Celebrating the sweet taste of victory: Front row, from the left: Sanelisiwe Khumalo, Mmanaha Mosia, and Lerato Mamabolo. Back row, from the left: Jennifer Links, Salima van Schalkwyk, Slindokuhle Ndlovu, Ntombinkhulu Khumalo, and Katlego Tubatse Moloi.

The Enactus team on the UFS Qwaqwa Campus is nibbling on the sweet fruits of victory from their dedication after they were crowned runners-up among seasoned institutions at this year’s Enactus National Exposition, which took place on 19 July at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. The team came second to the Central University of Technology (CUT) Enactus team.

Enactus is an international non-profit organisation that equips students to improve the world through entrepreneurial action. It provides a platform for teams of outstanding students to create community development projects that put communities at the centre of improving their livelihoods.

A national platform to celebrate innovation

The exposition is a prestigious annual event that brings together the top Enactus teams from across the country, giving them a platform to showcase their innovative social entrepreneurship projects and initiatives. The exposition is a culmination of months of hard work, dedication, and collaboration, where teams present their impactful projects to a panel of judges, fellow Enactus members, industry professionals, and supporters.

For the Qwaqwa Campus team of students, the victory is sweeter, as this marks their first time in the top four national finals.

Salima van Schalkwyk, the team’s president and final-year Community Development student on the Qwaqwa Campus, said they can bear testament to how rewarding commitment and dedication are.
“This recognition has greatly impacted us and our morale, because we worked really hard and feel like this is finally our breakthrough,” she said.

Some of their most significant moments leading up to the national win include:
  • Winning the Enactus award for Most Improved Team during the Summer Action Challenge competition in February. They won R7 000.
  • Taking second place to CUT at the regional Enactus competition, which saw them becoming semi-finalists in the nationals.
  • Becoming one of the top four Ford achievers and winning 5 000 USD for Project Biofly Pro. The Ford College Community Challenge is a global grant competition that empowers university and college students to lead change in their communities.
  • Being recognised in the top 12 Harmony Gold competition and awarded R12 000 to accelerate their enterprise.
  • Van Schalkwyk, the team leader, won the Evan Poulas Award for Leadership Excellence.

Project Biofly Pro is a project the team introduced to the Qwaqwa community, which promotes climate-smart agricultural practices to support crop and livestock farmers by introducing black soldier fly farming as a sustainable alternative source of feed and nutrition for the soil.

Making history one win at a time

Van Schalkwyk said some of their team leaders will be off to the Netherlands in October for the Enactus World Cup.
“We’ve grown significantly from where we stood last year and are now bearing the fruits of our hard work.”
Enactus was spearheaded by the Community Development programme on the Qwaqwa Campus. Dr Grey Magaiza, Enactus Adviser and Deputy Director of the Centre for Gender and Africa Studies (CGAS), said the win was a harvest of their dedication. “As a structure less than five years old, the team made history by reaching the finals and becoming runners-up among seasoned institutions. Kudos must go to the team for a job well done and showing high fortitude levels.”

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