We are so inspired by our fellows – they are go-getters, world-changers and big-picture-thinkers who are passionate about their ventures having a cultural, societal and economic impact in Southern Africa.

BETHEL ESTATE

GILLITS, SOUTH AFRICA

Bethel Farm is a commercial developmental agriculture family business. This 386ha farm is situated in Inhlamvini in the heart of Ixopo. Their vision is to become a commercially viable and self-sufficient global farming operation that enhances God’s work all over the world. The farm’s business model is diversification through the balance of the niche, long term commodities and the mass market, short term, cash flow commodities. It aims to bring innovation to the agricultural sector using an investment model. Their chosen commodities are superfoods and commodities for food security purposes based on the foundation of impact and sustainability. With 20% of Bethel Estate’s profits donated to the Aleazer foundation, they are optimistic about the empowerment that will come with their growth, and the difference they will make.

GUGU MOLOI

FOUNDER & MD

Gugu is a seasoned business leader who has worked in leadership positions in both the public and the private sector. She turned mayor companies losses into thriving businesses and is very vocal about her dependence on God in the workplace. She is now the managing director of Bethel Farm, a commercial farming operation in Kwazulu-Natal, which she is building with her children.

LUNGI MOLOI

DIRECTOR & COO

Lungi is the COO of Bethel Estate and constantly inspired by the call to build the farm operations into a mixed commercial operation with both local and international export potential. She earned her degree in commerce (specialising in accounting) from UCT and is currently training at Agri college. Lungi is also a financial advisor with Old Mutual and a Phenomenal Women director, a business she started during her varsity days. Her passion is aligned with her family’s vision to create employment and “be the light” wherever they operate. As a young African woman, she is excited to work alongside her mom, who has been a great business leader for many years. By leapfrogging many hard lessons, she appreciates wise counsel based on biblical truths.

CHIEFS OF ANGELS

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

Chiefs of Angels is a mid-level luxury fashion brand with a timeless “Rock and Roll” heart. Being Proudly South African, all of their merchandise is manufactured in Victoria Yards, using locally sourced material. Chiefs of Angels has a heart for recycled fabrics and are famous for their refurbished leather jackets. They seek to disrupt norms yet use familiar silhouettes in the fashion system to covertly, but boldly spread the Gospel.

OSCAR ANDILE NCUBE

FOUNDER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Oscar Ncube is a 36-year-old family man; born and raised in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Coming from a family where he is the middle child, one of 3 boys, Oscar grew up with an incredible work ethic and sense of independence. With his father being the local pastor, he feels like he was raised in the church, although he got his mother’s creativity. For Oscar, fashion designing is an act of worship. His brand, Chiefs of Angels, is a mid-level luxury brand, specialising in “Rock and Roll” leather jackets.

DENTX

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

DentX is an online autobody repair pricing technology company based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Due to the subjectivity of the autobody repair industry, DentX provides clients with the luxury of comparing industry rates with high-quality outcomes. By implementing machine learning technology, they disrupt the market with data-led consistent pricing, without prejudice.

JONATHAN ASIAMAH

CO-FOUNDER & CEO

Jonathan Asiamah is the founder and CEO of South African automotive tech startup, DentX. Jonathan worked at Barclays Bank as an Associate Vice-President in their South African division as a Cloud/DevOps/Fintech Engineer until Barclays separated from the Absa Group. Working at management level as one of the group’s youngest professionals, Jonathan represented Absa Bank in San Fransisco for Xprize and Singularity University on innovation and business transformation. He started an engineering consulting business then ventured into a fully-fledged tech startup, DentX – a company built to combat subjective and obscure pricing practices in the Automotive sector. Jonathan is also involved in the startup ecosystem as a technical advisor for several startups in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

DRIVEN ADVISORY

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

Driven Advisory is an economic development consultancy that offers implementation and impact solutions that subsequently creates a positive change. Their interventions aim to create meaningful and sustainable socio-economic programmes; to drive for greater economic participation and financial inclusion in societies, whilst achieving organisational objectives.

OWEN MUZAMBI

CO-FOUNDER & CEO

Owen Muzambi is a Co-Founder and the Executive Director of Driven Advisory, a social enterprise and development advisory group. They focus on accelerating the economic and financial inclusion in South Africa and Africa by designing and implementing custom social change interventions. Owen is actively involved in creating and supplying innovative micro-enterprise solutions to improve sustainable entrepreneurial capabilities; alleviating poverty in low-income urban and rural communities.

