Young Minds

Top 30 Young Entrepreneurs In South Africa

1.Lucky Vilakazi

Lucky is from Bethal, Mpumalanga, manufactures kitchen and bedroom cardboards and decorates ceilings. Lucky discovered that he was good with his hands when he got a job where he made beaded jewellery. According to Lucky some of the challenges that he faces include training employees only to see them leave shortly afterwards.

2.Sfiso Maseko

Sfiso is from Bethal in Mpumalanga,Access Scaffolding and Corrosion Protection Contracting Company Founder and MD Founder of the Barry Maseko Boys Foundation that equips boys between the age of 16 to 18 with necessary social and professional survival, mentoring and tutoring skills

3.Kamohelo Mofokeng

After working for more than five years as a driving instructor and discovering that it’s something that he enjoys, in 2009 Errol Ramulungo (32) and his business partner established Lets Driving School. Based in Embalenhle, a township in Mpumalanga, in 2010 Lets Driving School benefited from the National Youth Development Agency’s (NYDA) Business Plan Voucher and further received a Website Development Voucher in 2011.Today he employs three driving instructors and has a well maintained fleet of cars and trucks. Errol is able to fix his fleet when necessary because he holds a certificate in mechanical engineering.

4.Zomusa Mnguni

Zomusa is a young entrepreneur who owns an internet cafe in Kwazulu -Natal, Umlazi, called Zomusa’s Internet Cafe and Communications. Zomusa was raised by both parents in Port Shepstone; after Grade 11 she studied hospitality. After realizing that people in her community had to travel to town to access the internet she decided to open an internet café.

5.Kamohelo Mofokeng

Kamohelo’s passion for photography and videography was sparked while observing his uncle work; his uncle owns a photography and videography business. Kamohelo then got a part-time job as a photographer and videographer. With his mother’s assistance he managed to buy his own photography and videography equipment and established his business. Today the 27-year-old from Embalenhle, Mpumalanga, has more than four years experience as a photographer and videographer. Kamohelo studied financial management at the Gert Sibande FET College. Kamohelo now works with his younger brother and aims to grow the business so that he can own a photo studio.

6.Thandeka Myeza

Entrepreneur Thandeka Myeza is making waves in Durban through her fashion label, Malesna Design. Thandeka discovered her love for fashion design in high school. After matric, Thandeka studied a diploma in fashion design and started working from her home in Pinetown. A change of luck came in 2007 when she moved to Durban. As one of the three top designers at the 2009 Eastern Cape Fashion Week, Thandeka got an opportunity to supply a fashion store in East London. Today, Thandeka supplies another fashion store in Durban and is the Chairperson of the KwaZulu Natal Youth Designers, a group of 10 fashion designers who have a fashion store in Durban and plan to open more stores in KwaZulu Natal and the rest of the country. She continues to dress ordinary women and high profile personalities for various occasions such as the Durban July, weddings and so forth.

7.Regina Phitilela

Regina Phihlela owns a construction company which employs two people on a full-time basis and has employed over 60 part-time employees in its various projects. Based in White River, Nelspruit, Rethama Construction was established in 2004.Regina studied Economic Geology after matric and has extensive management and technical skills which she acquired at several mining companies. Completing a learnership through the Expanded Public Works Programme gave her valuable construction skills and knowledge which she uses in her business. Regina has had her fair share of challenges over the years, there was for instance a period where business was slow because she was not securing contracts. Furthermore people have in the past doubted her competence as a woman in a male dominated industry.

8.Nqobile Nkosi

Nqobile Nkosi is the proud owner of NQ Jewellery Design Services, the first black-owned jewellery manufacturing and retail business in Soweto. The business uses precious stones such as silver, gold, platinum and diamonds to manufacture jewellery. At the beginning of 2012, Nqobile and UK designer Paul Spurgeon launched the Cornerstone Jewellery Brand at the United Kingdom (UK) Springfair Jewellery Show. Today the business has trained and employs four people in their Soweto workshop. Over the years the business has received numerous accolades such as, the Gauteng Business Leader of the Year Award in 2008, the Jet Community Regional and National Award in 2009 and the SAB Kick Start Award in 2012. According to Nqobile the Cornerstone jewellery brand is doing extremely well in the UK market. The jewellery brand has been chosen as one of the 2012 Hot 100 in the UK jewellery trade, a first for a jewellery brand formed in Soweto. However, in order to ensure growth in the South African market he is keen to partner with prime South African jewellery retailers.

9.Nomfundo Dzingwa

Nomfundo Dzingwa is the proud owner of Dzingwa Clinic Physio, the first black and female-owned physiotherapy practice in KwaZulu Natal that specialises in gynaecological physiotherapy. Nomfundo is highly ambitious and has various achievements under her belt. She was part of a team that set up a therapeutic rehabilitation facility at a rural hospital. She has also successfully run various physiotherapy practices and served as a health expert on Ukhozi FM’s health show. Despite her various achievements, Nomfundo is still moving full steam ahead. She is currently in the process of expanding her physiotherapy practice to include an integrated dialysis and renal therapy care centre. Born, raised and schooled in the township of Umlazi, South of Durban, Nomfundo’s journey into the world of physiotherapy started with obtaining a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Durban-Westville and then an Honours Degree in Physiotherapy from the Medical University of South Africa in 2001. She also has a Diploma in Sport Physiotherapy and a Certificate in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy. Nomfundo gained valuable experience and knowledge on treating spinal and neural injuries like strokes and chest physiotherapy while being mentored by renowned physiotherapist Melanie Skeen at Meulmed Medi-Clinic in Pretoria. Serving on the committee of the Business Women’s Association (BWA) has enabled Nomfundo to network and learn from fellow business women.

