The 4th edition of the Forbes Africa Under 30 list has just been published which once again celebrates the continent’s most promising young change-makers. This year’s list has been expanded to showcase 30 game-changers, all under the age of 30, in each of three sectors – business, technology and creative. The 90 in total are challenging conventions and rewriting the rules for the next generation of entrepreneurs, creatives and tech gurus. And, the multi-award winning South African entrepreneur, Vere Shaba, co-founder of green buildings solutions company, Shaba and Ramplin, has just been recognized in the business sector category.
Co-Founder: ATI Groupe Nzonde is a brave man. Five years ago, he founded ATI Groupe, a construction company, with the R6,000 ($478) he earned from renting out his friend's BMW that he had borrowed for a weekend. He is also the founder of Mulundu Investment Holdings, which houses ATI Groupe and Chi Groupe, a management consulting firm.
There were over 600 nominations received for this year’s Forbes Africa Under 30 List, with entrepreneurs evaluated on the basis of their fresh ideas, their business size, revenue, location, potential, struggles, social impact and resilience. A panel of judges then debated the final 90 - and Vere Shaba was one of those selected. Vere has won a slew of awards and accolades over the past few years, ever since 2010 when she was a member of the winning team for the international design competition on Peace and Environmental Studies by Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai. Since that time, Vere has won the GE/Lionesses of Africa Open Innovation Challenge for Women Entrepreneurs Award, was selected as one of 10 Top Women in Engineering for the annual Standard Bank Topco Top 100 Women in Business & Government, Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans for Environment, the Kingdom of Netherlands’ Inspiring 50 Women in South Africa in STEM, and most recently, has been selected as a finalist for the inaugural Gauteng Premier’s Women Excellence Awards for Young Achievers.
"I still sit in boardrooms as a minority in the boardroom, as the sector is still quite white male dominated, but I know that every day I am in the boardroom is changing mind-sets and creating a platform for the future generations”
In 2016, she resigned from her job and founded a company that uses the Integrated Green Design approach in engineering. Today, Shaba & Ramplin Green Building Solutions is a multi-disciplinary consulting firm specializing in engineering, green buildings and interiors services, and is rapidly building a name and reputation for itself around the world. Talking about her entrepreneurial journey and experiences, Vere says: “In 2008, while still a student, I did my mechanical engineering practical training at the Volkswagen South Africa plant in Uitenhage and watched as the rolling blackouts and load shedding affected their productivity. When the power went off, the machines would come off and thousands of workers would sit outside in the sun.” Her inspiration for launching her own business that could provide the environmental solutions to such challenges came out of such experiences. But it has not always been easy. She adds, “The frustration came when I kept on being put in a box. Having graduated as a mechanical engineer, I was either seen as a green building consultant or a mechanical engineer but never both. I still sit in boardrooms as a minority in the boardroom, as the sector is still quite white male dominated, but I know that every day I am in the boardroom is changing mind-sets and creating a platform for the future generations” she says.
Read more Lionesses of Africa articles on Vere Shaba:
Vere Shaba, a South African entrepreneur harnessing the power of engineering to minimise the environmental effect of construction
As cities across the African continent grow, and the construction of new buildings on city skylines also grows in tandem, so too does the need to create greener buildings. And, that's where multi-award winning engineering entrepreneur, Vere Shaba, founder of the Shaba & Ramplin Green Build
Vere Shaba wins the GE Africa Innovation Centre & Lionesses of Africa Women's Entrepreneurial Challenge
As part of sponsorship of this year's Lionesses of Africa 2016 Annual Conference, GE Africa Innovation Centre, General Electric's newly launched Innovation Centre, based in Houghton Estate, Johannesburg, and serving Sub-Saharan Africa, sponsored an Open Challenge for Women Entrepreneurs. Key qualifi
About Shaba & Ramplin
Shaba & Ramplin is a multidisciplinary consulting firm specialising in engineering, green buildings and interior services in South Africa. They recognise the need for construction across the continent as part of South Africa’s growth and development, but they also recognise the need for economic and environmental sustainability in engineering. Shaba & Ramplin adds value to their clients and partners through their Integrated Green Design approach which maximises engineering efficiencies and sustainability in new and existing buildings. Their professionally registered and Green Star accredited engineering team does mechanical and electrical engineering designs, optimises green building and interiors specifications, and certifies the buildings in their clients' portfolios.
Shaba & Ramplin is a 100% Black owned firm with BBBEE Level 1 and 135% procurement contribution recognition. Shaba & Ramplin sits on the faculty of the Green Building Council South Africa and is a corporate member of the South African Institute of Black Property Practitioners.