Softline was recently very proud to be involved as a sponsor organisation with SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise), an international non-profit organisation that brings together South Africa’s top leaders with students, with the aim of creating a better, more sustainable world through the positive power of business.

SIFE hosted the SA 2012 national competition in July this year and 26 higher education institutions participated.  Participating students are required to form teams on their campuses and apply business concepts to develop outreach projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need.  The SIFE competition held last month was an opportunity for all teams to showcase the results from their projects and win the chance to compete in the SIFE World Cup.

SIFE South Africa CEO, Letitia de Wet says that all the participating teams showed great commitment in developing their communities and enriching their outreach through the creation of sustainable businesses. “It is heart-warming to see such commitment from these youths as it gives us hope that South Africa’s talent and entrepreneurial outlook is increasing – enabling a future led by inspiring and focused leaders who will constantly look for ways in which to not only develop their own skills but also integrate these learning’s and uplift the communities in which they operate.”

Nozipho Tshabalala, Organisational Development Consultant for Softline says that the sponsorship of the SIFE initiative is aligned to the Softline motto of not waiting for someone to help you, but rather taking steps to help yourself. “Learning about the projects and initiatives launched as a result of this competition has been inspiring, specifically the long term effects these students are having on the communities they live and study in.”

“Development of an entrepreneurial spirit is key for scholars and students in South Africa, and projects like these go a long way to educate young South Africans about starting and running small businesses with the added bonus of benefitting a community.”

The University of KwaZulu Natal has won consecutively for five years now, and this year they were awarded the National Champion title because of the outcome and impact they have achieved through the development and implementation of outstanding sustainable community outreach projects. As a result, they will be competing against winning teams from 38 different countries globally, where they will represent South Africa at the 2012 SIFE World Cup in Washington (D.C.), taking place from the 30th of September to 2nd October 2012.

We wish them all the best for this global competition and we at Softline are proud to be associated with such an uplifting initiative.