SiMODiSA Events - LeaderEx Speaker - Square - Matsi ModiseMs. Matsi Modise is the Managing Director of SiMODiSA, an industry association who’s mission is to accelerate entrepreneurship by collaborating with policy makers to enhance the success rate of high impact, high growth entrepreneurs. She is the former National Executive Director of the South African Black Entrepreneurs Forum (SABEF) and is an avid entrepreneurship activist. She is the founder of Furaha Afrika Holding (Pty) Ltd, a Pan-African advisory company that focuses on enterprise and business development solutions.

Her experience ranges from Investment Banking at Investec Bank Ltd, and Enterprise Development advisory with South African banks, institutions of higher learning and corporate entities. She has coached numerous small business owners in remote areas of South Africa to increase skills and capacity in small businesses.

She currently sits on the board of the Free State Land Use Advisory Board; Agri-Vie Fund as a trustee; The Innovation Hub as a Non-Executive Director and Start Up Nations South Africa. She is a member of the Institute of Business Advisors. She is a subcommittee member of the South African Venture Capital/ Private Equity Association (SAVCA) and the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) Innovation Management committee.

She is a World Economic Forum (WEF) founding curator of the Soweto Global Shapers Hub in Gauteng, South Africa, and in September 2014, she was acknowledged at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of New Champions, in Tianjin China by Professor Klaus Schwab (founder of the WEF) for her contribution to entrepreneurship development in South Africa’s underserved communities. In January 2016, she was selected by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as one of the Top 50 Global Shapers to attend the WEF Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Matsi is the South African Chapter Head of the Pan-African foundation, Africa 2.0 and a mentor for numerous young entrepreneurs and business owners in South Africa. She is a thought leader on entrepreneurship ecosystems and is a regular contributor on CNBC Africa, Forbes Woman African and numerous online, print and broadcast media platforms.

Matsi was awarded the Coca –Cola Young Achiever of the year award at the Women In Leadership – Africa Summit 2013. She represented South Africa at the African Union 50th Jubilee celebration in Ethiopia and was part of a Youth Forum that engaged with various African leaders such as Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta, Zambian past President Kenneth Kaunda, Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. She also recently represented South Africa at the Pan African Youth Summit in Kigali, Rwanda.

Aisha Pandor is co-founder and CEO of SweepSouth, an award-winning home services platform that won the SiMODiSA Startup SA pitching prize and later became the first South African startup to be accepted into the prestigious 500 Startups accelerator based in Silicon Valley.

Aisha is a former scientist who completed her PhD in Human Genetics at the University of Cape Town. While writing her PhD thesis, she also completed a Postgraduate Business Administration course at the University of Cape Town and went on to work as a management consultant at Accenture South Africa. There she worked in HR management, digital strategy and supply chain with clients in the telecommunications and mining industries.

After 2 years as a consultant, Aisha decided to bite the bullet and embark on an entrepreneurial journey with SweepSouth, an on-demand platform for booking domestic services that connects unemployed and underemployed domestic workers with homeowners who need their services. Her company launched in June 2014 and currently operates in 3 South African cities.

Aisha is the recipient of a South African Women in Science award, and was also named as one of the Mail and Guardians’ Top 200 Young South Africans in 2012.

Daryn Smith is co-founder and director of MPULL, a B2B marketing agency based in South Africa. He is an entrepreneur at heart and is always challenging conventional and incumbent thinking.

Daryn has operated in the business-to-business space throughout his career, including heading up the marketing team at MTN Business, managing marketing communications and CRM for the African operation of Verizon Business and managing UUNET Africa’s digital properties. As the Head of Marketing in Africa and the Middle East for InMobi, which was the largest independent mobile advertising network worldwide, he was responsible for the development and activation of marketing strategies across the continent.

Daryn, in essence a marketing scientist, has qualifications in both marketing and computer science. He has combined these disciplines to bring accountability and measurability to the creative magic of marketing.

SiMODiSA Events - LeaderEx Speaker - Square - Dominique ColletteDominique is a Senior Investment Executive at RMI and is heading up the firm’s next- generation financial services business, AlphaCode.

Dominique has an entrepreneurial background and has worked throughout Africa, Russia, and Turkey and was based in both Brussels and London. She was one of the founding members of TYME, a South African based technology company that was launched out of the Deloitte Innovation Incubator. TYME was sold to Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) in early 2015.

