Li hits two birds with one stone

23 September 2008 | Story by Myolisi Gophe

Nina Li

While some students walk, listen to music or play sport to relieve tension after studying hard, Nina Li works on her business.

This method has been so "refreshing" for her that she has done both successfully, winning the Best Campus Entrepreneur competition, launched at UCT for the first time this year.

The competition is an AIESEC initiative that recognises students running their businesses while studying and maintaining a good academic record. Li (pictured left accepting her award) is doing her final year in actuarial science and quantitative finance, and runs Snow Jewels, a business that makes beaded Swarovski crystal jewellery.

For winning the competition, Li received R 1 000, expert advice and mentorship from sponsors, FNB, and a lifetime membership to Biznetworks, the bank's commercial banking business unit.

Li said it was not difficult to juggle between the two as she spends between five to six hours a week in her work.

"When the concentration starts to decrease from studying, I spend my break making my jewellery," she explained.

In conjunction with the competition, a series of talks on entrepreneurship, themed Surviving a Start- up, were hosted, where UCT graduates who went on to start their businesses gave talks on their experiences.

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