THE TWO masterminds behind DJOL, Jené Venter and Arnold Hattingh. Photo: Wikus Venter.

New Student Entrepreneurs on the Rise

By Ciara Shaye Seaman

The Stellenbosch University campus is filled with entrepreneurs establishing themselves. This past year has brought many sparkly-eyed students emerging into independence and ready to make a business out of their passions and skills.

Baking beginnings

Layla Gouws is a first-year BCom (Management Sciences) student who is using her love for baking to develop her marketing skills and gain experience that can propel her future career. 

Upon noticing the exorbitant prices of most baked goods, Gouws decided to fill the gap in the market and start her own business baking custom, well-decorated cakes whilst keeping student finances in mind. 

With a starting price of approximately R220 for a cake, she explained, “I cater towards young people who are looking for an affordable and efficient way of buying high quality cakes.”

Gouws initially did transactions via her personal Instagram ­account, but customers can now view her prior bakes and order through her business account: @_imperfect_bakery

Anais Terblanche, a first-year BEd (Intermediate Phase Teaching) student, is another baker who recently started her business and is steadily developing her repertoire. She attributes the beginning of her business to her grandmother and has been baking her own products since she was 14 years old.

Her family plays a large role in her baking journey. “I loved to do a presentation [of the bakes] as well, and asked my family to give me a rating out of 10.”

Terblanche offers a selection of cupcakes, brownies and cakes with a popular no-bake cheesecake. However, she is always keen for a challenge and is looking forward to developing and bettering her ­vegan baking expertise, ­especially as her aunt is vegan. 

Orders can be placed through her Instagram account, @gooodbakes101, where customers can also see her selection of options.

Starting styles 

Gugulethu Khulisile Nkosi, a first-year B (Social Work) student, has years of hairstyling under her belt and is looking to expand her skill into her own business: Lethu’s Hair Salon. 

Nkosi’s journey with hair began in Grade 9 when she sought out the tutelage of her aunt, who did hair herself. Nkosi elaborated, “I asked her to teach me how to braid hair, and she was very supportive when she realised I can actually do hair. She even bought me everything I needed.” 

Nowadays, Nkosi purchases her own products and supports herself through her business.  

Her target market is typically people of colour, and she offers an amazing selection of braids, cornrows, ponytails, and freehand hairstyles. Customers can contact her at gugukhyly@gmail.com for pricing and ­appointments. 

Promising photography

Pippa Zwiegelaar, a first-year BEd (Foundation Phase Teaching) student, began ­Kursiefphotography on the side when she was in matric two years ago, but the pandemic and school made it difficult for her to establish it fully.

Taking photography as a subject from Grade 10 to 12 at the PJ ­Olivier Arts Centrum in Stellenbosch exposed her to a multitude of mediums and styles, but she finds herself enjoying experimentation the most. 

Zwiegelaar explained that she enjoys “how rewarding it is to wait for the perfect shot or to hype someone up when they are feeling overwhelmed when ­shooting”.

Whilst open to anything, ­Zwiegelaar has experience in events and mainly does portraits, but she is looking to expand into student life with a price range of R200 to R800. She is contactable via email at kursiefphotography@gmail.com, but customers can also check out her portfolio on Instagram: @kursiefphotography.

Technology tactics

Arnold Hattingh is a first-year BEng (Electrical and Electronic) student who, with the help of his girlfriend, Jené Venter—a BCom (International Business) student—developed an app that has been taking campus by­ storm.

DJOL was created as a means for students to enjoy university life to the max without maxing out their cards and was already at number six on Apple’s App Store Food and Drinks Chart only four days after its launch

Hattingh explained, “It’s quite simple: student life is a massive djol, but it gets expensive very quickly.” 

As such, the app allows users to view all the specials across Stellenbosch from clubs to cafés and restaurants.

Through YouTube and Panda Bowls, Hattingh taught himself how to code and visited all the places in Stellenbosch to find out their deals, resulting in the success that is DJOL. The app is free and available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play. All that users need to do is to grab their friends and have a great time. 

The next time you are out and about, or want to make a celebration special, remember the student businesses around you and consider ­supporting them. By doing so, they will be empowered to grow.

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