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2017/10/05 04:07:55 PM

The AgriGroomers student group based at the Cedara College of Agriculture hosted a Business Connect event at the College’s Centenary Complex to celebrate Student Entrepreneurship

At the Business Connect event are (from left) Mr Thabo Mahlobo, Dr Frans Swanepoel and Mr Joshua

The AgriGroomers student group based at the Cedara College of Agriculture hosted a Business
Connect event at the College’s Centenary Complex to celebrate Student Entrepreneurship

The event, aimed at encouraging students to pursue entrepreneurship as a career option, was
attended by more than 150 students, lecturers, businesspeople and farmers.

‘The theme of the summit was introducing people to entrepreneurship and exposing them to
opportunities in AgriBusiness,’ said Mr Nkosinathi Nkosi of AgriGroomers, a group made up of
students from UKZN, Cedara College, Mangosuthu University of Technology and the Owen Sithole
College of Agriculture.

The afternoon programme comprised multimedia presentations on the importance of
entrepreneurship, and included discussions with and presentations from leading entrepreneurs.

Mr Joshua Ngoma, the founder of Enterprising Africa Regional Network (EARN), African Greeneurs
and African Technopreneurs, was featured in the programme as part of a forum in which he
discussed entrepreneurship issues with the students.

A Mining Engineer and entrepreneur with extensive experience in building and running successful
businesses, Ngoma spoke about African Greeneurs, which supports graduates with practical
experience. He shared his wisdom and experience on creating successful businesses and
encouraged students to register with African Greeneurs which wants to develop into an
agribusiness academy to expose students to different types of agricultural practices and business

The author and founder of the New Economy Leadership Institute, Mr Thabo Mahlobo, gave a
presentation about the solution for funding small business. His presentation covered past events in
South Africa’s economy, how these affected society, and how entrepreneurs could maximise
independence by being their own banks. He described this as a practical means of developing 
communities by helping collectives to continuously save money and invest in other projects or
their own community projects to grow their money.

Mahlobo said co-operative banks could be formed and act as a money lender and provide other general bank facilities.

The day also featured a presentation by Dr Frans Swanepoel about the opportunities for
communities in Aquaponics. He spoke about a business model he perfected over eight years,
involving poultry, fish, and vegetable production now known as the Micro Urban OrganicAquaponic Mobil Farm.
It uses waste from poultry production for fish feed and the nutrient-rich water from the fish
production for growing vegetables, thus maximising efficiency and profitability. The unit is easy to
assemble and use, making it suitable for urban and rural communities to produce their own food.

According to AgriGroomers, the event was a tremendous success and it hopes to continue
promoting “agripreneurship” through networking and the establishment of chapters at schools,
colleges and universities.

The organisation’s next event is on 25 November in partnership with African Greeneurs in Durban 

Photograph supplied by Nkosinathi Nkosi

Christine Cuénod


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