DURBAN -South African entrepreneur Sarah Collins was awarded the "Woman of the Decade in Entrepreneurship" award at the World Economic Forum in New Delhi, India.
Collins who could not be at the awards to accept the award said, "It is amazing that it has come on our 10th birthday and I feel incredibly honoured".
This female entrepreneur whose product is called the Wonderbag started her journey in 2008. The Wonderbag is non-electric heat-retention cooker that according to Collins is both cost-efficient and time-saving.
Collins said that the Wonderbag has undergone a lot of changes since it was first launched. She said that initially the Wonderbag had polystyrene insulation but the polystyrene cost a lot of money logistically and it was bulky. Now the cooker has repurposed foam as it's insulation. The foam is brought in from dumping sites and used in manufacturing the product.
Her product is now sold in 52 countries and there are 1,3 million users of the Wonderbag. The standard Wonderbag costs R290, according to the product's website.
Currently, the Wonderbag is being manufactured in Tongaat, KwaZulu-Natal and it is then sold to South Africans and exported to countries like the United States and Australia.
There are also satellite manufacturing sites in East Africa, West Africa and in Turkey.
This female entrepreneur said that she has been looking for ways to help empower women and grandmothers in rural communities. She feels that the Wonderbag has helped accomplish that by giving these women a product that can benefit them
Collins added that the creation of the Wonderbag has been a catalyst for female entrepreneurs. She said that the Wonderbag has lead to 10000 entrepreneurs start their ventures like selling Wonderbags or catering businesses.
When someone buys a Wonderbag some of the money will go to the foundation that Collins started. Through the foundation, people in the rural areas will be able to get a subsidised Wonderbag that they can use.
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE