LATEST global entrepreneurship monitor findings highlight that there has been a significant reduction in new Startup businesses due to lack of innovation and creativity.
This is what motivated the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN), in partnership with eThekwini Municipality, Sigma International and ABSA to host a Startup Weekend between 27-29 September at University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Graduate School of Business and Leadership in Westville Campus.
Startup Weekend is a 54 hour global idea, which has been staged in Johannesburg and Cape Town and is now being launched in Durban for the first time.

Deputy Head of eThekwini Municipality’s Business Support, Tourism and Markets Unit, Thulani Nzama said the idea of the Startup Weekend is all about coming up with bright ideas for workable innovative ventures that can be launched straight away to increase more entrepreneurs that will contribute in the City’s economy and create jobs.
“More than 100 budding entrepreneurs from all walks of life will gather together for a special brainstorming session that will end with brand new businesses being formed. During this period we will also offer business management workshops and mentorship to entrepreneurs,” he said.

Nzama revealed that it always bothered them that the South African education curriculum does not encourage the entrepreneurship which is why we were very keen to partner with UKZN on this initiative because some students have a dream of owning their businesses. We want to roll out this programme to all areas of eThekwini.

Recently the University hosted the bootcamp which served as a precursor to the Startup Weekend.
Shahida Cassim lead organiser of Startup Weekend said that the bootcamp was designed to develop the entrepreneurial self-efficacy or self confidence to dream up business ideas that are capable of propelling the candidate from ‘zero to hero’.
Sigma International’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Akash Singh said: ‘Innovation is important in driving entrepreneurship. “I was very excited about the ideas that I heard at the Bootamp workshop and we are looking forward to even more brilliant and concrete ideas at Startup Weekend.

“The winning ideas at the bootcamp were judged by all to be great ideas that had the potential to be viable and scalable businesses. It is hoped that these candidates will refine their concepts and submit to Startup Weekend where final judgement and awards ceremony will take place,” said Singh.

Anyone who has an innovative idea can still register by giving a brief description of the concept on http://durban.startupweekend.org/ which also outlines the programme. All entrepreneurs have less than 48 hours to enter their ideas in Africa’s most sexy entrepreneurship challenge: Start up Weekend Durban. The deadline for new entries closes on Wednesday 25 September 2013 afternoon.
 
For more information please contact, Thabo Mofokeng on 031 311 4820/ 0827317456 or email: Thabo1.Mofokeng@durban.gov.za
 
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality's Communications Unit. Contact Sane Shandu on 031 311 4806/072 572 8658 or email: sanelisiwe.shandu@durban.gov.za