10.Keneiwle Mogapi

Keneilwe Mogapi’s recent business opportunity that she took advantage of was to install ultra violet sanitising ceiling discs at the South African Social Security Agency’s (SASSA) nine offices. According to Keneilwe her first experience in business was when she and her four friends established a trucking business. On their return from England Keneilwe and her friends followed through with their plans and bought the truck. Things did not go according to plan though, after working on a number of projects the truck broke down and became too expensive to maintain. In 2006 Keneilwe registered her catering and events management business. The business is doing very well; their clientele includes various government departments, the Business Women’s Association and World Vision. Keneilwe continues to use her somatology skills and passion for beauty in her current business. Keneilwe’s future plans include establishing a beauty parlour which will offer a variety of health and beauty services such as reflexology, waxing, advice on nutrition and so forth.

11.Nick Kaoma

Founder, Head Honcho Clothing South Africa’s own Daymond John in the making, Nick Kaoma is building an urban legend. The 28 year-old Cape Town native is the founder and creative director of Head Honcho Clothing, a prominent South African lifestyle brand that designs, manufactures and markets streetwear clothing that is hugely popular among South Africa’s young urban dwellers. The company’s product line includes t-shirts and caps to cardigans, varsity jackets, hoodies, tank tops and female dresses.

12.Jurie Alexander Fourie

Founder, iFixAt 26, Jurie Alexander Fourie runs a company that employs 40 people and services more than 4,000 clients a month. Fourie is the founder of iFix, which repairs and services all Apple products and Samsung Smartphones. iFix has branches in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. Fourie started the company in 2006 from his dorm room at the University of Stellenbosch, helping colleagues and friends repaid broken and faulty iPods and computers. Satisfied friends subsequently referred other Apple product owners in search of repairs and Fourie’s business took off.

13.Tebogo Ditshego

Founder of Dithego Media, the 29 year-old South African public relations maverick is the founder of Ditshego Media, a leading PR firm specializing in Media Relations, Investor Relations, Reputation Management and Corporate Communications. Ditshego is also the Chairman of the South African Reading Foundation.

14.Jonathan Liebmann

Real Estate developer, CEO of Propertuity The 29 year-old South African visionary is the Managing  Director of Propertuity, a South African Real Estate development company and the brains behind the construction of the Maboneng Precinct, a thriving cultural district in the east side of Johannesburg’s CBD. Once a neglected and deteriorating neighborhood housing abandoned industrial complexes, Liebmann transformed Maboneng into a vibrant urban mixed-use community complete with Art galleries, artist studios, retail spaces, offices and artist studios.

15.Andii Pienaar

Adii Pienaar, 28, is the founder of Woothemes, a company that designs and develops customizable commercial themes and plugins for WordPress. Adii built the business with a bootstrap budget, and the company today generates over $3 million in annual revenues from the sale of its themes. Woothemes also develops and sells themes for other content management systems, including Tumblr. Pienaar also runs PulicBeta, a service that allows successful entrepreneurs to transfer knowledge to new startups.

16.Zaheer Cassim

Founder of One way up productions 29 year-old South African media entrepreneur Zaheer Cassim graduated from Columbia’s Journalism school and returned home to South Africa to found one way to up productions, a television production outfit with a client list that includes Ogilvy South Africa, Hollard Insurance, the African Leadership Academy and Hackett.

17.Ashley Uys

Founder of  Medical Diagnostech Ashley Uys, 30, founded Medical DiagnostechS which develops and markets affordable and reliable medical test kits for malaria, pregnancy, syphilis, malaria, HIV/ Aids for South Africa’s rural poor. Uys is a recipient of the South African Breweries $100,000 Annual Social Innovation Awards.

18.Ludwrick Marishane

According to the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Ludwick Marishane is the best student entrepreneur in the world. Ludwick started businesses as a teenager in Limpopo. Many failed, like his own brand of biodiesel, healthy cigarettes and a security magazine. He then started HeadBoy Industries, a business that designs and commercializes new products and services in South Africa. One of its products, DryBath, is the world’s first bath-substituting solution. It is easy to use and needs minimal water. It moisturises the skin, kills germs, and leaves the user smelling fresh. If that is not enough, Ludwick was also named by Google among the 12 most intelligent young brains in the universe.

