School Entrepreneurship Olympiad To Be Launched In Collaboration With UCT

The School Entrepreneurship Trust in partnership with the University of Cape Town will be launching the first ever School Entrepreneurship Olympiad. The two organisations have formalised their working relationship and the first Olympiad Steering Committee meeting took place on Monday 14 April 2014.

Making up the steering committee are:

  1. Alexander McLeod – founding Trustee of the School Entrepreneurship Trust
  2. Associate Professor David Priilaid – Convenor of the Postgraduate in Entrepreneurship at the University of Cape Town and Trustee of the School Entrepreneurship Trust
  3. Professor John Webb – Professor of Mathematics at UCT, Director of the Maths Olympiad and Member of the International Maths Olympiad Advisory Board
  4. Ferial Parker – Project Manager from the UCT School Development Unit
  5. Alison Meadows – Convenor of the Postgraduate Diplomas in Management at UCT and Curriculum Advisor at UCT

“It is fantastic to have had our first steering committee meeting. The ball is now set in motion and we will be working hard to get the Olympiad off the ground in 2014…” says McLeod. “Having Professor Webb on board the steering committee is absolutely fantastic as he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in rolling out initiatives of this nature. We had to ensure we had an experienced group of credible individuals make up this committee. We believe this is key to launching and successfully managing this Olympiad…” continues McLeod.

A core component of the Olympiad is to encourage schools to enter teams to participate and compete. These teams must represent the Entrepreneurship Society at their school. What this means, is that if a school does not have an Entrepreneurship Society, they (the learners) will need to set one up. “This is all part and parcel of being an entrepreneur, being proactive and making things happen…” is what Alexander McLeod emphasises.

“All high schools are encouraged to set up Entrepreneurship Societies at their schools. These societies can submit their details (school name and contact person) to the School Entrepreneurship Trust and become a member of the School Entrepreneurship Olympiad Society.  This will give them access to information on the Olympiad, as well as other competitions, programmes and conferences implemented by the School Entrepreneurship Trust. There also exists the possibility of being invited to attend and maybe even participate in other entrepreneurship initiatives that fall under the UCT banner…” says McLeod. McLeod goes on to say that there are NO COSTS in registering your school’s entrepreneurship society with the Trust’s School Entrepreneurship Olympiad Society.

It is important for people out there to note the success of other school entrepreneurship initiatives which Alexander McLeod has developed and implemented. His flagship offering is his School Entrepreneurship Programme, an extra-curricular programme that fosters entrepreneurial thinking and initiates entrepreneurial activity among high school learners. “Learners have come on this programme and made money. In 2013, the top performer generated sales of R14800 for her business. The 2nd place learner generated sales of R9800 and the third place learner brought in R6800…” says McLeod. The success of this programme has been recognised in that it has been endorsed by the Cape Chamber of Commerce and the CIO Forum.

It is off equal importance to note the success of initiatives implemented by other Steering Committee Members. Professor Webb played an integral role in establishing the Maths Olympiad to what it is today. His efforts have been recognised in that he is a member of the International Maths Olympiad Advisory Board. In 2014, UCT will be hosting the final round of the International Maths Olympiad. 106 countries will be represented at this event due to take place mid-year. In addition to this, Associate Professor Priilaid started the Postgraduate in Entrepreneurship at UCT in 1995 and has been running it with huge success ever since. It is a definitely a programme that is in demand. He was also instrumental in proposing and negotiating the formalised partnership between the Trust and UCT.

“It was important that the right people were part of the steering committee. I have been involved in getting many high school learners to start up businesses and make a profit. Professor Webb of UCT was instrumental in establishing the Maths Olympiad to what it is today. Ferial Parker, along with Professor Webb, have a sound understanding of the schooling environment and challenges and solutions in mobilising schools to play an active role in initiatives that will benefit them. The Olympiad is one such initiative…” says McLeod.

With a Steering Committee of this calibre behind the School Entrepreneurship Olympiad, the event is definitely something to look out for. For more information on this School Entrepreneurship Olympiad, please contact Alexander McLeod on alexander@setrust.org

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