Spark* South Africa Announces Cape Town Changemakers

With Cape Town abuzz as the entrepreneurial hub of South Africa, Spark* South Africa will be hosting its first Cape Town Accelerator this month to cater to the growing movement of impact entrepreneurs across the Cape Provinces. 

The Accelerator kicks off on the 26th of July and we are delighted to welcome another inspiring group of Changemakers to the Spark* Tribe:

Ezlyn Barends – DreamGirls South Africa

With a passion to help young girls unlock their highest potential, Ezlyn launched DreamGirls. DreamGirls SA supports marginalised teen girls in gaining a good education. She believes that by ensuring that more girls and young women gain a solid education to build successful careers, we can contribute to the economic development of South Africa.

Keith Petersen – Galloping Gardners

As a recovering alcoholic, Keith knows all too well the challenges of rejoining mainstream society. It is this experience that lead him to launch Galloping Gardeners in Lavender Hill, one of Cape Town’s most crime ridden towns. Galloping Gardeners provides training and jobs for unemployed and at risk youth and men in the garden and landscaping industry.

Leanne Viviers -  Mintor

South Africa falls prey to the global skills gap issue: over 600,000 unemployed graduates, and 800,000 unfilled high-skill jobs. Mintor exists to address this skills gap by developing a pioneering platform that connects higher education students with small businesses. With an MBA from Oxford, Leanne combines business acumen, passion and vision to address one of South Africa’s biggest social ills.

Thobekani Lose – Small Enterprise Development Agency Food Technology Incubator

Walk through any township in South Africa and you are bound to come across budding, passionate entrepreneurs in the food industry. Realising that despite their passion, these entrepreneurs never reach the growth that they desire, Thobekani saw a need for a food technology incubator. SEDAFTi aims to accelerate economic growth and development in the food and beverage sector.

Matilda Sekoakoa – Help a Child Grow

Help a Child Grow identifies schools in townships and builds libraries for them to foster a culture of reading. This was conceptualised as a result of observing the appalling state of some of the educational facilities in townships around South Africa. Matilda and her team find the lack of enthusiasm towards reading and the failing education system in certain regions unacceptable and are doing their bit to change this.

Ricardo Kleinsmith – Ama-ZING Tech Dogs

In this day and age where technology is an essential  part of our lives, Ricardo was amazed at how some people in his community had never turned on a computer, let alone spent time using one. He knew that this would prove to be a major disadvantage to students at school or adults trying to get work. He then launched Ama-ZING Tech Dogs which teaches computer literacy. In the two years that it has been running he has trained close to 200 young people and adults with more than half of these people successfully finding jobs and enrolling into higher learning institutions after their training. 

Shaaf Adams – Go To Print

There is a definite dearth of graphic designers in poor areas, yet a large number of youth who live in these areas, exhibit the creativity and skill set to make it in the industry. Unfortunately, they rarely do, due to a lack of support. Having identified this gap, Shaaf recruits at risk youth who have a talent for graphic design and spends time fine tuning their skills so that they can be employed in the industry.

Wandisile Nqeketho – 18 Gangster Museum

The 18GangsterMuseum is a museum that is curated by ex gangsters. It is the first on the African continent and the second in the world. Using their experiences of being in gangs, and in yearning to positively contribute to society, the former gangsters, educate young people on the dangers and repercussions of being a gang-member.

Yolanda Methvin – Litha Flora

Litha Flora African Botanicals is an indigenous wisdom infused Health & Wellness brand. Its products include herbal teas, herbal cleansing bars and herbal bath salts. The products are locally sourced in Cape Town empowering local farmers who often struggle with market access. Through this brand, Yolanda further aspires to shift the negative perceptions that exist around the African continent.

As always, we look forward to working closely with these entrepreneurs over the coming years and support them as they strengthen their ventures and increase their impact.