Later last month the Cognity Advisory University Business Challenge (UBC), sent 10 teams from five different universities to Johannesburg to participate in the two-day UBC challenge on the 5th and 6th December, which is a business simulation competition designed to develop entrepreneurship skills.

After the two-day challenge, the winning team was announced as four students from the Mangosuthu University of Technology who walking away with R50 000 to turn their business idea into a reality.

During the two-day finals, the teams played six rounds of simulations, with each simulation giving the teams a chance to re-evaluate their progress and better certain areas that needed improving.

“All the teams showed tremendous promise and I was very impressed by their levels of engagement with one another and their tenacity,” said Tope Toogun, development advisor and CEO of Cognity Advisory.

The winning team realised during one of their simulations that in order to maximise profits they would need to introduce two new products and market it differently from their initial product, paying special attention to their customer’s needs.

“Even though we didn’t have a great presentation we made the most profit. This experience taught us a lot about ourselves and business. Most of the decisions that we made came from serious debates. We learnt that market research is crucial when starting a business. We learnt that marketing starts and ends with the customer,” said Nkhosinathi Sokhulu from the winning team.

“Based on this market research information we realised that it was important for us to introduce two new products and tis, in addition to the main product we were selling, helped us to maximise profits. We saw an opportunity to add more products and it paid off,” added Mbali Tshozi from the winning team.

“We really want to ensure that students are equipped with the necessary skills to not only start a business but to run it effectively. While we have selected one winner, our hope is that each team has benefitted by having learned the skills needed in the workplace,” concluded Toogun.

The UBC is now running for the second year in South Africa, and it will continue next year 2019, with the name changing to the Africa Enterprise Challenge (AEC).

[Image – Cognity Advisory]