As one of the main contributors to job creation and innovation, entrepreneurial activities are vital for a country like South Africa where every fourth person is without a job. Validating and realising a business idea has become easier in the course of digitalisation.
The internet offers various digital tools such as reaching out to potential customers (social media), designing promotional material (Canva & Powtoon) or raising capital (crowdfunding) just to name a few. However, being aware of the opportunities presented through digital devices and knowing how to use available tools is essential. In her Masterˈs thesis, Mareike Hinrichs (University of Flensburg) would therefore like to focus on digital tools that can empower aspiring entrepreneurs in their early activities of starting a business. Through YEEES, she conducted research in South Africa from July to September 2018.
Last year August, I arrived for a 3-month research stay in Cape Town. Months ahead, I had been in touch with Jane Battersby and Gareth Haysom from the African Centre for Cities to plan my postgraduate research project. This study is about spatial justice in the Philippi Horticultural Area, an agriculturally zoned and highly contested peri-urban area in the city of Cape Town. Divergent views co-exist on the value of the Philippi Horticultural Area: while some call it the food basket for the city, others want to see the land developed for housing and alternate urban uses. That is why I asked about the values regarding spatial justice and how these values were assigned to the peri-urban Philippi Horticultural Area.
After a long ride in one of the typical “my love “ minibuses, we arrived after dark in Maxixe, the economic capital of Inhambane. Waking up the following morning we realised that we had nothing in our fridge. So we decided to go to the supermarket, but soon discovered that this is not the place to get your fresh produce. One needs to head to the busy and crowded Tsula market, an open hall, where the so called market mama’s of Maxixe sell their goods.
Maxixe Tsula Market
The next day we where looking forward to meeting the students of the Univercidade Pedagogica da Maxixe (UP Maxixe) and getting detailed information about the local faced challenges, which the YEEES Sustainability Camp is trying to address. One of the issues that the UP Maxixe had discovered was directly linked to the experience we had at the market. Looking at the market mamas we already saw that they are working in a highly competitive environment, since the selling activities are already expanded to the streets of Maxixe.
Market mamas selling in on the street
This caught our interest in working on this challenge. In order to receive an insight view on the topic, we decided to interview the market mamas with the aid of our mozambican groupmembers Munira and Edmilson. The interviews revealed that the problems the market mamas face are far more complex than initially thought. Many of the market mamas earn less then ⅓ of the minimum wage in Mozambique. With these earnings, they have to support their families resulting in no money for business growth or savings. The lack of financial literacy is a major challenge in this environment. They manage their business from day to day. Within the next few weeks our goal is to find solutions to ensure sustainable financial stability for the market mamas.
The research Group: Franziska, Fenja, Edmilson,Munira, Leigh-Ann
Are you interested in international cooperation and the opportunity to spend a month abroad at an exciting “off the beaten path” location? Are you interested in sharing your ideas and skills with a group of like-minded university students who have been given the task of finding solutions for local challenges? If so, you should take part in our second YEEES Sustainability CAMP —Solutions for Maxixe” taking place from November 18th to December 12th, 2018 in the coastal city of Maxixe, Mozambique.
Our project specifically elaborates on the resilience of cities and peri-urban areas with a focus on diverse fields such as: education, sustainability, arts and creativity. We are committed to supporting the development of especially entrepreneurial and ICT-based solutions. „JOIN US FOR A 4-WEEK STAY IN MOZAMBIQUE!“ weiterlesen
Are you a student at a German university and interested in researching on an international topic in the area of sustainable entrepreneurship in Africa? Do you want to bring in your ideas and research as master scholar? Be part of our project by applying for our Master Grant.
In our inter- and transdisciplinary project YEEES – Yields of Evocative Entrepreneurial approaches on Environment and Society – we are offering short-Term grants for Master Students who are writing their thesis for a research stay of up to three months in one of our partner countries in Africa.
After connecting three different seminars (see YEEES Training Center for more information) Master as well as Bachelor students from different areas of study were able to attend a two week excursion through Namibia in march 2018 experiencing geographical, cultural and (social) entrepreneurial specifics. In two groups of 20 they started in Windhoek and did a round trip including several places like the Namib Desert, Swakopmund and the Etosha national park. The groups have also met students and (social) entrepreneurs from Namibia. A YEEES workshop focusing on sustainability entrepreneurship in the areas visited was designed for analyzing existing entrepreneurial approaches and future entrepreneurial potential. The international and interdisciplinary exchange led to fruitful discussions and the development of several topics for future seminars and master theses.