The distinctive smell of freshly-starched Shweshe fabric greets visitors to Yeyethu Design studio in Kayamandi, Stellenbosch. So do broad smiles and an air of optimism and excitement. Because the dynamic duo behind Yeyethu, Bulelwa Tito and Lerato Mtiya, is going places.

Last week, they met with a group of five students from Stellenbosch University‘s Economic and Management Sciences faculty to tackle a feasibility study for their business.

Yeyethu Design Studio is one of five Stellenbosch-based community businesses that is working with 23 students from the university to determine the viability of their ventures and plan for the future.

This initiative is part of a broader collaboration with the university to connect students with real-life scenarios where they can practise what they are learning in the lecture halls. At the same time, local entrepreneurs are benefiting from the many resources the university has to offer.

The five entrepreneurs currently participating in this process, completed the five-day Ranyaka Enterprise Development Academy earlier this year.

This initiative is part of our Building Business programme – one of ten programmes in Nedbank’s Proud of my Town initiative that pursues the integrated and holistic, positive socio-economic transformation of towns and communities in South Africa. Ranyaka is the implementing agent of Proud of my Town.