Tasty Smoothie Hub are the winners of the inaugural Sefalana Funded Business Pitch Competition. Tasty Smoothie Hub beat five other teams of students to win P5000 during a business pitch competition held at the Student Centre on October 8, 2020.
The team is made up of Atlasaone Kokwe, Poloko Kefitlhile, Kutlwano Pelontle and Boikhutso Waheng and the business pitch was on production and supply of smoothies and fruit salads.
The first of its kind, the event was organised by the Department of Student Welfare in partnership with the Business Clinic with the aim of cultivating the spirit of entrepreneurship among the University of Botswana student community. The objective of the competition is also in line with the 2020-2029 UB Strategic Plan, which seeks to foster, among others, entrepreneurship as one of the core values of producing a well-rounded graduate.
Explaining some of the expectations during business pitch, Director of the Department of Student Welfare, Ms Barbra Pansiri, said the teams were expected to explain the processes for their business models, marketing, and how the UB community would ultimately be served with first class food services.
The teams were also to demonstrate progress monitoring, product costing as well as quality management, among others. Ms Pansiri said from the 17 applicants, only eight teams made it to the top five of what, in the long run, is expected to produce “the next billionaires and trillionaires in Botswana, born right from the UB soil”.
The vision, according to Ms Pansiri, is borne out of an initiative by the university for a practical development of students’ entrepreneurial skills to open a business that would be mentored by Sefalana staff at UB. Consequently, Sefalana donated a P5000 startup capital.
“We are here to bear testimony and embrace practical, real-life experience in sourcing, analysing and investing in business,” said Ms Pansiri, adding “the partnership is such that Sefalana Botswana, a giant itself in business, aims at empowering students with entrepreneurship and business skills”.
Sefalana Marketing Manager, Mr M Motsumi, said the donation was a way of giving back to UB following a fruitful partnership beginning 2011. Mr Motsumi said the gesture was also a way of grooming future leaders in corporate social responsibility besides entrepreneurship. Student Representative Council President, Mr Bokang Dumelang, observed that the project was testimony to the fact that the University of Botswana had intellectual capacity to transform the country's economy to empower Batswana andcreate more job opportunities for the youth.
On the other hand, Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Mrs Motsei Rapelana, urged the participants to build on the experiences they gain during the competition to venture into business and create employment for other Batswana. Mrs Rapelana also advised the participants to translate what they learnt into academic excellence to bridge the gap between theory and practical subjects. She called on the Department of Student Welfare to expand the initiative to include more students.