From left to right: Sisanda Ntshinga, Hope Mapheto, Portia Mavhungo, Zinhle Ngidi, Thabang Mabapa, Zakhele Ngubo and Sarah Collins. Picture: Zanele Zulu
From left to right: Sisanda Ntshinga, Hope Mapheto, Portia Mavhungo, Zinhle Ngidi, Thabang Mabapa, Zakhele Ngubo and Sarah Collins. Picture: Zanele Zulu

What social entrepreneurs are learning from the Red Bull Amaphiko Academy

By YETHU DLAMINI Time of article published Jun 19, 2019

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Johannesburg - The Red Bull South Africa has announced its 2019 class of local social entrepreneurs to go through the week-long Red Bull Amaphiko Academy that kicked off last Saturday.

The 14 social entrepreneurs were selected based on their work done in sectors such as education, environment, health and wellness, employment and sustainability. 

Speaking at a press conference held at the Kwazulu Natal Music House on Wednesday, Thabang Mabapa, 27, who is the founder of Selekong sa Dimelana said his entrepreneurial business skills was motivated by crime caused by unemployment. “I didn't know what social entrepreneurship was or what it is about. Upon visiting my family in Limpopo, I realised how unemployment breeds problems such as crime and financial restraints among young people.

The castor seeds farmer said he joined the academy in 2015 and had trouble finding the right partnerships. He also applied for funding for his business. He said after his experience at Amaphiko, he learnt how to present his business better and putting strategic structures in place.

Zakheni Ngubo, 32, an entrepreneur from Umlazi in Durban, said: “Coming to Red Bull Amaphiko and being surrounded by people who want to make a difference, pushes one to be their best.”

Ngubo works with some of the teachers in the country to develop digital content and integrate the best classroom experience into a mobile device. 

He develops tutorials for Mathematics, Science, isiZulu and takes all videos and material and integrates them into a Siyafunda digital library, which is a device that one can take to any location without WiFi.

Ngubi added that the one thing he learnt from the academy as an entrepreneur is to never forget to grow. “Our business has evolved so much since inception and this is because I have been able to allow myself to hear other people’s ideas without it losing its integrity,” he said.

Red Bull Amaphiko is a global programme that champions social entrepreneurs driving positive change in their corner of the world. This year, it holds its fourth academy since its existence in 2014.

The festival is on its fifth day on Wednesday and includes storyteller sessions under the topics; Women in Innovation and the Business of Arts enabling people with social impact initiatives, projects and businesses come together and share their entrepreneurial skills and experiences. 

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The Star

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