MICROSOFT BRINGS ENTREPRENUERSHIP TO DUT
By Bliss Ndapasowa
The alarming 24% South African unemployment rate with 75% of the proportion being the youth has seen Microsoft SA drilling the concept of entreprenuership at tertiary level.
As part of their corporate social investment schemes, Microsoft Youthspark, in conjuction with Durban University of Technology hosted a youth empowering workshop at DUT’s Ritson Campus on Saturday aimed at providing experiences for customers and partners in all their interactions with Microsoft.
With twenty one years of existence on the African continent, as a way of giving back to the community, Microsoft, the world’s largest computer software maker, is targeting to export intellectual productivity from today’s youth and making them realise their full potential by giving them pointers on various aspects on becoming self-employers.
DUT director of IT support services, Soren Karl Aalto said this concept was brought to the institution a long time ago though indirectly. He stated that Microsoft provides DUT with services such as Cloud-based software service that is Office 365 email and browser for all students, desktop and data licensing for higher education at great discounts among other fundamental applications. These tools however familiarise the next generation developers with Microsoft’s products thus contributing towards the empowerment of future entreprenuers.
The workshop was conducted in the form of group sessions held simultaneously to deal with entreprenurial related topics which included leading an NGO, creating and developing applications, seeking employment, basic computer skills, engaging with/being a supplier thinking of a career in IT and building your own business.
Documentaries of successful young Africans who embraced such concepts were also incorporated into the part of motivating participants and making them realise possibilities.
South Africa is succumbing to less productivity due to a large proportion of unoccupied high skill requiring jobs.
Microsoft SA’s Citizenship Leader Nqobile Dlamini said she is surprised that most youth remains unemployed yet most companies need people with skills.
Dlamini therefore encouraged the youth to embrace such opportunities and called for female involvement.
“Express your innovation because back in the day such opportunities were scarce. We also need more women in IT,” she said.
Participants however expressed their contentment towards the material deliverd at the workshop.
“The program is somethig new and gave me a new perspective on how I used to view my career,” said DUT IT student Vuyo Shembe.
He further mentioned that the initiative also assisted him in brainstorming ideas as an entreprenuer as he recently started a food selling business for student in and around campus.
Apart from this initiative, Microsoft also provides scholarships and internships that ensure accessible and affordable education and employment opportunities for youth Africans through its 4Afrika program.