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3 August 2022
UWC Entrepreneurship Students Win Big at National Competition
The Enactus National Competition is a search for the current top, young future leaders in the country, and on 14 July, the University of the Western Cape’s (UWC’s) student team proved that talent is in abundance at UWC. 

Once a year, the competition brings together a select network of students from all 26 universities in South Africa to showcase how their projects or enterprises are enabling societal progress through entrepreneurial action.

The representing teams from the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) at UWC participated in the competition at the Sandton Convention Centre. The UWC Enactus team put forward two projects for consideration and adjudication, namely eRank Play and LenoKids.

eRank Play competed with 11 other universities in the development league and was crowned the winner. Lenokidz were invited by random selection to present their idea and were also successful in securing funding to develop their idea further.

eRank Play created a WhatsApp data-driven maths game to help high school learners battling with the subject.

LenoKids highlighted that 80% of Grade 4 Learners could not read with understanding and their solution is a Gamified learning platform, a robot friend with localised content promoting indigenous knowledge and culture. Learning takes place through videos, quizzes and games and adapts to the child’s level of competency.

Adding to the UWC team’s win is their award as finalists in the 2022 MTN ICT Challenge with a cash prize of R60 000, which will help advance the concepts showcased at the competition from prototype to a fully-fledged web application. 

“It will put us a step closer to our customers and help create the impact we aim to achieve by addressing the 4th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), namely, quality education. Achieving this win was a stepping stone and defining moment for the UWC Enactus team,” Faculty Advisor from CEI, Wendy Mehl, noted. 

“The CEI is excited about growing the footprint of Enactus at UWC. It provides UWC students with concrete experience and active experimentation to apply their theoretical skills to solve real-world problems innovatively. It is also a useful platform for transitioning graduates with entrepreneurial leadership skills which will enhance their employability and entrepreneurial aspiration.”

Munashe Dzikiti, from eRank Play and a final-year law student, said: “The reason for our vision is to make learning maths online fun, interactive, accessible and affordable and for learners to be hyped up about mathematics. It is the only way learners can acquire basic mathematics knowledge to access and qualify for STEM-related job opportunities.”

It was an exceptional experience for Thobeka Nkabinde (eRank Play) who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree this year. “Attending it in person with thousands of other students was exhilarating. It was great to see other teams after such a long time. Seeing the growth over the past two years has motivated me to push and do even better,” said Thobeka.

Sange Mafinyongwana from the LenoKids team and an honours computer science student, said his personal highlight is the wonderful experience as a team supporting one another. 

“One of the key moments was seeing the excitement and joy of my team members when we got to raise our Enactus UWC flag during the flag parade. Having a wonderful faculty advisor such as Ms Wendy Mehl was quite inspirational, and fortunately, we managed to make her proud. It has been a great privilege to be part of it. I will never forget it,” said Sange.