Pretoria – Innovative business ideas by entrepreneurs that can have a positive impact on Mamelodi residents were awarded prizes that would allow them to continue to change lives in their communities.
As part of Ranyaka Community Transformation’s Proud of my town building business programme in Mamelodi, four winners were selected for identifying problems in their communities and coming up with solutions.
Ranyaka Community Transformation executive director and urban planner Maggie Tsotetsi said they were required to explain how they were going to generate money out of that concept.
The first prize winner was Given Maboela whose idea was to install affordable uncapped Wi-Fi access points to certain areas in the community.
He said his dream was to develop his very own internet service provider in rural areas especially in schools where they can have access to information.
“The competition made me believe that I stood a chance to be able to grow my business. It showed me that I was capable of doing more than what I was doing now.
“I always believed that I could win because I have always believed in my strength because I have been involved in social entrepreneurship for a while now,” he said.
Tsotetsi said Maboela’s idea was connecting people which was a necessity now more than ever especially now that the coronavirus pandemic has shown people that staying connected is crucial.
The second prize winner Nkululeko Nkwanyana came up with the concept of recycling oil and a long-term goal of reusing fuel.
He owns a company called Hana which is a multidisciplinary service provider that focuses on entertainment ,project management, hosting and promoting as well as the planning of events.
“The most important thing that I learn from the programme is discipline because in business you encounter a lot of challenges and when you are faced with a lot of challenges you can find yourself slacking.
Having mentors tell us about the expectations from the ideas and businesses that we were running, gave us an idea of what to focus on” he said.
The 20 candidates went through a seven-week programme that included social media training and several other workshops.
Nkwanyana said when one gave time, planned and strategised along with some research, they would already feel positive to become a winner before you even get the prize.
The prizes included Wi-Fi routers, printers, scanners, file folders, laminators and stationary.
Doreen Modisane who came up with a street clean-up and recycling plant concept was excited for finishing in fourth place and said she really wanted to see a difference in the community.
She also owns her own catering company and cooked a lovely meal for all that attended the ceremony.