The audience loosening up at the Fit for ‘14
Business Seminar.

The Graduate School of Business and Leadership (GSB&L) recently hosted its first event for the year aimed at cultivating and nurturing local aspiring entrepreneurs.

The Fit for ‘14 Business Seminar equipped entrepreneurs with tools and techniques to ensure they meet their targets, grow their businesses and cope with the professional, mental and personal demands in 2014.

Professor Shahida Cassim, Co-ordinator of the event and champion of Entrepreneurship at the GSB&L, said: ‘The global economy is undergoing radical transformation. This movement coupled with rapid technological developments and the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality requires a huge shift in the way we think and certainly the way we do business.

‘Entrepreneurship provides the means to cope with these shifts. The ability to think innovatively and creatively and practice this in your life and business is the theme of the evening’s seminar. The overwhelming response to the Startup Weekend Durban we hosted last year is an indication that our community is ready for the entrepreneurial journey.

‘We need to focus on enabling our students to learn how to learn and by being at the cutting edge of knowledge use their acquired skills to innovate to create value. This is essentially being entrepreneurial. Through our formal programmes and events such as these we are flipping the model of entrepreneurship education focusing on the mindset changes that must accompany the skills set that will allow students to balance theory and practice,’ said Cassim.

GSB&L Dean and Head of School, Professor Stephen Migiro, said the School recognised the huge role entrepreneurship played in the economy. The School was therefore taking a proactive approach in developing a vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem.

‘Businesses exist in parallel with education institutions because they provide an environment that mentors and guides aspiring entrepreneurs. This is the reason we host events such as these so we can reflect and share best practice for best business,’ said Migiro.

Entrepreneurs, emerging businesses and students attending the event heard from the Durban Chamber of Commerce’s CEO, Mr Andrew Layman, about the role the Chamber plays in aiding businesses.

Student body Enactus highlighted its role in steering entrepreneurship, while Ms Samantha Lee from Bizfarm gave a presentation on support systems available to entrepreneurs. Mr Lazarus Reddy of Power works International delivered an inspiring motivational address on adopting the right mindset for success.

Participants were very positive about the event and requested further engagement with the GSB&L’s team.