Picture: STEPHANIE LLOYD/DAILY DISPATCH
Picture: STEPHANIE LLOYD/DAILY DISPATCH

THE University of Johannesburg will fly the South African flag at this year’s Enactus World Cup entrepreneurship competition.

The UJ team competed against 21 South African teams with two projects: one focused on urban farmers, lauded for its relevance as concern about food security grows, and another on creating entrepreneurial opportunities for refugees.

The 884 UJ students from various faculties at the university will now represent SA at the Enactus World Cup 2016 in Toronto from September 28-30.

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The team embarked on a "multi-stakeholder engagement project" that aims to create opportunities for urban agriculture in a sustainable food system in Soweto.

Given global concern over food security, this project highlights the impact of urban farming.

The team helped to create a platform for entrepreneurs to satisfy a customer base in their own community. The Izindaba Zokudla (Conversations about Food) project was the result.

UJ staff members involved were business management lecturer Joyce Sibeko, communication design lecturer Christa van Zyl and development studies lecturer Dr Naude Malan.

"The Izindaba Zokudla project advocates specific approaches to urban agricultural development in Johannesburg. It draws on participatory research to build the capacity of farmers’ organisations; to facilitate engagement with food enterprises in the city; and to use design and technology development as a means to improve agricultural practices‚" Sibeko said.

"The project not only markets urban farmers in Soweto but also increases the urban farmers’ opportunities for retail."

Another global challenge that the UJ team tackled is the refugee influx into economies. The focus is on the development of a business model to secure a sustainable stream of income for foreign nationals in Johannesburg and Pretoria, which could curtail xenophobia and be exploited in other global societies.

"Looting and xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals were some of the reasons for the Enactus UJ team to explore solutions to better the standard of living within our communities," Sibeko said.

"Training on how to run small informal trading outlets was held in Gauteng. The team assisted foreign nationals with business plans that enabled them to generate start-up capital."

TMG Digital