Press releases

Three Universities win 2017 Barloworld Social Innovation Youth Awards

12 July 2017

Celebrating emerging young entrepreneurs for entrepreneurial action that improves livelihoods in economically, socially and environmentally sustainable ways

12 July 2017: Three Enactus University teams came out tops in the 2017 Barloworld Social Innovation Youth Awards (BSIYA). Each team receives prize money as well as support in the form of leadership and entrepreneurship training from Barloworld Siyakhula Incubation Hub.

The winners who demonstrated their commitment to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better and more sustainable world through social innovation in their communities were announced at the Enactus National Awards held at the Sandton Convention Centre.

 In first place was the University of Venda for the Mukondeni Ceramic water filters and pottery project which addresses the issue of clean water scarcity in Limpopo. 

Vaal University of Technology took second place for its Bantu Bonke Agricultural Farm project which showcases how the power of skills training in different forms of farming, business and marketing can contribute to social development, job creation and sustainability for communities, as it did for the Bantu Bonke Community in the Midvaal. 

Third position went to the University of Zululand for their Vukuzenzele project which identified that sweet potato farming can provide a lucrative source of income for the community of Zululand.

“Our selection of the winners were based on their ability to highlight the socio-economic challenges or opportunities that were addressed by their organisation or business’ innovative application, product or service offering, showcase how their application, product or service is meaningful, measurable and effective in creating sustainable positive change for disadvantaged and rural communities and incorporate collaborators or partnerships into their work,” explains Noluvo Ngcwabe, Head of CSI at Barloworld.

Barloworld Group, in partnership with entrepreneurial development NGO, Enactus South Africa, designed the BSIYA awards to recognise the vital role that young people play in social innovation and the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world. 

“Through Enactus we aim to encourage more responsible leadership and believe a team-based model where everyone works together towards the same goal is key to success. Entrepreneurial action is a powerful force for good when utilised properly and is something we are all capable of.

Enactus South Africa’s aim is to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of our members so that together, we can enable real progress in our country as we empower our communities.” says Chief Executive Officer and Country Director for Enactus South Africa, Letitia De Wet.

Says Mr Sibani Mngomezulu, Group Executive of Corporate Affairs at Barloworld: “Through BSIYA we are taking responsive action to address some of the socio-economic needs of South Africa. We see huge value in supporting initiatives that encourage entrepreneurship and innovation amongst our youth and we are extremely proud of the winners who will be presenting their ideas on the global stage.”

These winning teams were amongst eight finalist teams competing.

  • The Durban University of Technology for the Chibini Linen project which recycles old hotel linen;
  • The Mangosuthu University of Technology for marketing a low cost, high performing product called Ceiling-in-a-Can;
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal for its conceptualisation of an innovative App called Kandu which they believe is the solution to many problems faced by farmers in uMsinga, in eZingulubeni;
  • University of Limpopo with its Nutri-ringa project expected to curb malnutrition and alleviate food insecurity in the disadvantaged village of Tooseng, Limpopo; and
  • University of Pretoria’s KF Brands’ tyres-to-fashion and work gear business which aims to reduce the negative impact that discarded tyres have on the environment and bolster skills and employment opportunities for members of the community

“We are committed to investing in ideas that uplift people and communities, and empowering youth with the skills and opportunities to make these ideas happen. We have seen some creative ideas and projects stem from this programme, which we believe can make a great contribution towards solving the challenges facing our communities,” concludes Mr Mngomezulu.