Students take entrepreneurship to heart

31 July 2008 | Story by Newsroom

Going big: UCT students sold The Big Issue magazine as part of their research into the business models of social entrepreneurial enterprises.

A group of UCT students took to the streets to sell The Big Issue magazine in the Cape Town city centre recently.

The eight students spent their lunchtime selling the publication on the corner of Coen Steytler and Buitengracht as part of a three-day business and social-entrepreneurship training module run by the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, which incorporates The Big Issue's business model as a case study.

The foundation offers students financial support to pursue studies in commerce, engineering and science.

Afterwards the group visited the magazine's headquarters in Woodstock where they were told about the organisation's background and operations. The students were then encouraged to incorporate what they had learnt into the development of their own social entrepreneurial micro-enterprises. That formed the framework of the students' presentation of their business plans later in the week.

Student Lorraine Situma said, "By working with The Big Issue at a grassroots level, and selling the magazine, we were able to see what it's like from the vendors' point of view. We could identify with the company's mission."

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