial action. Enactus University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) presented on two of their projects namely: SmartGro and Ubuntu Social Enterprise.

SmartGro is a social tech start-up responding to the pressing needs brought by Covid-19. The team developed this web-based application to address the latest challenge of getting essentials without the stress and trouble of standing in long queues and thereby minimizing the spread of the Corona Virus. The UKZN Enactus team integrated a WhatsApp store within their web-app. SmartGro allows customers to order groceries and other essentials online and have them delivered at the comfort and safety of their homes. Since the implementation 3 months earlier, the SmartGro App generated ZAR17 015 to support their community and help flattening the curve. The team also ran a #FeedARuralHome Campaign in collaboration with Bright Future Leaders, and provided food parcels during National Lockdown to 45 rural households in need.

The Ubuntu Social Enterprise and second project is using entrepreneurial leadership to respond to the triple challenges of: poverty, unemployment, and inequality, through the development of sustainable cooperative businesses in communities. The team facilitated a 3-day Training & Business development Workshop for 7 cooperative businesses. They started a Mentorship & Support Program where these cooperatives are educated on Sack Farming. The farmers have started practicing no-till farming and over 8 000 vegetables crop seedlings were planted while using 60% less water per sack bag.

According to Letitia de Wet, Chief Executive Officer and Country Director for Enactus South Africa, “Enactus has proven that it is possible to transform lives and enable progress through entrepreneurial action. Like in business, I believe that competition in the social sector encourages innovation and reward results. This year business, student and academic leaders from across the country gathered virtually and witnessed how entrepreneurial action and shared innovation is transforming lives. She said that this experience not only transforms the lives of the communities, but it helps our students develop the kind of talent and perspective that is essential in an ever more complicated and complex world. She explained that she believes that “when we come together with our unique talents, passions and ideas, and a common goal for the greater good, we all benefit.”

According to Jurie Welman, Enactus South Africa Board Chairman and Executive Coach Enactus represents the future – a better future forged by these young leaders with a head for business and a heart for the world. He said that he is confident that students that are sharing their innovative ideas and accomplishments with business leaders have a significant role to play to effect positive change by capacitating our communities, to protect and improve our shared and fragile environment, and to provide an entrepreneurial means for individuals to financially support themselves and be able to help others.

The programme included an Action Leader Panel Discussion that was sponsored by MTN and focused on 5G and Digitization. The Top to Top Forum included the renowned Global Speaker, Venture Capitalist and Author, Vusi Thembekway, who facilitated discourse about leading at the edge of chaos, in which top industry leaders participated. The panelists were Bonang Mohale, Chairman of Bidvest, Rob Shuter, Group President and Chief Executive Officer, MTN and Boipelo Lekubo, Financial Director, Harmony  Gold Mining Company Ltd.

According to de Wet , the Enactus Program has proven since 2006 that it is possible to transform lives and enable progress through challenging students to take entrepreneurial action. The energy created when business leaders and influencers intersect with student innovators fuels the entrepreneurial spirit, motivate personal change and drives new ideas.

The Launchpad6 adjudication platform showed that the event had a total number of 7,967 unique visits. The total number of hits was 25, 762 of which 13, 456 worldwide and 12,554 from South Africa.

The number of actions/interactions with the platform by visitors totaled 97,742 worldwide and 93,118 from South Africa.

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Ends

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