Leadership development and igniting entrepreneurial spirit are the flagship motivations behind the annual Students in Free Enterprise World Cup, attended by national champions from countries around the world.
This year, 37 universities from around the world competed in the 2011 competition. The University of Regensburg, Germany walked away the world champion team in the final round, followed by Zimbabwe’s Chinhoyi University of Technology in second place.
“The competition this year was outstanding,” says Denvor Phokaners, CEO of local ED company, Enterprise Development Essentials (EDE), and one of this year’s judges. “It was particularly heartening to see the high standards that developing countries have reached. They are actively competing against first world countries.”
The SIFE World Cup was designed as a platform for national champion teams from around the world to present the results of their community outreach projects to international business leaders. “The idea is for these students to showcase the impact they have made to improve the standard of living for communities around the world,” says Phokaners. “It brings together an international network of student, academic and business leaders.”
The SIFE mandate in SA
SIFE’s mandate is twofold. First, the organisation promotes leadership development and an entrepreneurial spirit within students, who voluntarily participate in the SIFE programme at 26 university campuses countrywide. Second, the programme actively trains students to become socially responsible corporate citizens and ethical future business leaders. “This is done by identifying a community need using business and economic principals and empowering those communities to become economically active by means of an entrepreneurial approach,” explains Phokaners. “Team and project sustainability is a requirement to achieve success. In line with the SIFE judging criterion, the students are taught first-hand how to ensure the sustainability of the enterprise development projects they implement.”