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Focus will be on entrepreneurship

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The importance of transforming entrepreneurs into a catalyst for achieving economic growth will be highlighted during the fifth Herman Mashaba Lecture of the Central University of Technology (CUT), Free State.

This year’s lecture will be presented in the Japie van Lill Auditorium on 16 September.

Prof. Joan Lockyer, director of Education Practice and Entrepreneurship in the International Centre for Transformational Entrepreneurship (ICTE) at Coventry University, UK, will deliver the lecture themed “The Importance of Transformational Entrepreneurship in the Socio-Economic Development of South Africa”.

This idea is aimed at inspiring innovation to reposition entrepreneurship as the main driver to attain economic growth.

The lecture resonates with Mashaba’s pioneering entrepreneurial spirit, notable with the founding of hair brand Black Like Me.

In March of 2013, the CUT awarded Mashaba an honorary doctorate in Business Administration, recognising him for his entrepreneurial innovation.

From humble beginnings selling products like fire-detection systems and household goods on a commission basis from the boot of his car for two years, Mashaba got his big break in 1983 when he found a job selling hair-care products on a commission basis for a Johannesburg-based company.

He had finally found his niche, and within 19 months had made up his mind to start manufacturing his own hair-care products.

With his wife, three partners and a R30 000 loan, Mashaba set up pro­duction in a Small Business Development Corporation unit in Ga-Rankuwa, former homeland of Bophutha­tswana. He named his business Black Like Me, and the first bottles of his brand hit the shelves in February 1985.

On conferring honour to Mashaba, former vice-chancellor and principal of the CUT Prof. Thandwa Mthembu remarked that Mashaba was one of the few notable figures in South Africa who epitomised being an entrepreneur.

Lockyer is expected to delve into entrepreneurship, modelling Mashaba’s enterprise innovation.

She is an experienced enterprise educator, leading in the development of the Masters in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education, and co-delivering the International Enterprise Educators Programme (IEEP).

She has developed a range of modules that support enterprise and entrepreneurship skills development in undergraduates and postgraduates, regardless of discipline.

She is currently collaborating with Deakin University, Australia, to produce the first fully online post­graduate certificate in entrepreneurship, to be offered via FutureLearn.

Lockyer has also worked on projects in Oman, China, Nigeria, Ghana and Malaysia, principally on curriculum design and staff capacity building.

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