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Inaugural School Entrepreneurship Conference

by on 16/11/12 at 8:27 am
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Two weeks from today, on Friday 30th November 2012, the inaugural School Entrepreneurship Conference kicks off at the University of Cape Town.

The School Entrepreneurship Conference is an initiative of The School Entrepreneurship Trust and is a spin-off of the School Entrepreneurship Programme, a programme developed and implemented by the commercial business Water Berry. The Conference is a 5 day event comprising of guest speaker sessions, training workshops and business idea pitch sessions.

Alexander McLeod, founding Trustee of The School Entrepreneurship Trust, and Dr David Priilaid, Convenor of the Postgraduate in Entrepreneurship at UCT and the latest Trustee to join the School Entrepreneurship Trust team, met with Professor Crain Soudien, Deputy vice-Chancellor at the University of Cape Town. “The meeting with Professor Soudien was to propose a partnership between UCT and The School Entrepreneurship Trust. We want this Conference to be on par with the annual School Maths and Science Olympiads and we are hoping that this partnership will allow us to establish and position the School Entrepreneurship Conference as such,” says McLeod.

McLeod continues…“A Conference of this kind has never been done before. A Conference on Entrepreneurship for High School Learners only. Over the last year or two, a large emphasis has been placed on developing entrepreneurship in South Africa. In my opinion, implementing post-school initiatives that develop entrepreneurship is too late. Kids need to be exposed to entrepreneurship as early as possible and we are hoping that this Conference activates this awareness, interest and exposure.”

The conference takes place from 30 November – 6 December. This is the week between the last day of exams and the final day of school where most learners bunk or come to school and do nothing. “This is why we have positioned the conference during this time,” says McLeod.

As mentioned, it is the first Conference of its kind in SA….confirmed guest speakers include:

  • Dr Francois Bonnici – Director of the newly established Bertha Centre for Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business
  • Patrick Schofield – International Award Winning Social Entrepreneur
  • Marlene Wasserman – creator of the Dr Eve empire
  • Jonathan Jacobs – Honorary Consulate to Sri Lanka, Chairman of International Trade and Tourism for the Cape Chamber of Commerce, Founding Board Member of South African Small, Medium Enterprise Federation, Provincial Manager for the Tourism Enterprise Partnership and “The TEA Lady” at Skylar Investment Holdings
  • Daniel Guasco –CEO of GroupOn South Africa
  • Viola Manuel – Executive Director of Cape Chamber of Commerce
  • Dave Liddell – Founder of Solarex Energy
  • Teri Kruger – Director of Stakeholder Relations, Juwi Renewable Energies (Pty) Ltd
  • Simon Mantell – founder of Mantellis Biscuits

There will also be introductory training workshops in the following areas of business:

  • Introduction to Entrepreneurship
  • Innovation
  • Introduction to Marketing
  • Business Idea Pitching

There are also 10 business idea pitch sessions on the final day for 10 lucky learners who will be randomly selected to pitch an idea for some money. Charles Maisel, another International Award Winning Social Entrepreneur, running the Innovation Workshop.

“We are pleased to announce that we will also have some mobile technology activity throughout the Conference where the learners will be required to give feedback, answer questions, post questions to guest speakers and guest lecturers and provide feedback on the Conference. This is being provided by a start-up company called Edge Campus who have decided to embark on developing interactive education software.” says McLeod.

McLeod continues…“We have 100 learners from the UCT SHAWCO Saturday School Programme attending. These learners are all from schools in the Townships and Cape Flats. There are Conference tickets available for sale, but this is not our main focus strangely enough. We want this conference to happen and the 100 learners referred to above have been sponsored to attend. Should any other learners wish to attend, tickets are available at R200 a pop. They can contact me on if they would like to attend the Conference.”

We are also pleased to announce that Woolworths has agreed to sponsor the lunch packs for all 100 learners for the Conference ! A big thank you goes out to Helene Brand and Jeremy Bruce who really came to the party on this one.

Any media wanting to attend are also welcome to do so. Any exposure would be great, as well as the opportunity to interveiw all guest speakers and the learners attending. For more information on the inaugural School Entrepreneurship Conference or to get involved, please feel free to contact Alexander McLeod on

Ideate is one of South Africa's biggest business blogs, with a team of authors all of whom have had entrepreneurial experience. Ideate is read by entrepreneurs thinking BIG. Follow us on Twitter here. View more articles by Staff Reporter.

Tags: CTEW, entrepreneur, School Entrepreneurship, UCT, Water Berry

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