Quarter 2 of Year 4 saw the on-boarding of the new GESS participants who were selected to be incubated during 2017. Alumni from the RAA 6 month program are eligible to apply for the GESS program which supports idea, start-up and growth stage businesses in their journey to sustainability. Businesses being supported in GESS 2017 include: a bakery specialising in gluten free goods, a gangster museum educating youth about the dangers of gangsterism, sushi catering, a pool table & juke box manufacturer and dairy retailer.
The GESS participants have worked on growth plans and their 2017 personal and business vision and missions. They also participated in various learning opportunities including a outdoor adventure camp using nature to highlight entrepreneurial characteristics, a design thinking challenge with Social Innovation Masters students at the University of Cape Town and an entrepreneurial learning journey visiting suppliers and entrepreneurs to South African retailer Pick n Pay.
The GESS team also had the opportunity to facilitate the RAA workshop 'develop your entrepreneurial-self' with students from the University of Zimbabwe in the YEPI Partner Panhari program. The visit was an excellent learning opportunity for the RAA in terms of testing if the workshop content was relevant and appealed to an international audience of students who live in a different context, and who come from various university faculties. It was also valuable in terms of the exposure to the participants in the Panhari program and to their business ideas. The site visit was a great exchange of ideas and learnings across both programs and the workshop feedback was extremely positive, indicating that the workshop material can be applied to different audiences.
The UCT RAA GESS team were also excited to present the RAA work at a gathering of South African universities, facilitated by the Department of Higher Education and Training. The objective of the gathering was to establish a community of practice that can drive the establishment of more entrepreneurial initiatives in universities across the country.