The world is facing more environmental challenges today than ever before, and Africa is feeling the harsh impact of many of these problems, from environmental degradation and deforestation, to shrinking water supplies, threats to biodiversity, lack of affordable green housing, and waste management issues. Innovative and effective solutions are needed and increasing attention is now being paid to the role that women entrepreneurs are playing on the continent in helping to provide possible solutions to many of these environmental problems, whilst at the same time creating jobs and opportunities for communities to thrive.
"A new generation of environmentally conscious women entrepreneurs on the African continent, or ecopreneurs as they are better known, are making a real and tangible difference by building great socially and environmentally conscious businesses."
These women innovators are proving that it is possible to see entrepreneurship through an environmental lens. They are demonstrating the ability to not only find solutions to some of the environmental and social problems adversely affecting the African continent and the communities within each country, but to also make profits, create much needed jobs and training opportunities, and maintaining a strong eco-friendly business ethos.
These African women EcoWarriors are starting to attract the attention of the world through the increasing number of prestigious competitions and awards initiatives that look to find the next sustainable and environmentally focused business that can make an impact. Each year, the Sustainia Award and the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards for example, identify some of the next game-changing women entrepreneurs and ecopreneurs who are poised to make a difference. Many of Africa's women EcoWarriors featured here are multiple-award recipients, and deservingly so.
In our special focus on Africa’s women ecopreneurs, we introduce some of the real game changers who are proof positive that it is possible to create highly successful businesses that also have a green, socio-economic footprint.
Sarah Collins, founder of Wonderbag, South Africa
There is a lot of talk right now about the need for more high-impact entrepreneurs in Africa, those people who can make a difference on a large scale, and find effective and affordable solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing the continent. Sarah Collins, founder of Natural Balance Global, better known as Wonderbag, is one such high-impact social and ecopreneur who has created an empowering solution to affordable and safe cooking practices for women, particularly in rural communities, whilst at the same time creating income generation opportunities for them too. Her company manufacturers, sells and distributes a revolutionary cooking product known as the Wonderbag. A Wonderbag is based on the oldest technology in the world – heat retention cooking. These non-electric bags are made up of chipped foam that is housed in colourful, African-inspired printed fabrics with a drawstring at the top to retain the heat. This simple but ingenious product allows for food to be brought to the boil by conventional cooking methods and once put into the Wonderbag will continue to cook the food for up to 12 hours. As of November 2015, the company reached the 1 million milestone of Wonderbags sold across the world. Needless to say the business has grown significantly after Sarah’s “light bulb moment” in 2008. It is now an internationally recognised product, but for her it has always been more about creating something that would impact the world we live in and the people around us. The company’s factory is based in Tongaat, South Africa where the Wonderbags are manufactured and distributed to the various warehouse and retail outlets which makes them available to the public to be purchased. The bags are also sold online and in select retail stores, as well as through Wonderpreneurs in their communities. A Wonderpreneur is someone who earns a living by selling our products and in doing so is bettering their own lives and those of the community they serve. Wonderbag is a revolutionary product, which has changed the face of Africa and created a positive impact in various rural areas. The Buy And Give (BAG) initiative is implemented worldwide whereby for every bag sold in any country/region a portion of the proceeds is donated to the Wonderbag Foundation where a bag is purchased and donated to a family in need in Africa. In the US for every bag purchased, the proceeds to cover the cost of a Wonderbag are donated to the Foundation to "Buy" a bag, which is then donated. Read Sarah's startup story. wonderbag.com
Chinwe Ohajuruka, founder of Comprehensive Design Services in Nigeria