Prior to this, Dominique’s career spanned both banking and management consulting at McKinsey & Company and the Standard Bank Group.

Dominique holds an M.Sc. (Finance) from the London Business School and a B.Bus.Sci from Rhodes University.

SiMODiSA Events - LeaderEx Speaker - Square - Jason GoldbergCURRENT Roles: Founding Director Edge Growth; Head of Vumela Fund; Head of the Edge’s IP Dev.

Education: B.Sc Electrical Engineering; Post Graduate B.Phil in Sustainable Development Since starting his career with Bain & Co and later as a corporate strategist, Jason has spent the last 10 years starting, advising, incubating, investing in, and sitting on boards of early stage firms. Since co-founding Edge Growth, Jason has advised many multi-national and large South African clients on enterprise development. At present Jason is CIO of Vumela, a Social Venture Capital fund Edge manages in partnership with one of SA’s big four banks. Vumela makes R2m – R20m investments in early stage, high growth firms. Jason is also custodian of Edge Growth’s incubation methodologies to unlock growth in high potential small businesses.

Prior to Edge Growth Jason’s primary focus is growing new companies: as an entrepreneur, venture financier, and advisor. Jason got his first taste of venturing working for Bain & Co in 2001, helping De Beers Technology commercialise tech. which they could not use in the mines. He then spent a few years in corporate strategy, mostly in the airline industry doing both expansion strategy and implementation work. Since 2005 he has focused almost exclusively on growing new companies. Jason has been a pioneer in the field of early stage growth strategy, and as such been keynote speaker at several local and international events on growing companies. Jason has worked with several of the world’s largest firms to develop strategies for growing local enterprises and suppliers.

His passions are growth strategy, financing, and what he calls ‘business building’ (evolving leadership, operations and management infrastructure to handle the growing complexity of the business). His personal mission is to use these skills and experiences to develop pioneering and high impact approaches to job creation and poverty alleviation.

Jeff is a serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Instinctively entrepreneurial, he has been involved in a number of successful start-ups. He co-founded Brandcorp, which was listed on the JSE in 1997 and sold in a management buy-out for approximately R1.4 billion. Other companies he founded include KNR Flatrock, Balboa Finance, Born Free Properties and Bride & Co and Eurosuit, the largest chain of bridal department stores in South Africa.

He is respected for his powerful network, hands-on experience in a number of different industries and a thorough understanding of all disciplines in business. Jeff combines his CA (SA) qualification with intuitive and visionary insights to identify gaps and opportunities in the market. His edge lies in uncompromising execution and ability to get the job done quickly.
His current focus and passion is on impacting entrepreneur and venture capital developments in Africa as well as enhancing the entrepreneur ecosystem in South Africa. He is founder and chairman of Seed Engine which includes Seed Academy – a training, incubation and funding ecosystem for entrepreneurs. He is also CEO of Grovest – the first operational Sec 12J Venture Capital Fund in South Africa. He is also a member of the subcommittee of the South African Venture Capital Association (SAVCA).

SiMODiSA Events - LeaderEx Speaker - Square - Katlego MaphaiKatlego Maphai is the Co-Founder and CEO of Yoco, a point-of-sale payments venture that is reducing the complexity in processing payments for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in Africa.

Before Yoco, he was at Rocket Internet where he was part of the core incubation team that set up, now the largest e-tailer in Africa.

Katlego spent seven years as a management consultant for Accenture and Delta Partners (Johannesburg & Dubai) prior to his time at Rocket. His focus was in Telecoms, Media & Technology (TMT), helping large-scale mobile operators with operations improvement, launches and customer experience across Africa and the Middle East. Key clients included: Zain Group, MTN, Cell C, Telkom, Econet Wireless.

Katlego is a South African national, who spent a good part of his childhood in the United States. He is passionate about music and enjoys painting in his free time.

Katlego Studied Business Science at the University of Cape Town

SiMODiSA Events - LeaderEx Speaker - Square - Keith JonesKeith and Odette Jones launched Sw7 in 2014, creating the largest mentor led Technology Accelerator in Africa. During this time, Sw7 have built up a pool of 90+ Tech Founder CEOs and have accelerated over 200 Tech founders through Sw7 partnering with Standard Bank, RMI (AlphaCode) & Microsoft.

