The Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) will be sending a collective of five students to Limassol in Cyprus to participate in the final stages of the Eurydice Acceleration program, on 12 June 2023. This collective consists of students from the following groups: Just Energy Solutions (JUSI) (CUT), Aphiwe Sogiba (CUT) and one team from Durban University of Technology (DUT) THINKELECTRIC, who presented outstanding business concepts within the renewable energy field as mandated by the Eurydice.
Among the students was Ms Junia of the Just Energy Solutions who expressed how honoured she is to take part in this global programme and appreciates the learnings such as the role of renewable energy in today’s world and having an entrepreneurial outlook in life that she drew from her participation in the earlier stages of the programme. Mr Siphiwe Mkhwanazi from the Just Energy Solutions group pointed out that he looks forward to returning from Cyprus with changed thinking and share his growth mindset with his peers within his professional community and society at large. From the Aphiwe Sogiba team, Mr Siphamandla Mtelekiso vehemently stated that winning the trip to attend the acceleration program in Cyprus has sparked a profound sense of joy and gratitude within him, as travelling overseas and experiencing a different country is something he never dreamed of. Therefore, using his global experience and enhanced knowledge of the renewable energy field will enable him to lead in knowledge transferring and exploring innovative solutions to solve energy challenges faced by South Africa and the rest of the continent.
The golden thread from all the students’ aspirations is enhancing their business concepts into sustainable start-ups that can create employment opportunities and use renewable energy solutions to contribute to sustainable development goals. Also, the students are well versed on establishing strategic partnerships and building businesses that are ready to compete on a global scale. Before the students got to the stage that they are in leading to the Cyprus trip, they underwent at least six stages that had different deliverables. The various stages included trainings that covered the following areas: business model canvas; proof of concept or prototyping; pitch deck; legal and tax issues; and financing the idea. Among the expectations of the students from their trip, they also aim to export values espoused by the CUT such as Ubuntu, Integrity, Diversity, Innovation and excellence that are drilled into them by the institution and inspiring others to embrace the same principles in all their endeavours.