Chinwe Ohajuruka is a real inspiration in the field of green building solutions in Africa. She engineers and builds affordable green houses that are both energy and resource-efficient. Her 3 degrees in architecture and 3 accreditations in green building, led to the creation of Comprehensive Design Services, a company that provides comprehensive solutions to complex problems. Back in 2011, she took leave from her job in the USA to voluntarily assist with the establishment of the Green Council in Nigeria. This position required significant research on social, environmental and financial aspects of the Nigerian economy. It was then that she became aware of the significant housing deficit in the country, as well as the extent of the power, water and sanitation crisis. With a growing population of around 175 million inhabitants, Nigeria faces a massive housing, energy and water crisis. Most of the population lives in poor conditions and does not have access to electricity or sanitation. There is a housing deficit of 17 million units and only 40% of the population has access to power. Houses usually lack basic equipment such as toilets or running water. Chinwe’s company, Comprehensive Design Services, aims to find sustainable solutions to this problem by creating affordable, green housing in the country. Her house designs are solar powered, self cooling, and source water right from beneath the feet of the house occupants. Not only that, she produces designs that people can take and build themselves, because 96% of the houses built in Nigeria are self built. Listen to our interview with Chinwe. www.cdshousing.com
Bilikiss Abiola, founder of WeCyclers in Nigeria
Nigeria is home to 21 million people, but only 40% of their trash is collected. The rest ends up in the streets, spreading disease. To begin to find a solution to this environmental time-bomb, a talented young woman launched a recycling startup called WeCyclers back in 2012. Her name is Bilikiss Abiola and she has gone on to become an award-winning social entrepreneur, making both news and a huge difference. She has built a sustainable and viable business model to help the poorest communities in Lagos reclaim their neighbourhoods from the scourge of pollution and waste. WeCyclers, is a successful initiative that enables low-income communities in Nigeria to make money from the waste piling up in their streets. The company deploys a fleet of cargo bicycles to collect and recycle this unmanaged waste in Nigeria’s capital, Lagos. Every week, these bicycles go to people's homes picking up a variety of plastics, cans and sachets. The residents receive points via SMS based on the weight of recyclables they collect, which they can redeem for basic food items, consumer electronics, or even cash. After collection, WeCyclers aggregates the material at the household level to sell to local recycling processors. This is a highly effective, accessible and low-tech, but high impact, recycling scheme that is a win-win for all involved. More than 5,000 households have already signed up for the service, employment has been created for hundreds of young people, and there are plans to extend the initiative to other cities throughout Nigeria. WeCyclers is poised to become a world-leading leading example of a solution that empowers its community to lead healthier, wealthier and more sustainable lives. Read Bilikiss's startup story. www.wecyclers.com
Achenyo Idachaba, founder of MitiMeth in Nigeria
The Niger Delta is being choked by an aquatic weed - water hyacinths are everywhere you look, a floating carpet of vivid purple flowers. Lurking beneath this apparent show of beauty is, however, a very real environmental problem that is wreaking havoc in local communities and ruining water supplies. Not only do the weeds cause water to stagnate, they also deplete nutrients, which in turn reduces fish populations, causing a big problem for local communities reliant on subsistence fishing for their livelihoods. Solving this sort of problem very often requires entrepreneurial vision and energy. Achenyo Idachaba proved to be just such a visionary. She identified the problem, saw a potential opportunity and then set about building a business to fix it! In typical entrepreneurial fashion, Achenyo saw this invasive weed through a different lens and it provided the inspiration for kick-starting her business, MitiMeth. They take these choking weeds and transform them through drying and weaving processes into beautiful hand-crafted and highly desirable products, such as baskets, tableware, and even jewellery. Achenyo has taken an environmental problem and turned it into a win-win business solution - building a sustainable business, creating jobs in the local communities, and most importantly providing a fix to a problem. Achenyo is a great example of a new generation of African women who are not content to simply wait for the world to find solutions to these problems, they are confronting them head-on. Achenyo's achievements were recognised by the Cartier Women's Initative Awards when they selected her as their 2014 Laureate for Sub-Saharan Africa. Listen to an interview with Achenyo. www.mitimeth.org
Winnifred Selby and Bernice Dapaah, founders of Afrocentric Bamboo in Ghana
Like many other countries in Africa, Ghana is battling to find sustainable solutions to a number of socio-economic problems, not least of which is the need for affordable transport, effective ways of fighting poverty and unemployment, and the need to create more sustainable social entrepreneurs. Winnifred Selby and Bernice Dapaah are young entrepreneurs with a vision and an innovative approach to start solving such problems. They co-founded Afrocentric Bamboo, a company that manufactures and markets bicycles made from, of all things, bamboo. They are now heading what has become a growing brand and one that is struggling to keep up with demand. Designed in-house, Afrocentric Bamboo bikes are sturdy, affordable – US$100 for the local market – and made to tackle the high terrain and rough roads of rural Ghana. The frames are built in one piece, making them stronger and more economically viable. This innovative approach to solving the combined problems of affordable transport, poverty and unemployment, is a wonderful example for other young people in Africa to follow. Winnifred and Bernice actively demonstrate through their business and positive approach to sustainable entrepreneurship that young people can improve their own economic futures through such projects. At the same time, they demonstrate that it is possible to realize an entrepreneurial dream, whilst also contributing to the environmental future of the country. Afrocentric Bamboo is a unique eco-preneurship project that will inspire other young people in Africa to follow in their sustainable green business footsteps. www.ghanabamboobikes.corg