Prior to Sw7, Keith Jones launched and ran his own IT business for eleven years culminating in a reverse listing in London, two fund raises totalling GBP6.5m, six acquisitions, an MBO and a couple of disposals creating the leading business intelligence business in it’s sector in EMEA, now worth over ZAR1Bn. His fifteen years experience of strategy execution, analytics and business performance management, assists Tech Startups in accelerating their launch and growth in a highly competitive market. In 2015, Keith organised the first Tech Startup trade mission to London and has mentored at Innotribe, the largest Emerging Markets FinTech Competition.


Twitter @KeithGJones

SiMODiSA Events - LeaderEx Speaker - Square - Paul BacherPaul attained a Bachelor of Commerce in 1989, completing his accounting articles with Fisher Hoffman Sithole, and graduated with an MBA from Wits in 1996.

Paul was one of the founders and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of NetActive Limited, a leading ISP that listed in April 1999. He went on to lead Corporate & Business Development at Call Centre Nucleus Holdings Ltd. (CCN) While at CCN, he founded the first national Call Centre Industry Body (SACCCOM - the South African Contact Centre Community), in order to united the local South African outsource contact centre industry players & re-position South Africa in the international arena). He was elected as its first CEO. During that time, he also held executive positions on the City of JHB Contact Centre Forum & the DTI’s BEE Working Group.

In 2008 he re-joined the NetFlorist division (part of the Group), the largest online flower and gifting business in South Africa.

In 2010, Paul took up the position of CEO of OrtJet (the organisation he founded in 2002), and is currently very involved in the strategic leadership of the organisation.

As part of a social entrepreneurship initiative, Paul set up the Rosebank Craft Market at the Rosebank Mall in Nov 2013, and handed over the reins to his partner, after the business was fully operational and running successfully towards the end of 2014.

In April 2015, he co-founded African Business Connectors – a pan-African focused investment holdings and advisory Company. Newly formed with old experience, the company’s principals have extensive and deep knowledge and networks in various areas of business globally and in Africa.

In May 2015 Paul initiated and is the current chairman of the National Mentorship Movement – with a vision is to create a sustainable nationwide mentorship program across all economic sectors of the South African economy – to connect 100 000 active mentors to 1 million mentees in order to groom existing and future entrepreneurs, create confident and successful individuals, transform the economy and create a sustainable future for South Africa. He currently drives a steerco made up of captains of industry, government and leading social entrepreneurs.

Paul has initiated and continues to participate in various development initiatives in both the Jewish and broader South African communities.

SiMODiSA Events - LeaderEx Speaker - Square - Pieter de VilliersPieter de Villiers is a South African born, Silicon Valley based entrepreneur with a passion for mobile and the empowerment it leads to.

Pieter is also one of the youngest mobile industry veterans with over 14 years of experience in global telecoms, mobile messaging and mobile payments backed by the likes of Sequoia Capital. As the CEO and co-founder of Clickatell, Inc. a leading Global Provider of Application-2-Person Mobile Messaging and Mobile Transactional Services, Pieter has successfully lead his team to grow a multi-million dollar profitable business operating on multiple continents. Since its launch, Clickatell boasts one of the largest messaging-as-a-service footprints globally delivering services for large Fortune 500 brands as well more than 13 000 medium and small business customers and application developers across 224 countries and territories.

In August 2013 Pieter launched the SiMODiSA (meaning: "to shepherd/ or lead") initiative in South Africa; focused at accelerating start-up success for South African entrepreneurs. During 2012 Pieter de Villiers, was selected as a SABLE Advisory board member and in 2011 he was named one of the Global Technology Business (GTB) "top 40 under 40" executives who will likely "run the telecoms industry in 2020."

Pieter is a familiar face in the mobile industry and an active participant in many leading mobile organizations including: the GSM Association, CTIA, Open Mobile Alliance, Wireless Application Service Provider Association and Mobile Data Association. As an accomplished speaker and has presented his thoughts on mobile at various mobile conferences in the United States, Europe and Africa including: GSM Mobile World Congress - MMU, Mobile Money Africa, International CTIA Wireless Conference and the Rutberg & Co., Wireless Influencers Conference, etc.

Specialties: Mobile, Telecoms, Mobile Messaging, Mobile Banking, Mobile Money, Banking the unbanked.

SiMODiSA Events - LeaderEx Speaker - Square - Thato KgatlhaneThato Kgatlhanye is a 23 year old Circular Economy Industrialists and international award winning entrepreneur who believes the world is waiting for who she is becoming.

