By Anyway Machani
A group of students from Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) scooped the young innovation award at the just SMEs International Expo held at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC)
CUT students from different departments exhibited their inventive gadgets and ideas that comprised a three-digit printer, an auto feeder and an eLearning platform.
In an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the awards ceremony, CUT entrepreneurship and business sciences deputy dean Dr Nelia Eta Marima hailed the expo for grooming future entrepreneurs.
“As a university which anchors on entrepreneurship, it is very important for our students to meet other entrepreneurs so that they can actually realize that what we are teaching them is not something that is only theoretical but it’s something they can put in practice for example they can form enterprises and go on to dominate the business world,” said Dr Marima.
She said the expo is relevant to the Zimbabwean context as it inspires innovation and advanced societal transformation.
“It is important for our students to have this opportunity to shine since it can help them to network with other SMEs and determine the gaps in the economy so that they can capitalize on those gaps and turn them into opportunities because it is through the identification of opportunities that they can come up with different ideas. Empowered by such forums, students can be inspired to solve societal problems,” she noted.
Zimbabwe has been suffering from an economic meltdown that has spanned the last three decades with companies struggling to survive the downturn. However Dr Marima insisted that entrepreneurship can play a pivotal role in reviving the troubled economy.
“When looking at the Zimbabwean situation, people are crying as the economic situation is becoming unbearable, however a cry on its own cannot bring food to the table. Lamenting does not solve the country’s problems; it is up to our SMEs and bright crop of students to address the challenges we face today. We are urging our students to focus on entrepreneurship, if you look at big economic powers like India, China and Japan, their economic prowess are rooted on entrepreneurship,” Dr Marima said.