Last month, we discussed the importance of social entrepreneurship in South Africa and gave an example as to how one might begin to address certain social problems within the local community. This month, we take a closer look at young social entrepreneurs who are already sparking change and transforming lives nationwide… prepare to be inspired!
Maria Mayanja: Social Entrepreneur and Co-founder of Angaza Ltd
Just over 5 years ago, while studying environmental engineering, Maria Mayanja and a few of her classmates decided that they wanted to do something positive for their community. Their target was a local primary school and their goal was to inspire the kids to ‘think beyond the obvious’ in terms of greener living.
In collaboration with the children, Mayanja began her upcycling business, known as Angaza Ltd., in which non-biodegradable waste is transformed into fashion accessories and green-friendly jobs are created along the way.
Thato Kgatlhanye: Founder of Repurpose Schoolbags
At the young age of 16, Thato Kgatlhanye and a close school friend noticed how many of their classmates were affected by poverty, and how this poverty was impacting their ability to reach their full potential at school. This led to the brilliant idea of starting their own business called Repurpose Schoolbags.
The initiative produces schoolbags made out of plastic bags, all of which are fitted with a solar panel that charges throughout the day. At night, this solar panel works as a light, making it possible for students who don’t have electricity at home to study and complete all of their homework.
Frederick Bohasu: Founder and director of Bunang Baswa
At just 21 years of age, Frederick Bohasu decided to take the future of his community into his own hands by starting Bunang Baswa. The project was focused on inspiring leadership amongst the local youth, and creating change-makers with the right skills and knowledge necessary to truly make a difference.
Bohasu now dedicates much of his time to hosting personal development and leadership workshops at 15 different schools in and around Pretoria.
You, too, can become a social entrepreneur and a leader within your community. All that you have to do is take action! Oh, and stay tuned to the Student Digz blog for more helpful tips and stories to inspire you throughout your journey…