Online learning institution GetSmarter, in partnership with the University of Cape Town (UCT), has collaborated with The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) to help top entrepreneurial students further their studies.
The top 20 students graduating out of CiTi and Barn Khayelitsha‘s business development programme will receive a bursary to one of 20 hand-picked business short courses, valued at over R200 000, sponsored by GetSmarter and UCT.
This will allow the students to further their studies with UCT short course certificates through GetSmarter. The bursaries awarded to the top 20 students will be handed out in January 2016.
In an exclusive press release sent to Ventureburn, Chief Academic officer at GetSmarter, Rob Paddock, said:
We are excited to offer these courses to students who have worked hard to achieve the best results for themselves and their future. We hugely admire the work CiTi is doing and look forward to seeing this partnership help effect change and drive entrepreneurship in a community that really needs it.
The partnership will be a long-term collaboration between the two organisations as it aims to support entrepreneurs and innovators in the Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain Development Corridor.
CEO of CiTi, Ian Merrington, says entrepreneurs in these areas need encouragement and support. He goes on to say, “I believe that this collaboration between GetSmarter, UCT and CiTi, geared at fostering local innovation in our community will successfully accelerate these entrepreneurs into becoming sustainable businesses.”
GetSmarter and the Barn Khayelitsha will be supporting the students and community in other ways. Students will be allowed access to the Barn Khayelitsha’s computer labs, internet facilities, and work space. They aim to uplift the community by offering tech solutions to those who would benefit from them, as well as close the skills gap faced by entrepreneurs. GetSmarter’s online learning model allows the student to learn through proactive support provided by a dedicated course coach for the duration of their course.
Business development manager based at the Barn Khayelitsha, Baratang Miya, says the partnership gives the opportunity to positively impact entrepreneurs in the community:
We will be providing them with a wide variety of entrepreneurship and bespoke niche education courses. As an example, tourism is an area that has been identified for support so courses like The UCT Guest House Management online short course, through which we are offering superior education, is highly relevant.
CiTi and UCT have previously partnered for CapaCiTi, a development program helping unemployed graduates by equipping them with the necessary tools and skills needed in order to sustain a profitable employment.
“The successful collaboration between CapaCiTi and the UCT IS Department has resulted in 200 previously unemployed individuals being provided with world-class Business and Systems Analysis training. 98% of these graduates are now employed,” says Alethea Hagemann, head of CapaCiTi.