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MTN South Africa is one of the platinum sponsors of Enactus South Africa and has been a partner of the organization for the past seven years.

Aimed at offering students an opportunity to come up with innovative ideas and develop digital solutions to address socio-economic challenges, MTN encouraged Enactus university teams for the past 6 years to develop digital services, applications and platforms that shape the workplace, and giving rise to unconventional careers and creating new industries and ecosystems.

This they achieve through the MTN Enactus ICT Challenge. Students follow the five-phase Design Thinking Methodology that provides a solution-based approach to solving problems. It’s extremely useful in tackling complex problems that are ill-defined or unknown and helps them to articulate and determine the priority of the issues identified. By understanding the human needs involved, and re-framing the problem in human-centric ways, multiple brainstorming sessions are used to adopt a hands-on approach in prototyping and testing. This leads to a feasible and sustainable product that can be taken to market. Students are are encouraged to breakdown the features of the digital service, platform or game into sub-components to enable micro-billing.

During the Empathy Phase students go out into the community to conduct research and identify the needs of the potential customers among the community. They get to analyze these and come up with creative business ideas to address the needs identified. This Challenge supports them to develop business vehicles through which they can generate an income and become registered business owners thereof.

From the 21 entrants in the 2019 MTN Enactus ICT Challenge, the top 6 teams leveraged design thinking methodology in developing powerful and meaningful digital solutions and services within the Health, Education and Agricultural sectors:

Cape Peninsula University of Technology: The Mobi-Health App helps in digitalizing booking services for healthcare clinics, thus eliminating frustration of patients having to wait in long queues. This is a platform that seeks to advance and help users during their time of medical need. The solution aims to reduce the amount of work for both parties, being the patient and the medical facility, and making the clinic appointment booking process as convenient as possible. The app tackles barriers such as accessibility of quality health and competitive health services.

University of Cape Town: Pixilate Mobile App is a solution that aims to address the language barrier affecting the majority of South African students limiting their performance in exams at a high school level. This App uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology, allowing the user to take a picture using their phone’s camera and instantly convert their English textbook pages to their preferred language. This is believed to have the biggest impact in improving students’ learning abilities. The use of a social entrepreneurship business model allows for scaling throughout Cape Town, South Africa and the African continent.

University of Fort Hare: Health Care Made Easy platform and services brings about a near paperless solution in healthcare facilities by making use of technology to digitize the storage of medical records. It will educate people about the importance of exercising which will lead to healthier lifestyles. This platform & service creates a link between Health Care Facilities and patients. The patients using the app can access their medical records around the clock and the Health Care Facilities can send out notifications reminding patients about their appointments and medication.

University of Johannesburg: Nandi is a mobile app which allows registered users to take pictures of any educational challenges, such as mathematical problems that they might have which they post for a mere R2 onto the app. This fee is deducted from the user’s airtime immediately upon utilizing “Nandi Asking” and is “held” by the app until the user closes the “Nandi Ask” function, upon being provided with an answer by other registered users who will respond free of charge in the form of a comprehensive picture and explanation.

University of Pretoria: FarmFresh is a digital market that helps buyers and sellers of agricultural produce to market and purchase agricultural produce in an easy, convenient and smart way. The focus of the app is to make it much easier and convenient for small scale farmers to sell harvested produce to an existing market of people who own businesses that make use of agricultural produce. It also provides an easy accessible platform for buyers to purchase specific agriculture produce while giving them an opportunity to compare prices, proximity in terms of the geographical location, quality and quantity per unit or scale.

Vaal University of Technology: Notes is an app that helps students improve their academic performance through purchasing concise notes from other students on a specific subject. This app makes studying easier for students who are having academic challenges, and notes are then rated to ensure that the customer get the best possible notes available.

Experts predict that the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic will be a society that embraces digital solutions and online platforms more than ever before. If that is the case all these six digital solutions could not have been developed at a more opportune time.

These Enactus members are now all entrepreneurs and business owners, with registered companies with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), signed up with MTN MoMo Merchants and onboarded onto the Small, Medium & Micro Enterprise Businesses (SMME) Incubation Programme. Their Apps will be available on Google Play store for downloading and use. Currently these companies are marketing and promoting their solutions and services to drive their solutions and increase their sales.

MTN SA Foundation continues to focus its goals of using entrepreneurship to foster self-reliance among youth by supporting early-stage business ventures. Enactus is proud that through strategic partnerships like this with MTN, we fulfil our purpose to equip our next generation leaders to create meaningful income for themselves and the communities they work in.

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For more information please contact Lydia Mafatle.

Issued by:
Lydia Mafatle
Marketing Assistant
079 860 6148

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