5 Youth Entrepreneurs to Watch

Updated on 27 August 2014

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5 young entrepreneurs to watch out for and what sets them apart

South Africa is generally a country not in short supply of unique ideas, but what sets these youth entrepreneurs apart is that they put their innovative idea into action.

Some are driven by a passion for their communities while others are fueled by a hunger for innovation and breaking new ground.

Here is a selection of youth entrepreneurs who are leading the pack of entrepreneurs under the age of 30.

The Headboy

Erratic water supply in his community in Limpopo, and a passive inquiry from a friend about lack of an instant bath, led to Ludwick Marishane’s eureka moment. The then 17-year-old went on to devise a formula for a gel that does the work of a bath without the need for water.

DryBath Gel is a hygienically-proven gel that acts as a substitute for bathing. The gel moisturises the skin, kills germs, and leaves the user smelling fresh. Marishane sees his product as a solution to saving water and the need for soaps. His idea enabled him to go on and be the founder and MD of Headboy Industries. He holds a Bachelor of Business Science from the University of Cape Town, majoring in Finance & Accounting.

  • See also: A bath without water (Ted Talk Joburg)

Marishane explains what drives him on his Linkedin profile as the following: “My mission is to develop innovative products that solve the global consumer’s pressing needs, while contributing extensively to the development of Africa’s own world-leading innovation ecosystem,” Marishane says.

Youth only at heart

Sam Berger, 12

Sam Berger’s parents didn’t know that allowing him to use their old gadgets and computers as toys would engender an engineering spirit in him. By the time he was 10, Berger had saved enough money to buy his own new computer.

From the hours he spent in front of the screen, Berger went on to design GeyCheck, an app that detects whether geysers are in or out of guarantee without the trouble of having to climb onto the roof to get the serial number and the date code.

Berger has been recognised by Microsoft SA, University of cape Town and the Department of basic Education for his IT ingenuity.

  • See also: 12-year-old entrepreneur is making tracks in the tech world

“I want to impart my knowledge and skills among my peers, teach children in underprivileged communities how to code, and offer them free hand-held computers,” Berger said in an interview.

The Youth Motivator

Neftaly Malatji, 23

The township of Diepsloot on the N1 to Pretoria is often associated with high unemployment, violent crimes and poverty.  At just 14 at the time, Neftaly Malatji looked for ways to change his and his peers’ fortunes. He launched Diepsloot Youth Projects, using the money he had saved from his part-time job.

Diepsloot Youth Projects aims to make an impact in the poverty-stricken area by focusing on income generating programs that enable young people to engage in business opportunities and other youth development projects in various sectors including ICT. So far Malatji has created employment for 16 young people.

The Agent

Karabo Mathang, 27

At just only 27 years of age, Karabo Mathang is a fully recognised and Fifa accredited player-agent. She’s also the first woman in South Africa to be accredited by SAFA. This mother of two owns P-Management, a sports management company founded in 2007 that represents about 40 players plying their trade in different levels of professional football locally.

On her profile on the company’s website, Mathang says she saw a gap in the market and wanted to address the lack of proper and effective athletic management. This entrepreneur is also studying law through Unisa and works in an investment company. Mathang is also a Wits graduate in International Relations.

The Fundi

Kolawole Olajide, 22

Kolawole Olajide is one of five founders of an education platform Funda. The entrepreneur is Nigerian-born but South African naturalised. On their website, Olajide says Funda was started after they realised that training and development wasn’t being delivered in a fun, easy and reliable manner. He then focused on the development of a learning management system hoping to change the the way people learn.

Funda is an online learning management system that brings together educational resources to make teaching and learning easier for teachers, students, and parents. It uses 2D, 3D, and animated training materials.

Olajide has a Computer Science degree from the University of Cape Town.

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