In honour of South African’s Youth Day on 16 June we’re celebrating some young entrepreneurs who have caught our attention. Thanks to these five young women for inspiring us and the communities around them.
We heard Chanelle being interviewed on SAFM and were inspired by her story. She started at Student Brands as an intern and is now the Operations Director at age 23. Chanelle is full of drive and passion for the youth and committed making opportunities open up for youngsters. Her vision is for Student Brands to move into Africa and be the first youth company to be listed on the JSE. See some of her articles here.
Thato Kgatlhanye: Founder and CEO of Repurpose Schoolbags
Still in her 20’s Thato Kgatlhanye launched Repurpose Schoolbags when she was just 18 years old. She’s also an author, motivational speaker and a recent graduate in Brand Management from Vega, The School of Brand Leadership. Her company makes school bags to help children with road safely, She describes the product as follows: “Each bag is fitted with a solar panel that charges as the child is walking to school. When they get back home, they can use it as a light to study… We are offering dignity, safety and access to light.”
Vanessa Zommi: Founder of Emerald Moringa Tea
We heard about Cameroonian, Vanessa Zommi, when she was selected as an Anzisha Fellow in 2015. Emerald Moringa Tea came about when Vanessa was looking for a natural alternative solution to the diabetes that was threatening her mother’s life. The plant she discovered and turned to tea has been shown to help keep sugar levels in the body down, and as she says, “I knew this was going to work is when I discovered that there is more availability of Moringa in Cameroon than there are areas of abject poverty.” She’s gone on to do a degree in Chemical Engineering and is now doing her Masters, all at the age of 20 years old.
Rachel Sibande’s been in the news recently as she has been selected to represent Malawi at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in the USA. She’s won many awards for her work in technology – including one from Google. She’s the CEO and Founder of mHub, Malawi’s first technology centre, which describes itself as, “An incubator for technology start-ups with a special focus on building young technology entrepreneurs through training.” Such inspirational work from another one of Africa’s bright young stars.
Eseoghene Odiete, Founder of Hesey Designs
We’re fans of Google’s Africa Connected initiative and that’s where we discovered young Nigerian, Eseoghene Odiete. With no formal business training she taught herself how to make handbags via the internet and sourced blogs and magazines to feature her products the same way. Eseoghene has also trained over 30 women, giving them the knowledge and inspiration to run similar businesses, for themselves. Her dream is to build Hesey Designs into an international brand that promotes African designs. “Lots of Africans are going to change the world…” she says, watch her story here.
We look forward to updating you on the progress of these inspirational women as they blaze forth in their chosen fields.
About: Matoyana Business Solutions
Matoyana Business Solutions is a boutique business consulting company located in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is targeted at start-ups, small and medium enterprises across Africa.
Contact: Nokwazi Mzobe