Local team wins school business challenge with tuckshop brainwave

2010-05-04 00:00

ML SULTAN Secondary School in Pietermaritzburg is on top of the world after its pupils clinched this year’s Learn Entrepreneurial Challenge, winning the school a computer as well as R3 000 for the pupils to start a business.

The challenge is run by the Students in Free Enterprise (Sife) project, which was launched by students of the University of KwaZulu-Natal to mould young bright sparks in business and encourage innovation, financial literacy and a love of business.

The ML Sultan team of eight grade 11s competed against the best schools in the province in a series of rigorous qualifiers.

Forty schools took part, but ML Sultan was the last school left standing.

Said Rita Kalkapersad, head of the department of business, commerce and management at the school, “I think our pupils were outstanding because they were competing with the best schools, which might be seen to have better resources, but they managed to come up with a creative, innovative and workable idea.”

Carter High School was ML Sultan’s biggest competitor and was placed second.

It seems the winning team’s idea of introducing ice cream and hot dogs at the school’s tuckshop melted the Sife judges’ hearts.

Said Precious Ntuli (16), “From last year, students have been saying that they want hot dogs and ice cream. We did a market survey, which further proved to us that it is really something students want.”

Lungile Ngubane (15) said she believes their idea had the winning formula as it was realistic.

“We are very excited to win because it was a big challenge. We are really proud of ourselves. I think what I took out of this experience is that in business you have to take baby steps and be a logical thinker,” Lungile added.

All the pupils said the challenge sparked their interest in business, which they are hoping to pursue more seriously after matric.

While Dalingcebo Mngoma (16) hopes to be the next Bill Gates, Zamangwe Maseme (15) wants to own a football club.

The pupils agreed unanimously that going into business is important for financial independence, creating job opportunities, giving back to the community and contributing to the economy.

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