She seeks to live up to her potential as an entrepreneur, author and speaker. From a young age, Thato decided to stopping knocking on doors and built her own. It is this kind of thinking that led her to work in New York for American marketing guru Seth Godin. Upon her return, she used her knowledge to author a book in 27days titled “Start an empire with a brand”.

As an entrepreneur, she is the CEO of Rethaka, a company leading the Circular Economy in Africa through sustainable waste management, remanufacturing of waste into products. The company currently boasts a full-time staff of 20 with a manufacturing plant in Rustenburg, in the North West Province. The company has been recognised for its innovative nature by the likes of Bill Gates and through multiple awards, highlights include: SAB Innovation award, SA Innovation Summit award winner, the MasterCard Foundation Anzisha Prize.

The company has successfully launched the first commercial brand “Repurpose”. The main product line has become an international award winning innovation known as Repurpose Schoolbag: an upcycled solar powered backpack. Each schoolbag is fitted with a solar panel, which charges during the day and transforms into a light for study at night.

Thato’s profile is such that in 2016 at age 2, she became the youngest African woman to appear on the cover of Forbes Women Africa. Through her work, she has been interviewed and profiled on international media platforms such as CNN, BBC Africa and

Her efforts to make a dent in the universe has earned her the following recognition: named a South African 21 Icon, Elle International Impact Award, Cartier Women’s Initiative Award Sub-Saharan Africa Finalist, Redbull Amaphiko Entrepreneur, MTV Base Youth Of Today Campaign lead and a LEVIS Pioneer for their Pioneer Nation Campaign.

She is proactive in inspiring South African youth and women through her roles as the South African One Young World Ambassador, Unilever Bright Future Ambassador and Brand South Africa Play your part Ambassador.

SiMODiSA Events - LeaderEx Speaker - Square - Lerato ModikoLerato Modiko is a young motivated and ambitious young lady that is passionate about youth & entrepreneurship development in Africa. Having graduated from Monash South Africa, with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Media Studies & Marketing, she has worked at various institutions as marketing & branding specialist, mainly focused in the entrepreneurship space. She joined the Mara Group in 2014 & serves as the Mara Foundation Relationship Manager in South Africa, specialising in content, relationship and stakeholder management.

She also serves as the Mara Group’s project Manager on various aspcets of the Mara Group. Apart from her work with the Mara Foundation, she also serves a Director of FutsportsSouth Africa & board member of FutsportsSA Foundation, which focuses on developing young soccer players into professional Futsal players. She also serves as a Pastor & youth minister at her local church and great passion for youth development.

SiMODiSA Events - LeaderEx Speaker - Square - Christopher CampbellChristopher Campbell is a co-founder and executive committee member of African Business Angel Network (ABAN). South African serial entrepreneur, currently growing a business called Socius that offers alumni strategy consulting and outsourced services in the UK and South Africa. Passionate about seeing Angel investing become more accessible and efficient in Africa. Languages: English and decent French.


  • Former Board Member of the University of Cape Town's Alumni Advisory Board
  • Member of the Somerset College Acorn Bursary Trust
  • Chairman of the Smuts Hall Alumni Association

SiMODiSA Events - LeaderEx Speaker - Square - Brad MagrathBrad Magrath.
Co-founder & Chief People Officer Zoona.

Zoona helps people send and receive money when they need to most so that communities can thrive. Our core business is to build profitable agents that deliver exceptional customer service.

Born in Zambia, Brad and his brother realised that there was a tremendous opportunity to take a mixture of technology and entrepreneurial spirit to attract a committed team of employees to address the challenge of increasing financial inclusion in Zambia. Following a challenging start the company was able to close a $4 million investment deal in early 2012.

In the last 90 days 1.5 million Zambians and Malawians have sent or received over $75 million through Zoona 1,400 agents.

Zoona has as one of ten entrepreneurial companies leading wildly innovative startups that are positioned to benefit millions of girls in poverty invested over $1,000,000 in working capital and liquidity services for agents in order for them to grow their businesses, a strategy that has created almost 2,500 jobs, with over $ 8 million dollars in commissions having been paid to agents.

Zoona was recently selected by the Unreasonable Group and the Nike Foundation.


Zoona operates in Zambia, and Malawi and SA and is building a Pan African business.

Zoona, making a "real" difference.

SiMODiSA Events - LeaderEx Speaker - Square - Chipo MushwanaChipo Mushwana
Head of ecosystem and development: AlphaCode

Chipo is passionate about entrepreneurship and building sustainable and high impact enterprises.