19.Rupert Bryant

Rupert Bryant is the chief operating officer (COO) and a director at Web Africa, one of South Africa’s most successful Internet Service Providers (ISPs). His involvement in the company started at the age of 16 when Matthew Tagg needed a partner for his new venture, and Rupert was a perfect choice. Rupert was running his own web development company from the age of 14, and when Web Africa started as a hosting provider it was a logical choice for Matthew to join forces with Rupert to build his new web hosting company. They started Web Africa with virtually no capital, and over the last decade have grown it into a company which generates well in excess of R130 million annually and employs 130 people

20.Justin Stanford

This South African-born entrepreneur is a software industrialist and venture capitalist. Justin fought on and his perseverance paid off when he came across Slovakian anti-virus software package called ESET; he negotiated with its manufacturers and begun its distribution in South Africa. Today, ESET in South Africa sells ESET’s assortment of internet protection products in about 20 sub-Saharan countries, making it an enormously flourishing internet business and Justin heads up the 4D Innovations Group, which includes the venture capital firm, 4Di Capital

21.Vinny Lungham

Vinny Lingham is a South African Internet entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Yola Inc, a San Francisco-based Web 2.0 start-up that provides free website building, publishing and hosting services to more than three million active consumers all over the world. He also developed CIick2Customers, a massively flourishing search engine marketing company housed in Cape Town, London and Los Angeles.

22.Vusi Thembekwayo

Not only is he among the most outstanding keynote and motivational speakers in the world but he is also a formidable businessman. At the age of 17, Vusi was ranked 1st in Africa for public speaking. At 21 he ran his own successful consulting firm (then South Africa’s only black-owned Forensic Marketing agency). By 23, Vusi was an executive at one of the largest consumer goods businesses in Africa. At 25 years-old he was the youngest director of a multi-national turning over R17bn a year, where he served on the operations board. And today at 27, he is the Managing Director of MOTIV8 Advisory – a specialist consulting and services agency & serves on the board of international consulting firm Black Sheep Advisory as well as the founding Partner of Speakers BootCamp (SA).

23.Yossi Hasson

Yossi is the co-founder and Managing Director of SYNAQ, a company he started in 2004 with an old school friend. Since then it has become a prominent company and attracted the attention of big players in the ISP market with Internet Solutions acquiring 50% of the business in 2011. SYNAQ was also ranked as the 6th fastest growing company in South Africa by AllWordNetwork in 2011.

24.Brent Kairus

Brent is the Managing Executive of Creative Coffee Franchising. Brent started his career by founding a company called Kairuz Corporation in 1998 (later became known as Kairuz Holdings). In 2011, Famous Brands and Kairuz Holdings formed a new joint venture partnership under a new company, Creative Coffee Franchising, which controls all the Kairuz Cafés, Coffee Couture, Juicy Lucy and House of Coffees franchised brands.

25.Sfiso Dlamini

Sfiso owner of Eish Hade Fashion, Sifiso is a young shoe designer based in Soweto; his business has been in operation since 2009, producing custom-designed, hand-crafted sneakers in leather and fabric and he is one of the 2012 Eskom Business Investment Competition finalists

26.Xolani Mtshizana

By 17 Xolani Mtshizana had sold his first business. By 22, he was named Absa’s entrepreneur of the year and sent to Paris. By 29 he had left the world of entrepreneurship and was a high-rolling ad exec. Today, he is the founder of Keep Digging, an organisation that focuses on inspiring and fostering the youth and entrepreneurs in South Africa

27.Thapelo Motsumi

Enter the Umuzi Photo Club, a non-profit organisation that aims to teach teenagers in urban, township and rural environments how to use photography to tell their stories.Thapelo joined the programme and quickly realised a love for telling stories through images. After spending a year in the programme, he pledged to work for the agency side of Umuzi, an offshoot of the original foundation.

28.Grama Rowe

Winner of the reality TV show, The Big Break Legacy, Graham Rowe is a firm believer in laying strong foundations. He followed his passion when he was choosing a degree and studied genetics, but he wasn’t interested in being an academic.He wanted to be an entrepreneur, and he wanted to revolutionise the local health industry. At the age of 31 he is now poised to do just that – thanks to a slow and steady focus on amassing the skills he would need to get his dream off the ground.

29.Ella Bella & Cathrine Constantinides

Two sisters are following their passions, creating sustainable businesses and making a real difference to communities in the process. In their early 20s, Catherine Constantinides and Ella Bella had already achieved what most only dream of.Local license holders for Miss Earth in South Africa and creators of school phenomenon Generation Earth, the sisters believe in doing what you love, and making a difference to those around you in the process. Their passion is infectious, and the reason why they have taken South Africa by storm.

30.Yasuf Randeva-Rees

Yusuf Randera-Rees grew up in Johannesburg, and went to school at Sacred Heart and Crawford before going abroad to study at Harvard. He graduated and went on to Credit Suisse where he worked for a volatility trading group in New York and Zurich. During his time in America, Yusuf started two non-profits, one supported by UNAIDS, and the other by the International Finance Corporation.He was then awarded a South Africa-at-Large Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, where he completed Masters degrees in Financial Economics and African Studies. At Oxford he developed the initial business plan for what would eventually become the Awethu Project.In 2009 he returned to South Africa to turn the idea into reality. In 2011 Randera-Rees – and Awethu – was selected as one of the world’s best emerging social entrepreneurs by Echoing Green.

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