02 June 2021

    Celeste Jacobs

    South Africa's young innovators

    These social entrepreneurs’ bright ideas not only boost our economy, but solve problems faced within our country.

    They are the changemakers who’re setting the tone for a future we can all look forward to.

    Bathabile Mpofu

    Hailing from Kwa-Zulu Natal, the founder of Nkazimulo Applied Sciences developed a mini-science kit, called ChemStart. It’s designed for high school learners and is equipped with all the necessary supplies. The kit contains 52 experiments; one for each week of the year. Bathabile’s passion for science began at a young age, but she battled to cope with the practical component at university, mainly due to a lack of conducting experiments in high school. The ChemStart kit is a compact solution for students who don’t have access to labs and aims to familiarise learners with the process of conducting experiments. 


    Murendeni Mafumo

    This social entrepreneur was born in Limpopo and holds a Bachelor of Technology degree from CPUT, with a major in Chemistry. He also has a certificate in Water Treatment Technology. His brainchild, Kusini Water provides safe drinking water to people in rural areas using a solar-powered water purification system. Murendeni is a firm believer in the importance of providing sustainable water and safe drinking water, particularly to people in rural areas who cannot necessarily afford to buy bottled water. On a global scale, Murendeni is aware that over 1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water and that infants in the developing world die within the first two to three years due to a lack of water. Kusini Water exists to solve these problems sustainably and makes use of locally sourced macadamia nut shells and an off-grid power system to provide water to neighbouring communities.


    Shivad Singh

    What started off as Presto Academy, a business that aims to simplify learning by creating engaging content for students and high school learners, has grown exponentially over the years. Shivad's initial aim to make education more user-friendly has done exactly that – but at a much larger scale and with greater impact. Presto Academy is now one of the brands under the larger umbrella company, Head Start Education. The established Edtech provider, boasts a catalogue of over 50 000 activities and multi-media experiences for all grades. Their content is internationally recognised, award-winning and makes use of research-tested applications. Head Start Education is geared towards not only improving learners' marks, but also improving their mental well-being. 


    Renshia Manuel

    GrowBox was founded in 2016 and is based in Hanover Park, Cape Town. Renshia creates portable grow boxes to help people from various ecomonic backgrounds, who don’t have access to land plant their own gardens, regardless of how much space they have available. GrowBox addresses food shortages by providing access to land in disadvantaged communities, where there is an increasing need for people to grow their own food: either for consumption or to generate an income by selling produce. 


    Vodacom is a company who is passionate about youth development in South Africa, and continues to invest in the development of young people through its Early Careers Programmes. Find out more about it here

    Celeste Jacobs