11 October 2018 | Story UFS | Photo Zama Feni
UFS launch student business incubator project
Rector and Vice-Chancellor Francis Peterson cutting the ribbon as the office of Student Business Incubator Project was officially opened last Friday.

The University of Free State has recently launched a Student Business Incubator Project that will provide impetus to students with business ideas.

The initiative, which is under the management of the Directorate for Research and Development (DRD) was conceived a few years ago with objective of untapping the entrepreneurial potential of students. 

And it was on Friday last week that all the energy and efforts that were directed towards the planning of this project culminated into the official launch and opening of the offices where the students will conduct their business operations.

Generate new business ideas


Delivering a brief address at the launch, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen encouraged students to generate new business ideas that would make them job creators at the end of the day. 

“As a university, we should disseminate our output to society through research, education and technology transfer. The Incubator Project is a good initiative and I would like to see it growing so that more students can benefit from a facility such as this,” he said. 
Professor Petersen encouraged the student innovators to engage society so that they can make quality of life better through new knowledge.

“You must continue to incubate ideas and develop them,” he said adding that one of the great things that a university is measured about is the employability of its graduates.

Business ideas awarded 
On the previous day, DRD hosted a pitching competition for the business ideas that students were invited to submit.

Assistant Research Officer and Project Manager, Ayanda Makhanya said they were excited about the outcome of their call to students as they received an overall total of 60 ideas.

“We screened all the inputs and came up with 14 ideas. We will now be working with these students to provide the necessary support,” she said.

The winner in the pitching competition was an LLB student Mannini Setai whose idea was the production of eco-friendly bricks.

The office are located near the UFS Sasol Library and has computers and a big flat screen.