Lorna Rutto, founder of EcoPost in Kenya
As a young girl growing up in the Kaptembwa Slums in Kenya, ecopreneur Lorna Rutto had a dream – to find solutions for the vast amounts of plastic waste which overflowed the streets in her community. Years later, her passion for the environment, and her desire to do something to address the increasing waste problem in the country, led her to take the entrepreneurial plunge and start up her own business. In 2009, she co-founded her company, EcoPost, a green business manufacturing aesthetically pleasing, durable and environmentally friendly fencing posts utilising plastic waste. Today, it is an entrepreneurial and an environmental corporate success story. It provides an effective solution to the management of Kenya’s vast plastic waste each day, and it directly provides a solution to the terrible unemployment situation in the country, creating over 300 jobs for young people and women who were previously marginalised in society. Going forward, the EcoPost business model is looking to create 100,000 jobs over the next 15 years. Its eco-footprint is no less impressive, with the company removing over 1 million kilos of plastic waste from Kenya's urban slums, and saving around 250 acres of precious forest in the country. Lorna and her eco-business, EcoPosts, are truly inspirational and demonstrate how it is possible to create a viable and sustainable business in Africa, whilst at the same time positively impacting on local communities and the environment. Read Lorna's profile. www.ecopost.co.ke
Thato Kgatlhanye, founder of Repurpose Schoolbags
In South Africa, a business to create up-cyled school bags with Integrated Solar Light Technology is changing the lives of school kids in South Africa. Repurpose Schoolbags, co-founded by Thato Kgatlhanye, is not a charity, but a purpose-driven business that does what is right, not what is easy. Through its green innovations, it is redefining societal problems into solutions, and uncovers sustainable opportunities that create a far-reaching impact for low-income communities, with a particular focus on children and women. For many kids living in rural and non-electrified parts of South Africa, the final school bell doesn't just signal the end of another day of learning. Instead, it also means the beginning of an arduous trek along busy and dangerous roads to get back home in time to complete their homework before sunset. For Thato Kgatlhanye, this was all too familiar. She saw it every day in her hometown of Rustenburg, a mining community in the North West province of South Africa. So the young entrepreneur decided to do something about it. That work turned into Repurpose Schoolbags which designs school bags from up-cyled plastic bags, integrating solar technology that charges during the day and transforms into light for school kids to study after dark. These 100% recycled plastic schoolbags are changing the lives of young learners - they are not only environmentally friendly, but they provide much needed renewable energy light sources for these young students who need to study after dark at home where electric light simply doesn’t exist. The integration of reflective light material in the bags also provides much needed visibility for these young students on the often dangerous roads as they walk many kilometers each day just to attend school. This is one young ecopreneur who is a real game changer and destined for great things. Listen to an interview with Thato. www.repurposeschoolbags.com
Lynn Worsley, founder of All Women Recycling, South Africa
Lynn Worsley is the founder of All Women Recycling, an inspiring women-led social enterprise in South Africa turning discarded plastic soft-drink bottles into beautiful upcycled, highly decorative giftboxes. The desire to create a sustainable and profitable business, whilst at the same time supporting the environment and empowering other women in the community, was the inspiration for All Women Recycling, a small eco-business based in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town in South Africa. Lynn wanted to find a practical way of keeping the country and its communities clean, by finding a sustainable solution to the thousands of discarded plastic soft-drink bottles. The end goal was to create sought-after, high quality, upcycled products using these plastic bottles as the source materials, that would benefit the environment and empower local women in the communities. The result was the creation of the kliketyklikbox™, a versatile and trendy, yet highly practical and upmarket, eco-friendly gift box recycled from these discarded plastic 2-litre cool drink bottles. Today, All Women Recycling produces approximately 350 kliketyklikboxes™ each day, all created by local young women, primarily previously unemployed single mothers. Read Lynn's startup story. www.allwomenrecycling.com