She has led the implementation of projects and directed and motivated teams for almost ten years.

She has a vision of contributing to the development of the African continent by supporting entrepreneurs as an instrument to drive socio-economic impact. A social entrepreneur and economic activist, Chipo ardently supports the empowerment of marginalised women as means for alleviating poverty within Africa. She is also a seasoned consultant with strong strategic, change management and business turnaround consulting experience.

Chipo holds a GIBS MBA in Entrepreneurship, which combined with a background in Psychology and Industrial Sociology and an Honours degree in Marketing Management, creates a unique interpersonal, negotiation and communication skills offering.

Chipo’s scope of experience includes large scale systems implementations, organisational transformations and process re-engineering projects across Sub-Saharan Africa. She has an aptitude for solution-driven problem solving.

Prior to her appointment at AlphaCode, Chipo served as General Manager for DOTNXT, which honed her skills in the area of innovation management for corporates. In her role as management consultant at Fever Tree Consulting, Chipo worked with a number of African governments to implement change and drive service delivery. Earlier roles included a time as MTN Senior Project Manager for marketing consultancy Aqua as well as other communication, marketing and research roles.

She is a board member of PROTEC (the Programme for Technological Careers), which is an independent non-profit educational service provider in South Africa specialising in science, mathematics and technology education. In addition, Chipo is a member of the Businesswomen's Association of South Africa (BWASA) - the largest and most prominent association of business and professional women in the country.

Tel: +27 11 282 8074
Cell: +27 72 748 4090

Her career focus has been in enterprise development with a focus on small to medium sized businesses and high growth entrepreneurs within the financial services industry.

Chipo was named as Best Entrepreneurial MBA Student by GIBS in 2013. She speaks Northern Ndebele, Northern Sotho and French.

SiMODiSA Events - LeaderEx Speaker - Square - Ntuthuko SheziNtuthuko Shezi is the Founder of Live Stock Wealth. His high school dream was to become an architect as he liked the process of creating things that had never existed, but ended up in the Mechanical Engineering field instead. Prior to founding Live Stock Wealth, Shezi worked as a Strategy Consultant for a technology company. During these years, that's when the Entrepreneurial Bug bit.

He founded Livestock Wealth in 2015. A crowd-farming company that enables anyone to become a farmer by investing in livestock an earn annual income from the sale of the cow’s offspring.

The traditional commercial farming model meant that one farmer had to own the farm, own all the cows and have the skill to farm. Once a year the farmer would then sell all the weaner calves to earn his income for the year.

They have taken that model and democratized it in that you do not have to own the land to farm, neither do you have to have the skill as we expertly farm for you. Most importantly you do not have to own all the cows but can own 1 or 2 or more of the herd according to what you can afford and earn a 16% return from the sale of the offspring, for life.
They are encouraging savings and investments using a tool that Africa has used for centuries and understands, cows.

SiMODiSA Events - LeaderEx Speaker - Square - Jaysh NaidooJayshree Naidoo is currently the Head of the Standard Bank Incubator and has been identified as one of the Top 25 Global Fintech Influencers. Her previous leadership roles included the head of Strategy Management and Innovation at the Development Bank of Southern Africa, ex CEO of DaVinci Design  as well as leadership positions at Discovery, ABSA and Internet Solutions.  She has local and international experience in managing complex e-commerce environments and helping organisations build an Innovation Capability.

Her knowledge, understanding and experience of innovation and entrepreneurship, e-channels, marketing, innovation and strategy, spans over a period of 23 years. Her MBA research study focused on in Innovation and Entrepreneurship Capacity Creation.

Jayshree has been published in several publications and guest lectures at major universities in South Africa and is a sought after public speaker at both local and international conferences.

SiMODiSA Events - LeaderEx Speaker - Square - Simon DingleSimon is a broadcaster, designer and technologist. He hosts a weekly radio show on 5FM and two podcasts - Binary and Take Back the Day where he explores the worlds of productivity, philosopy and transendence through technology. Simon also heads up product design at Curve and is an advisor at AlphaCode and 22seven.

He'd rather be playing board games or surfing, but has been informed that the world is not going to change itself, and so rather opted to spend his time spreading critical thinking and attempting to move money out of the dark ages and the clutches of the evil forces that currently mismanage it.

