NUST Enactus team wins ticket to World Cup competitions in Netherlands

THE NUST Enactus team has won the 2020 Enactus Zimbabwe Annual National Competition ahead of nine other local universities to book a place in the World Cup scheduled for Utretch, Netherlands later this year.

In winning the innovation competition, which was held virtually from 29 to 31 July 2020, the NUST Enactus team shrug off stiff competition from Harare Institute of Technology in second place and University of Zimbabwe in third position.

Other universities that participated include Midlands State University, Great Zimbabwe University, Africa University, Bindura University of Science of Technology, Catholic University, and Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University.

The World Cup competitions will be held virtually on Launch Pad 6 from the 8th to the 10th of September 2020.

The 24-member NUST Enactus team made up of students from various faculties, was inspired by the impact of Covid-19 on vegetable market vendors, who used to operate in city centres across the country but were displaced as local authorities moved in to decongest the urban centres.

The team used WhatsApp and SMS messages to create innovative online platforms for vendors to market and sell their products while operating from home during the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

In preparation for the competition the NUST Enactus team simple made use of WhatsApp to hold their annual pre-competition camp, as well as ZOOM meetings for the presentation rehearsals.

“As NUST Enactus, we came along with our project VendorsHub that creates opportunities for vendors to be able to continue trading as they have been affected by the Covid-19 induced city councils’ decision to decentralise the operations of vendors by moving them out of the city centres where vendors could easily access both their suppliers and customers,” said Miss Uratile Nare, the NUST Enactus Secretary General.

Not only did the NUST Enactus team come first but they also bagged a team award and three individual medals.

The Enactus Boost Fellowship awarded Nare, the Secretary General of NUST Enactus, a Fellow of the Year Award for demonstrating passion, seeing possibilities, taking action, and enabling progress for BOOST Enactus Zimbabwe.

She was also recognised as the Outstanding Social Media Ambassador for actively empowering and sharing content about the 2020 Enactus Zimbabwe National Virtual Competition through social media as an extension of the Enactus BOOST Fellowship team.

David Mahachi, the NUST Enactus Alumni, won the Social Media Recognition Award for actively sharing content about the 2020 Enactus Zimbabwe National Competition through social media as an extension of the Enactus BOOST Fellowship team.

The NUST Enactus team also won the Team Spirit Award in recognition of outstanding contribution to transform and enrich communities as well as consistency and most improved team.

To put up a winning presentation, the NUST Enactus team partnered with FarmHut, a registered innovative online organisation founded by a NUST Part IV student in Chemical Engineering, Mr Ryan Katayi.

FarmHut assists small-scale farmers to market their produce online while FarmMarket links vendors with clients all over the country.

“With FarmHut already crowd-funding small-scale farmers and helping them to come to life, a viable marketplace has also been created through which farmers’ produce could be sold. This led to the birth of FarmMarket, an online market place through which customers can purchase fresh farm produce from vendors,” said Miss Nare.

FarmMarket has allowed the small-scale farmers to access markets they did not have before. The solution involves selling farm produce through a network of decentralised vendors who are operating from within suburbs, and not the city centre.

“Vendors need not worry about how they will restock for their vending operations before their coffers run dry. Communication on the vendors’ inventory is done via WhatsApp and SMS to keep communication costs at a minimum, allowing us to know which vendors need which produce replenished. This now allows FarmHut’s small-scale farmers to reach an even larger market they couldn’t previously access through the FarmMarket internet platform,” said Miss Nare.

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