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Professor Shahida Cassim (front third left) with
FEDCI members.

Associate Professor and Champion of Entrepreneurship at the Graduate School of Business and Leadership, Professor Shahida Cassim was recently appointed as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Forum for Entrepreneurship Development at South Africa’s Universities (FEDCI).

The appointment was announced at the launch of the Forum that took place on Mandela day when over 19 of South Africa’s public universities met to discuss the promotion and development of entrepreneurship in higher education institutions. 

The aim of the forum is to serve as a platform for collaboration and strategising on entrepreneurship issues in higher education institutions. This is done with the ultimate objective of promoting the delivery of sustainable economic and social benefits and job creation through entrepreneurship.

Commenting on her appointment, Cassim said: ‘I am privileged to have the vote of confidence from academics in entrepreneurship across South Africa’s higher education institutions. I do believe that our institutions should represent rich entrepreneurship ecosystems so necessary to achieve economic development and social justice’.

FEDCI is established with support from the Department of Higher Education; the Human Resources Development Council (HRDC) in the Office of the Deputy President and the Department of Trade and Industry.

Dr Taddy Blecher, The Chair of the Entrepreneurship, Education, and Job Creation Task Team at Human Resource Development Council South Africa (HRDC) said that no one University is alone in this national mission in pushing the agenda of entrepreneurship at higher education institutions. He implored all of the academics present to share their knowledge freely and have a bias for action despite the challenges.

Cassim is the visionary behind the first Startup Weekend Durban taking place in September.

This creative global initiative, termed “the biggest entrepreneurial event ever” will empower aspiring entrepreneurs on the process of developing an innovative idea into successful and viable startup business. It is envisaged that through this community engagement initiative the GSB&L will inspire a thriving startup culture which is vital for the province’s sustainability and economic growth.