Before focusing his design work on payments, Simon served as head of product at BitX where he became a regular media commentator on Bitcoin and blockchain technologies. Money is the second most important thing human beings have discovered since language, and it's probably the most broken part of our modern world, making it an area of particular interest.

Before focusing his design work on payments, Simon served as head of product at BitX where he became a regular media commentator on Bitcoin and blockchain technologies. Money is the second most important thing human beings have discovered since language, and it's probably the most broken part of our modern world, making it an area of particular interest.

Simon's other claims to fame include writing a chapter on Mark Shuttleworth for the book South Africa’s Greatest Entrepreneurs and serving as a communications consultant to technology firms including Google, Oracle, The Shuttleworth Foundation and others during his time at Hypertext Media Communications.

He was also a presenter on Talk Radio 702 from 2008 to 2010 and his first job in radio was while pretending to study at the University of Pretoria so that he could actually just be a DJ, then programme manager and then station manager at Tuks FM.

No, he didn't complete a degree, in case you're wondering. But he did enjoy the little bit of time spent in Psychology, Information Science, English Literature and Business Management classes, most of which consisted of arguing with lecturers and defacing outdated textbooks.

This may be hard to believe, especially since he has never entered any competitions, but Simon has also received some awards, including the Classic Business Journalist of the Year in 2011 for his columns on technology in Finweek, the Highway Africa New Media Personality of the Year for his hosting of the ZA Tech Show podcast, and a listing in the Mail & Guardians' Top 200 Young South Africans edition of 2010.

Simon is passionate about open source technology and content, having been an active member of the iCommons network from 2005 until its resolution in 2008, and an administrator of the Mandriva Linux Users Board from 1999 to 2003 while he was still figuring out girls and how to wear clothes. He believes that most of the world’s problems can be solved with design and critical thinking. As Simon is fond of saying, "Smart is not something you are, it's something you do."

SiMODiSA Events - LeaderEx Speaker - Square - Vinny LinghamVinny Lingham is a well recognized Internet entrepreneur who is currently the co­founder & CEO of Civic Technologies, Inc ­ a startup company that has a goal to eliminate new account fraud and prevent identity theft by creating an "Identity Network” where consumers can confirm their identity in real­time with participating merchants and vendors. He recently raised $2.75 million in venture funding led by notable investor Social Leverage. Prior to Civic, he was the co­founder and CEO of Gyft ­ a mobile gift card company founded in 2012 and backed by Google Ventures. Gyft quickly become the leading player in the space and was acquired by global payments giant, First Data Corporation in 2014, for over $50m. Vinny previously founded & ran, Clicks2Customers and incuBeta.

Vinny is also the co­founder of, an NGO based in South Africa that aims to turn Cape Town into a technology hub. Vinny is an active technology investor primarily in Silicon Valley. He also partnered with one of his previous co­founders to establish an investment fund in South Africa, called Newtown Partners, where he has led early stage investments into successful and notable startups such as Sweep South, in South Africa.

He has also appeared as a Dragon on the South African edition of Dragon’s Den, the longest running UK investment reality show (sister show to Shark Tank), a reality television program where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas in order to secure investment finance from a panel of venture capitalists. He is a co­author alongside his co­investors from the show, of “I’m In: Essential Advice for Entrepreneurs.”

Vinny now lives in Silicon Valley with his wife and two sons.

SiMODiSA Events - LeaderEx Speaker - Square - Rapelang RabanaRapelang Rabana

Technology Entrepreneur. Innovation Interrogator. World-Changer.

Since high school, Rapelang has questioned how the world works. She believed that there had to be better, simpler more effective ways to do things – and there is: technology. Since the founding of her first company (straight out of university) she’s been proving to the world that she’s right. As a speaker, she’s been taking this message across the globe, and changing the way organisations adapt and thrive in a knowledge economy.

Named Entrepreneur for the World by the World Entrepreneurship Forum and featured on the cover of Forbes Africa before the age of 30, Rapelang Rabana has never taken anything for granted. With a fierce commitment to going against the grain, she has established herself as one of Africa’s fastest rising stars.

She was the founding CEO of Yeigo (an innovative Cape Town based company that developed some of the world’s earliest mobile VoIP applications). Yeigo created ground- breaking applications and services that took advantage of the internet, mobile and cloud computing technologies to tackle the cost of communication.

