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Young Red Bull social entrepreneur scoops R100k funding from Old Mutual

In partnership with Red Bull, the Old Mutual Foundation announced Thabang Mabapa as the winner of their ““business pitch challenge” at an event held in Mamelodi, Pretoria on 27 May 2017.

Since 2013 the Red Bull Amaphiko Academy has offered a powerful launch pad for grassroots social entrepreneurs who are making a positive difference in their community. As part of the collaborative partnership launched in 2015, the graduating cohort of young entrepreneurs were invited by the Old Mutual Foundation to pitch for enterprise development funding worth R100 000.

A combined judging panel from Old Mutual and Red Bull met on 11 May to interrogate the submissions, with their key criteria being innovation, business viability and the potential for job creation. The most compelling submission and winner of the R100 000 enterprise development funding was Thabang Mabapa’s project Selokong Sa Dimelana.

The Limpopo-based project involves growing castor seed crops with the engagement of small scale local famers, for the commercial production of castor seed oil as an alternative biofuel. As Thabang Mabapa says, “I regard myself more as an energy farmer than a chemical engineer.”

To hear more about this exciting project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lWwgDACEUw

Millicent Maroga, head of the Old Mutual Foundation, was immensely impressed by the calibre of the entrepreneurs who took part. “We applaud these future leaders and business owners and encourage them all to pay it forward by sharing their knowledge and skills, and inspiring and encouraging others to enable their own positive futures,” she said.

“We are excited that Old Mutual serves as a springboard for growth and opportunity for the talented individuals who are doing great things in this vital sector of our economy. The small business sector in South Africa has the potential to make a significant contribution to inclusive economic growth. With access to finance and business support identified as key constraints for entrepreneurs, it is critical for the corporate sector as well as established entrepreneurs to contribute resources and expertise.”

The Red Bull Amaphiko programme focus on supporting young people in the social entrepreneurship and SMME sector made it an ideal partner for Old Mutual. After the initial selection by Red Bull of the 16 Amaphiko social entrepreneurs in the 2015 cohort, Old Mutual provided each with R10 000 seed funding, as well as opening an Old Mutual Money Account for them and coaching, advising and mentoring them during the 18-month programme. Key to the process was assisting the young entrepreneurs to draw up a financial plan for themselves and their business. Additionally, the Old Mutual Foundation offered R100 000 enterprise funding for the purposes of business expansion and job creation.

“Old Mutual recognises that the growth and sustainability of our business depends on the strength of the economy in which we operate. Through the creation of effective entrepreneurship and job creation ecosystems we believe we can contribute meaningfully towards achieving inclusive growth for both the country and Old Mutual.”


For more information contact

JULIE HUTCHINS/ Communications Manager
Old Mutual Emerging Markets
+27 (0)11 2171648 (telephone)
jhutchins@oldmutual.com (email)

The entries received:


Nr. Entrepreneur Name Business Name Initiative Focus
1 Brian Mokhachane Soulart Foundation Upcycling discarded materials to create urban art, furniture and décor
2 Phila Bonga Kamva Energy Rooftop solar solutions for low-middle income households
3 Thabang Mabapa Selokong Sa Dimelana (SSD) Production and processing of castor seeds for biodiesel
4 Thami Msweli Ibala Organics Setting up organic veggie gardens in township schools
5 Vari Mureriwa P-STEM Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (P-STEM) in schools
6 Wandisile Nqeketho 18 Gangster Museum Educational awareness of the pitfalls of gangsterism
7 Zuko Mandlakazi Senso Techno-wristband for deaf people to improve quality of life
8 Ian Dommisse EcoBrick Exchange Recycled plastic ‘bricks’ benefits school infrastructure and environment
9 Glenda Ramathavha GlenzCakes Custom baked goods, distribution of baking tools and equipment, community training.
10 Lukholo Funde Sytrus Energy Conversion of organic waste into biofuel.

Notes to editors 

Old Mutual is deeply committed to playing a significant role in building a strong and financially inclusive South Africa. A central part of our responsible business ethos is caring for the communities we operate in, and we undertake to do this through the following focus areas:

  • Enterprise Development
  • Skills Capacity Building
  • Education
  • Staff Volunteerism
  • Vulnerable Communitieshttp://dogreatthings.co.za/foundation/
  • In 2016 alone the Old Mutual Foundation invested R25 686 172 in various community projects across our nation.

Red Bull Amaphiko Academy 

The Red Bull Amaphiko Academy is a launch pad for grassroots social entrepreneurs who are making a positive difference in their community: to give them the inspiration, mentorship and practical skills and tools they need to take themselves and their projects to the next level.