Juanita van der Merwe, founder of Little Green Number in South Africa
Little Green Number is the brainchild of a passionate young social entrepreneur, Juanita van der Merwe, who is aiming to change the world for the better by not only creating unique, really funky handmade bags from up cycled advertising billboard posters thereby helping the environment, but also creating much-needed local jobs for young people in her community. Little Green Number is an award winning social business focused on sustainable job creation, via community based micro manufacturing franchise ownership, producing a quality handbag product that is both funky and unique, yet also saves the environment - one advertising billboard at a time! Its products are 100% handmade, durable and weather resistant and the company is proud to be a South African business with an upcycled, innovative product that creates sustainable jobs. Read Juanita's startup story. www.littlegreennumber.com
Monica Umwari and Maria Mayanja, co-founders of Angaza in Rwanda
Two young Rwandan ecopreneurs are showing the world that great design combined with a passion for finding environmentally friendly ways of dealing with the country’s non-biodegradable waste, can create something beautiful. Monica Umwari and Maria Mayanja have founded a young and funky eco-brand, Angaza, producing fashionable and highly desirable accessories made from upcycled waste products. They are showing Rwandans, and indeed the rest of the world, that entrepreneurs can make a positive difference to both the environment and to people’s lives. Today, Angaza aims to contribute to a brighter, more ecologically friendly Rwanda, where the design and manufacture of new products does not rely on depleting natural resources to make something new. The ethos of their business is based on transforming non-biodegradable waste, particularly discarded vinyl advertising banners and other plastic advertising materials, and jute rice bags, into unique and highly decorative accessories. To get the raw materials to make their products, Monica and Maria tapped into social-responsibility programmes at various big companies in Rwanda. Through its eco-design approach, Angaza is providing innovative solutions to dealing with Kigali’s non-biodegradable waste. Monica and Maria believe that an integrated approach to waste management, environmental education and job creation is the way forward for Rwanda and see eco-preneurship as a key driver for change. Angaza is an excellent example of ecopreneurship in action and the company demonstrates to others that by upcycling waste, it is possible to reduce pollution, reduce the depletion of natural resources, teach more people about the environment, and create new, much needed job opportunities. Read the Angaza startup story. www.angazarwanda.com
Bethlehem Tilahun-Alemu, founder of Sole Rebels in Ethiopia
The inspirational Ethiopian woman entrepreneur, Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, founded the world's fastest-growing African footwear brand and the only Fair Trade-certified footwear company in the world. Her company, Sole Rebels, based in her community of Zenabwork, creates unique shoes utilizing recycled car tyres, as a platform for inspiration and hope in her country and beyond. Today 70,000 pairs of shoes leave her factory every year and are exported to 45 countries. So, what is behind the name soleRebels? That was a piece of beautiful serendipitous poetry that sprang from the whole idea of giving deeply marginalized folks who once had no hope, the chance to become self sufficient, independent and full of hope by crafting innovative footwear from recycled tires, inner tubes, organic cottons and other great natural materials! SoleRebels began in 2004 as an idea: to bring jobs to the community of Zenabwork, a small village in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a place where there literally were none. Having grown up watching family and neighbours struggling, she decided to create the “better life” they were all waiting for by harnessing the community’s incredible artisan skills and channeling them into a sustainable, global, fair trade footwear business. Today, the soleRebels brand is being enjoyed by people in over 45 countries around the world, and provides an excellent platform to begin to share many of the indigenous eco-sensible craft heritages and artisan talents that exist in Ethiopia with the world! Being hand crafted and eco-sensible, the company sources and makes almost all the materials locally, thereby creating an export product from 100% local inputs. This allowed Bethlehem and her team to riff, recreate, and re-imagine the traditional “selate” and “barabasso” shoes, a recycled car tyre soled shoe that has existed in Ethiopia for a long time (in fact, it was the footwear from back in the day when the original “soleRebels” fought off the invading forces and kept Ethiopia as the only African nation to never be colonized!). This wonderful indigenous age-old recycling tradition has been fused with fantastic Ethiopian artisan crafts and excellent modern design sensibilities and turned it into footwear that has universal flavour and appeal that is now a market beating export brand being enjoyed by people around the globe! Read Bethlehem's profile. www.solerebels.com
Chioma Ukonu, founder of Recycle Points in Nigeria
