By: Lwazi Nongauza
“Youth in rural areas of South Africa experience a lack of access to technology and communications infrastructure, which creates unequal access to opportunities.”
That is the problem statement Hendrick Swarts, Vuyokazi Ntlebi and Liyabona Mbomvane had to tackle in order to win a golden opportunity to the Global Accelerator Programme in India from the 29th of June to 6th of July 2019.
Swarts, Ntlebi and Mbomvane were among 2014 – 2019 Switchers who showcased their business acumen through the Business Model Canvas and a 4-minute video pitch presentation during the rigorous 24 Hour Challenge that took place from the 6th to 7th of May 2019.
The three delighted Activators are set to network with global thought leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs at the 10 day social entrepreneurship eco-system excursion with Ingenious Faces.
Western Cape-based Activator Swarts attributed his 24 Hour Challenge victory to his past experience in the Switch competition.
‘’l am one of the people who entered the competition last year. So I was already armed with good experience and judges’ feedback from the same competition. When I received the 24 Hour Challenge, I quickly did my research and asked Penester Tjale on how to approach it… I then wrote the canvas. The big challenge was drafting content for the pitch, rehearsing it and shooting but then again last years’ experience came in handy.’’
On the other hand, Ntlebi is intending to use the India trip to build long-lasting international connections with as many young social entrepreneurs, masterminds and business mentors from all over the world.
“I always wanted to travel the world and learn from some of the world’s young social entrepreneur masterminds. The Indigenous Faces programme is a great opportunity to achieve that dream. I am intending to use this opportunity to develop as a global citizen, learn how to use technology to my company’s benefit, scale my social enterprise to be self-sustainable, improve my work ethic and develop crucial business skills I intend to use this opportunity to develop South Africa and break boundaries for other young people.’’said the Eastern Cape-based Activator
Mbomvane intends to use this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as a springboard that will help her to expand her business.
“I want to use this India trip to acquire as much international business industry tools and skills. I am also going to use this opportunity to build formidable international business strategic partnerships that will not only benefit me and my business only but also other young ambitious people in my community. Most importantly I am intending to use this opportunity to boast a credible entrepreneurship profile within my industry here in SA’’ said Mbomvane
The three winners were selected by a panel of six independent judges which include global social entrepreneurship practitioner Apoorv Bamba, Black Business Council head of Youth Portfolio Luvuyo Manyi, award-winning environmental social entrepreneur Zoë Gauld-Angelucci, The Startup Hatchery representative Sinesipho Klaas, founder of Tshokoma Business Consultancy Makibinyane Mohapeloa, and Ingenious Faces head of programme Abhilaasha Kaul.
Switch coordinators, Nhlanhla Ndlovu and Claire Gemmill congratulated all the participants for their innovative ideas and pitching skills. This year’s winners are following in the footsteps of Frans Ntsoereng, Penester Tjale and Vusi Job Tshabalala.