FINMEUP

STELLENBOSCH, SOUTH AFRICA

FinMeUp is a financial education and equipment platform. Its vision is to become the go-to finance app globally by taking users from education to execution by providing the relevant tools and features, leveraging automation, gamification, personification and simplification.

HIGGO VAN BILJON

FOUNDER & CEO

Higgo’s biggest passion for business is investing, education, and mentorship, as he believes in a greater purpose and causing change. He is both an opportunist and an optimist. Starting and scaling businesses gets him energised. He is someone who pours heart and soul into everything he does, and when he sets his mind on something, he does it. Whether it was climbing Mount Everest base camp at the age of 14, releasing two nr 1 hit singles, or scaling businesses like FinMeUp from WhatsApp group to thousands of app users.

ILIVE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

BENONI, SOUTH AFRICA

iLive is a project and technology development company within the renewable energy and circular economy sector. The company was founded by Werner Euler and is based in South Africa and the Netherlands. iLive is focused on expanding its three demonstrated technologies:

1. Biodiesel from waste cooking oil
2. Wood pellets for clean cooking stoves
3. Liquid fuels from waste plastics and tyres

Their goal is to realise life-giving initiatives by converting society’s wastes and residues’ into sustainable energy commodities that transform lives. These should increase energy access to vulnerable communities, create sustainable jobs, support gender transformation, fight climate change and share their Christian faith.

WERNER EULER

FOUNDER & CEO

Werner is a passionate renewable energy entrepreneur and advocate for positive change. His vision ‘to bring life’ forms the foundation of his ventures. He believes the development of clean energy sources, circular economies, and inclusion of SMMEs are vehicles driving a sustainable future. Werner holds a masters degree in energy science, a solid international network and several years of corporate experience at director-level. iLive was founded in 2010, born out of a calling to provide affordable energy and clean water to the marginalised. Besides iLive, Werner is passionate about this family, faith and all sports that raises his adrenaline levels!

DANNY VAN NIEKERK

SME PROJECT MANAGER

Danny is the SME Project Manager for iLive’s “Woman in Biodiesel”. He believes in equality and social upliftment and that investing in individuals and communities is how true impact is accomplished. Danny has a background in technical sales and when he is not working, he is either jogging or spending quality time with family and friends.

JUST GRACE

LANGA SOUTH AFRICA

Just Grace is a holistic community development organisation that has been creating hope in Langa since 2012. The organisation believes that sustainable and measurable change comes from a long-term commitment to impact targeted areas positively. Just Grace is passionate about creating and supporting community-based projects that cumulatively lead to the social upliftment of Langa. The organisation’s vision is for the Langa community to be a place where residents are safe and have access to quality education and meaningful employment.

GRANT EDMOND

FOUNDER & MD

Grant is a qualified chartered accountant and holds an MPhil in Public Law from UCT. He co-founded Just Grace NPC in 2012 and has served as the Executive Director since 2018. He has received various awards in this capacity, including the South African Shining Star Award For Contribution To Education and the Surve Philanthropies Award For Contribution Towards Social Justice In Education. Grant is passionate about social justice and enjoys being involved in God’s redemptive story in Langa. He believes in implementing innovative solutions that empower community members to live out their full potential.

OPTIQUE OPTOMETRISTS

PAARL, SOUTH AFRICA

Optique is one of the fastest-growing Optometry groups in South Africa. They believe in the accessibility of the best possible eye care at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses. By standardising their rates to a single, all-inclusive, set rate, which includes your eye test, frame, and spectacle lenses, the cost of products and services is fixed for everyone. Rates are no longer varied according to your age, location, or payment method (medical aid or private). They have in-depth knowledge of their industry, providing you with the best possible eye-care.

LEON VAN VUUREN

FOUNDER & CEO

Leon is an optompreneur (an entrepreneurial optometrist) and founder of Optique. He grew up in Bloemfontein and received formal education from the University of the Free State with a degree in Optometry. After that, Leon gained experience in private practice before starting his first business. He has competencies in Digital Marketing from UCT and an MBA for executive development from USB. His core skill set gravitates towards critical and strategic thinking. He is an optimistic, melancholic maven living in Paarl with his wife. He enjoys visiting coffee shops with a new book, hunting, and spending time with family.