RecyclePoints is a Nigerian waste recycling and social benefit project. Founded by inspiring changemaker, Chioma Ukonu, RecyclePoints operates an incentive-based scheme which collects recyclable waste materials from post-consumers and in turn rewards them with “Points” which they can accumulate and use to redeem/shop for household items offered through their iRecycle store. It is a common sight to see the citystreets, drainages, roadsides and even dumpsites packed with recyclable packaging materials which are carelessly disposed of by users. This practice often poses environmental hazards to communities as they experience floods due to the blockage of water drainages by most of these recyclables which have become the fastest growing packaging option in the beverage and food industry. Lagos State (the company’s pilot location) has an estimated population of 17 million people and daily generates an average of 9,000 metric tonnes of waste of which 1,200 metric tonnes are currently recycled. Recyclables form the bulk of identifiable items at refuse points in Nigeria. Often times, the drainage channels in the metropolis cities are blocked by these recyclable items and the resultant effect during the rainy season is flooding and a breeding ground for harmful organisms. The most challenging concern for recycling is sustaining an effective buyback system for clean recyclables and an efficient supply-chain system for collection. The RecyclePoints model is an incentive “Point-Based” collection program that allocates “Points” to the quantity of recyclable items neatly collected at the point of disposal by post-consumers who in turn use the earned “Points” to redeem numerous identified household items and services. Subscribers to the scheme are given Green Cards, where items collected and counted are recorded against each week of the month. Recyclers get an SMS notification at the end of the week on the number of “Points” gained. Thereafter, the “Points” gained could be traded in exchange for equivalent tagged items available at the RecyclePoints “iRecycle Store”. Redeemed items are collected from the company’s office or delivered to the Recycler directly on request. Potential Recyclers register to join the iRecycle Network and earn points from various identified recycling activities. www.recyclepoints.com
Mabel Suglo, founder of Eco Shoes, Ghana
Mabel Suglo is a rising star on the African footwear scene and was awarded a prize of $12,500 for her entrepreneurship activities. Her company, Eco Shoes, offers an assortment of shoes and accessories that are fashionable and Afro-themed, using recycled materials. Her employee-base is made up of predominantly disabled individuals and she aims to increase their economic participation through real job opportunities. Mabel believes that disability is not inability and employs people with a variety of disabilities to create products that she sells into wholesale and retail markets. “There are millions of discarded car tyre stockpiles and waste materials in Ghana which pose an environmental and health hazard,” says Suglo. Eco-Shoes rescues some of the millions of tyres and other material waste creating an environmental nuisance, to make fashionable and comfortable shoes. The company seeks to build a community of conscious consumers with a forward thinking team who believe re-using and recycling can turn trash into treasure. www.ecoshoesgh.com
Rose Twine, founder of Eco Stove, Uganda
Having grown up in Uganda and shared a life in both rural and urban areas, exposure to the challenges related to cooking including the time wasted, the health problems associated with cooking, the cost implication and the environmental degradation, Rose Twine, founder of Eco Stove wanted to use her skills, experience and opportunity to do something about these. She has created a business that will not only bring in revenues but has a social and environmental impact to the majority as it helps to reduce Carbon Foot Print by creating the first and only cook stove branded as Eco-Stove that uses reusable stones instead of charcoal or fire-wood. Eco Stove is a product introduced by the Eco Group Ltd, a company that manufactures environmental, economic, social and technological innovated cook stoves. The Eco Stove innovative technology was inspired by the ever rising challenge of cooking in the developing world. The invention of the Eco Stove is driven by a desire to reduce the Carbon footprint as supported by the Kyoto Protocal and reduce the costs of cooking. Furthermore, the design is driven and improved by users. The Eco Stove is a smoke free, user friendly, efficient, and state-of-the-art cook stove that uses reusable stones that last for two years. Because the current cook stoves on the market in the developing world are not environmental friendly and expensive to run, Uganda needed a new environmentally friendly stove that will not only deliver environmental benefits but meet the social, health, economic and technological solution to the problem. The stoves have been designed to use reusable stones and are adopted with an air system to increase combustion and efficiency and to meet the everyday personal cooking needs. In order to run the inbuilt air for combustion, a solar kit also provides added value to the stove by its lighting and phone charging services. They have been designed with heat regulators to meet the cooking heat level needed for each meal. The Eco Stoves are manufactured in 2 portable sizes to meet different cooking needs; ie single burner, double and oven style with two top burners but we also install commercial institutional stoves. The company’s business plan is to scale up, to franchise across Africa and the developing world, and to obtain a global license to have Eco Stoves and its reusable stones across the entire world! www.eco-stovesystem.com
