Mareike Hinrichs

Design Thinking Expert, Networker & Trainer for Entrepreneurship Education

 

My name is Mareike aka Simthandile. I am a graduate in Social Science and Economic Education with a passion for people and their stories. In 2013, I successfully completed a semester abroad at the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The following year, I returned to SA to conduct interviews with female social entrepreneurs as part of the University of Oldenburg’s International Center for (Social) Entrepreneurship and Technology (ICET) project. After completing my studies in 2015, I decided to spend a voluntary year in Maseru, Lesotho, where I supported the team of the National Commission for UNESCO in their entrepreneurship programmes for empowering the youth.

The conversations I had with all these inspiring leaders encouraged my endeavours to connect like-minded people with each other. As a result, I was inspired with various ideas on how to improve the interaction between SA and my country of origin - Germany. For example, I initiated an international entrepreneurial seminar called “InterACTION” that aims at bringing together students & recent graduates from Europe and Africa to develop business ideas in the areas of IT, Green Industry and Social Entrepreneurship. The first seminar took place in Port Elizabeth, South Africa in July 2016 and was attended by five different universities from four countries. Moreover, I offered free pitching workshops, mentorship and business coaching opportunities to more than 300 young entrepreneurs based on the experience I gained at various entrepreneurial events.

I am currently working for evers & jung in Hamburg in the area of entrepreneurship and finishing my Master’s Degree in International Management at the European University in Flensburg, Germany this year. My specialization in Entrepreneurship & Small Business Management and having worked in this field for almost five years intrigued me to start my own business "Kamvalethu Consulting" in 2017 so as to work in the area of enterprise development and innovation management in Germany & Southern Africa. In my view, a strong self-belief, perseverance & support network are the most valuable assets an entrepreneur can have.