Hustlenomics team on-site.
Pic: Supplied
Hustlenomics team on-site. Pic: Supplied

Hustlenomics comes out tops in SA leg of Chivas Venture

By Sponsored Content Time of article published Feb 5, 2020

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It’s no secret that South Africa has significant social and environmental challenges that need urgent solutions. We also have no shortage of bright young minds who continually dream up creative and authentic solutions – and then make them a reality.

This is where  Chivas Venture  steps in.

Nhlanhla Ndlovu of  Hustlenomics  is the SA Finalist of Chivas Venture 2020 – a global platform that supports social entrepreneurs who are using business to solve social and environmental issues, giving them an opportunity to attract investment and funding on a global stage.

Nhlanhla pitched against 3 other impressive participants at the SA Finals held in Johannesburg on Friday 24 January, to walk away with the title.

Nhlanhla, the Township Hustler 

35-Year old Nhlanhla – a qualified bricklayer - was raised in a backroom shack behind the tiny four-roomed house in Soweto his large family called ‘home’. Having to share such a small living space with his siblings while going through all the growth stages of becoming a man, inspired and motivated him to build his own space in the family yard.

His bricklaying skills were put to the test while building a formal structure in the backyard, and he joined forces with friends, who were skilled in plumbing and carpentry. Together they built his first structure in his own backyard, and it is this same structure that was recently used by the family to expand their living space and create a dignified home. 

This was the catalyst for Nhlanhla to start up Hustlenomics in 2015, with a business model that identifies low-income homes with backyard shacks that could benefit from being replaced with formal structures. 

Where better to launch than in his own ‘backyard’ the sprawling township of Soweto - the most populous black urban residential area in the country, where over a million people reside.   

Replacing Shacks in Soweto… one brick at a time

Since then, Nhlanhla and his team  -  five part-time qualified artisans and five part-time unskilled and semi-skilled youth, employed on a project-by-project basis - have been replacing inadequate informal backyard shacks in Soweto with proper, durable structures that generate an income for the homeowner over the long term.  To date, the team has built 30 homes in Soweto.

Hustlenomics applies an innovative shared home financing model where rental income generated from the completed structure is used to recoup building costs, before eventually obtaining full ownership. The initial costs borne by Hustlenomics include building materials, labour costs, and transaction costs for the search for tenants to occupy the space for rental.

SA Finalist Nhlanhla Ndlovu with SASenior Brand Manager Blue Masoka. Pic: Supplied
A clear vision… a watertight business plan

According to Senior Brand Manager for Chivas Regal, Blue Masoka, Nhlanhla walked away with the SA Finalist title because he impressed the judges  - among them respected entrepreneur Andile Khumalo - with a clear vision, a proven record that his venture delivers on its promise; a watertight business plan and because his business model can be expanded to scale – to eventually impact on townships across Africa.

Nhlanhla will be jetting off to the United Kingdom in March to take part in an exclusive Accelerator Programme hosted by London-based social change platform The Conduit, to hone his pitching skills – ahead of the Global Finals in June. 

He will battle it out against finalists from over 29 different countries across the globe in Toronto, Canada, to win a share of $1 million in funding for Hustlenomics.

‘I’m confident that Nhlanhla will fly the flag for South Africa and make us proud at the Global Finals in June ‘ says Blue Masoka.  We will be calling on the country to support him further down the line, when the voting opens before the Global Finals in June.   

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