Doron Shaltiel, founder of Quazi Design in Swaziland
Quazi Design is a cutting edge craft company, founded by social entrepreneur Doron Shaltiel, that transforms waste magazines into original accessories and interior products. Through innovative techniques and collaboration, they believe in pushing the boundaries of craft, responsibility, and design. Based in Swaziland, all their products are hand made by local women, empowering them through skill sharing and earning a sustainable permanent income. Promoting social responsibility and environmental awareness in design and everything they do, Quazi is creating a new perspective on fair trade. the company designs for sustainable change and social impact, creating responsible and thoughtful products by transforming discarded waste magazines into original accessories and interiors. The company believes that craftsmanship and ethical production could prove to be a vital economic sector for Africa, and wants to change the perception of recycled materials by developing innovative techniques combined with locally sourced environmentally friendly or recycled materials. A founding member of SWIFT, Swaziland fair trade, the company is an active advocate for fair trade principles. It is a partnership between Doron, who is the creative and managing director, the force behind the business, and the local magazine distributors. The workshop is situated in Sidwashini, in the industrial area of Mbabane, the capital city of Swaziland. The company’s woman artisans are employed full time with permanent contracts, giving them job security and a living wage. Most of the artisans were previously unemployed, and on average each has 7 dependents. www.quazidesign.com
Mariam Hazem and Hend Riad, co-founders of Reform Studio in Egypt
The concept behind Reform Studio in Egypt all started with a plastic bag, with its founders , Mariam Hazem and Hend Riad, believing that design can solve stubborn problems and thus it started from a major issue in Egypt: waste. One experiment after another, and after many design proposals, the duo came up with the company’s first product ‘Plastex’. Plastex is a new eco-friendly material made by weaving discarded plastic bags. The idea is to prolong the life cycle of plastic bags before it gets labeled as ‘trash’. The average period of usage of a single-use plastic bag is only 12 minutes! For a material that takes years to degrade, using it as a disposable item is not practical at all. The discarded plastic bags create significant negative impact on the environment, not to mention the amount of wasted energy resources that could have been used elsewhere. By looking at plastic bags as a raw material rather than waste, the company has been able to transform it into a new durable eco-friendly handmade fabric. Plastex is designed to raise awareness about how we define waste and the possibilities behind reusing what was once destined to become ‘trash’. The process juxtaposes a traditional weaving technique and an unusual material; Plastic bags are interwoven on a traditional Egyptian handloom. Reform aims to help revive the weaving industry- a craft that is on the brink of extinction, and consequently increase work opportunities across Egypt and empower local communities. www.reformstudio.net
Balungile Sokhulu, founder of Goshem City of Refuge Shelter in South Africa
Take one talented young fashion designer with a great eye for detail and a creative flair, and combine it with a passion for making a difference in society, and you have a wonderful South African social entrepreneur, Balungile Sokhulu, founder of Goshem City of Refuge Shelter. She is transforming recycled paper into accessories that are real works of art, and creating much-needed opportunities for youth with disabilities and women. She is a real game-changer. The organisation provides training and job skills to disadvantaged, unemployed women and youth with disabilities and train them to manufacture fashion accessories, interior decor pieces, corporate gifts and haute couture, using innovation in newspaper recycling technology. The organisation is also looking to house abused women and their children whilst training them with their new skills. Goshem’s hand-made products advocate a WORLD-FIRST innovation in newspaper recycling combined with skills development. It provides an effective means of providing women’s entrepreneurship opportunities and empowering youth with disabilities; a way of creating awareness in climate change; recycling, sustainable job creation; and creativity. Balungile’s future plans are to put the skills into the hands of as many unemployed women and physically challenged youth, and form a collaboration with satellite studio owners to produce the desired orders of products in volume. Also, to establish a skills centre for people with disabilities, providing them with the core skills to enable them to manufacture an internationally renowned product in exchange for a sustainable donation. This will make this innovation viable for ongoing job creation and product design and development, thus making the NPO a formidable service provider where everybody is satisfied. It will also assist the ladies that are housed in the shelter can become self-sustaining and empower themselves to fight the scourge of women abuse in South Africa. Read Balungile's startup story.