RICHARD HARRIS

COO 

Richard graduated with an Honours degree in Quantity Surveying and has spent most of the past ten years involved in various private and public partnerships and projects. During this time, he experienced a lack of access to essential services, including healthcare. His passion for project management, people, and leadership led him to join Optique on its mission to change the way people access and experience eye care. When he is not researching new ideas, Richard can be found on the golf course or next to the braai with his family and friends.

POSTAPLAY

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

Postaplay brings people together through sport. It is a social media platform that allows players of various sports to post their highlights, plays, and training, showing off their talent, swag and skills. It is a platform for both the social – and competitive sportsmen, their fans, coaches and prospective scouts.

Postaplay aims to fill the gap between the endless, yet seemingly inaccessible, sports talent in developing countries with scouts and professional organisations both locally and internationally.

MURENDENI NEFALE

CO-FOUNDER & CEO

Murendeni’s entrepreneurial genes were ignited while he was studying in the United States, in California where he was exposed to the tech spaces of Silicon Valley and Silicon Beach. It was there that his desire to use technology to positively impact the world was birthed. Upon his return home, he founded a South African tech company and has since committed himself to improve people’s lives through entrepreneurship. His background and formal academic training are in Theology. This is where his calling, and passion for Jesus and people is centred. He has a Bachelors, Honours, and Masters in Theology. He is currently completing his MBA at Wits Business School.

THE THEKVEST GROUP

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

The Thekvest Group was founded in 2016 as a social impact driven business consultancy and investment group. They operate and compete in mining- and other strategic sectors of the economy to maximise client productivity and revenue while fostering local economic inclusion with sustainable solutions.

CHAMP THEKISO

CO-FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Words that describe Champ Thekiso include: paradigm-shifter, leader, strategist, experienced director, entrepreneur, investor, and chartered accountant. He worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Entrepreneurial Advisory Division (EAD), which focused on auditing SMMEs. After PwC, he has been growing SMMEs through The Thekvest Group, a business development expertise. He has a wealth of experience in growing dormant companies to high performing socio-economic ventures. Over and above his technical and financial knowledge, Champ has extensive experience in stakeholder engagement, local procurement, economic transformation and social performance within the resources sector. He has been an advisor on several Employee Share Schemes, BEE transactions and BEE advisories for JSE listed and unlisted companies. He serviced clients such as Impala Platinum, Anglo Platinum, Shanduka Resources, Sephaku Cement, John Taolo Gaetsewe Developmental Trust, SIOC-CDT, and Modikwa Platinum, to name the few in the socio-economic transformation capacity.

LERATO THEKISO

CO-FOUNDER & OPERATIONS DIRECTOR

Lerato is an admitted attorney and avid entrepreneur. Together with her husband, Champ Thekiso, they founded The Thekvest Group, which focuses on economic inclusion through advisory solutions. They see themselves as bridge-builders. For the past ten years, they have led the Unleashed Leadership Development Foundation, a non-profit that exists to unleash the potential of Africa’s people. Lerato is an experienced non-executive director and serves as chairperson in two trusts that address South Africa’s socio-economic challenges. Lerato is a proud alumni of the prestigious Fortune: Most Powerful Women flagship partnership with Vital Voices and the U.S State Department. She is passionate about using her influence to make a meaningful difference in the world.

VALCARE

PAARL, SOUTH AFRICA

Valcare is a social funding platform that optimises the impact of donations to multiple stakeholders, ultimately enabling social change in communities. In 1999 a group of passionate leaders from the Cape Winelands was stirred to take action against the area’s overwhelming needs. Their shared solution-driven vision resulted in the establishment of a central platform from where donations are distributed responsibly. Valcare officially opened its office in April 2003 and has evolved into a thriving Impact Funding Platform with a national footprint, governed and empowered by some of South Africa’s foremost business leaders.

IVAN SWARTZ

CEO 

“Fighting and building” is part of Ivan’s DNA and a role he has been in for as long as he can remember, serving his community on various levels. He has a degree in Communications, an Honors Degree in Industrial Psychology and an MBA. In 2014 he founded Labit, a small business incubator focused on developing entrepreneurs in rural communities. In 2017 he joined Valcare as CEO, establishing it as a social impact investment platform. He enjoys long-distance running and endurance races. Having convinced his wife, Lecia, to marry him eight years ago remains his personal, most impressive achievement.

TRIGA VENTURES IS A NON-PROFIT AND PUBLIC BENEFIT ORGANISATION (PBO) IN SOUTH AFRICA AND ALSO HAS A 501(C)(3) AFFILIATION IN THE USA.

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