Rapelang recently founded learning technology company Rekindle Learning to challenge the existing norms within (largely ineffective) organisational and academic learning. Rekindle Learning explores the role of technology and the latest learning pedagogies to ensure that learning actually happens and knowledge is built up; significantly increasing recall, building capabilities, reducing time to competency and creating value within organisations.

SiMODiSA Events - LeaderEx Speaker - Square - Ramona KasavanAfter a glittering career in media for 6 years, two degrees and a change in city, I believe I found my place in the world. I have a moral obligation to help the 3 million girls in South Africa that have no access to basic sanitary pads. My purpose is to inspire, create and empower safe spaces for young women of South Africa to find comfort and acceptance for themselves which will allow them to become further leaders of tomorrow. My name is Ramona Kasavan and I run a social enterprise called Happy Days which keeps South African girls in school. The business provides sanitary pads in rural parts of South Africa and has a direct selling model to unemployed youth females that teaches them entrepreneurial skills to which they earn a commission on. Besides the practical side of my business mind, I am well read on global affairs and educated with Honours in marketing strategy and hold a Certification in Social Entrepreneurship at Gordon Institute of Business Science. I study because I believe that all great leaders are educated, taking nothing away from those that have not attend higher education. I study to engage my mind and create a legacy.

When I am not writing brand strategy or doing research, I work in media. I have been on Highveld Stereo and East Coast Radio as a radio personality and I have also presented on SABC 2’s Eastern Mosaic to a national audience. I am aware of the influence media which has been the reason for my choice of being a Social Entrepreneur. I have been a role model to the youth for close to 5 years and my presence in the media has led to the origin of my product. I am vibrant and vivacious with a dedication for educating young women about issues that we face as females.

The above statistic drives the business every day, 65 days over 1 year and 384 days of school over five years is lost due to the lack of sanitary pads in rural and peri-urban areas of our country. This means that girl children cannot completed their my love for reading and academics has made me who I am today. I have spent many years reading books about billionaires and history. Happy days next to my nametag of my year at GIBS. I completed my Certification in Social Entrepreneurship in March this year.

One of the things that upsets me most about young women in our country has to be the unemployment rate. Of the 40% that don’t have jobs in our country, 24% are women. A bit of research led to an enterprise development arm and sustainability for the brand with having agents in townships.

Happy Days sitting on shelf next to leading pads manufacturers. This picture just shows our fearlessness as a social innovation. We don’t compete in a retail space as the costs go up and it is not affordable for young women so we remain in social sector.

Offloading our vans and trucks always make me proud and thankful for inspiring young women in South Africa. I think it’s the idea of making a difference and knowing that young women have hope and dignity associated in Happy Days makes us carryon.

Two years after Marikana Massacre, CSI sponsors gave us the opportunity to take care of the young girls seen in this picture. Each girl was given an 8 month supply in July to complete her schooling year which was well received.

I have managed to find women with similar passion who help make my vision real. Phumzile Sithole is responsible for our Creative design and Tuba helps in Public Relations. We are a team of young women that empower further generation leaders.

Menstrual education in grade 6 pubescent girls that belong to Vosluruus in the East Rand of Johannesburg. We went to teach the menstrual cycle and the process of body changes and my first award from the Mail and Guardian last year October, I was 1 of 3 finalists for the Individual Award in The Drivers of Change.

Conclusion: Despite the numerous challenges faced by the funding sector in our country, I still wake up every day to help many girls become who they need to be. South Africa faces huge amounts of uncertainty and the economic landscape changes on a regular basis which means it is difficult for people to empower themselves. My responsibility as a young woman in business to inspire and overcome the challenges faced in SMME development as well as create a solution to Socio-economic problems faced by the country. The biggest goal of my business to create dignity and hope to young women in our country. By having a brand that teaches them about self-respect and self-worth. To show them how to overcome problems and most of all, complete their education. This nomination has been well received as it acknowledges my sacrifice and hardships I face but knowing that my work for Happy Days is well received, makes me push on every day. 

SiMODiSA Events - LeaderEx Speaker - Square - Murray LeggMurray is an entrepreneurial and commercial thinker with a track record of growing innovative technology businesses. Murray holds a Ph.D in biomedical engineering and has four years of experience as an investment banker.  He cofounded a business the develops polymer heart valve replacements, a digital agency and recently an influencer marketing platform.

Webfluential was started to address market demand for access to digital influencers and their audiences so that brands and consumers can interact on the web. The platform has grown globally, providing access to brands for over 10,000 influencers, with a combined digital audience of over 350 million people.