Our community of industry-leading mentors is committed to equipping the next generation of entrepreneurs – to build world-class ventures that inﬂuence culture and create a meaningful impact throughout Africa.
FOUNDER & DIRECTOR | TUSHIYAH ADVISORY SERVICES
Abigail launched Tushiyah in 2008 with the focused and ambitious objectives of growing SMEs, growing corporates and growing the economy. Over the last decade the company has gained significant standing in the Enterprise and Supplier Development space, responsible for countless SME/Corporate successes. Putting planning into practice has been a central theme for her over this exciting period of exponential growth.
Abigail’s drive has also seen her being crowned SACBW Business Woman of the Year in 2014. With a unique pool of some of the brightest people that South Africa has to offer, Abigail succeeded in securing Tushiyah’s USP: access to market; access to finance; and access to business savvy for SMEs. In this way, Tushiyah facilitates successful value chain relationships for corporate procurement divisions.
DIRECTOR | MERGON GROUP
NON-EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN | URBANISE
Almero is a director and has been an executive member of the Mergon Group’s investment team since 2008. Mergon is a private investment group that was founded in 1980. From a single, start-up business Mergon has grown into a diversified investment portfolio with significant interests in companies in the technology, commercial property, insurance, renewable energy and food & beverage industries. Almero looks after and represents Mergon on the Boards of Infotech (one of South Africa’s oldest IT companies), FREI (a Mobile Virtual Network Enabler), Renewable Energy Holdings (the foremost independent developer and long-term investor in the hydropower sector in South Africa), and Mertech Marine (a world leader in the recovery, dismantling and recycling of out-of-service deep sea telecommunication cables). Almero is also the Non-Executive Chairman of Urbanise.com, an ASX listed cloud software business for facilities, asset and strata management.
After starting his career as an electronic engineer, Almero also obtained pre and postgraduate accountancy qualifications from the University of Cape Town before launching his career in strategy and management consulting with leading international firms Bain & Company and Deloitte in South Africa and the USA. Almero was also a founding member of Decipher Consulting, a South African niche consulting firm, where he was an executive director of the business.
COO | IN2FOOD GROUP
Andre is currently the joint Chief Operations Officer at In2Food, a national food producer. Andre completed his accounting degree at Stellenbosch University and articles at PwC. He joined Vriesenhof Wine Farm and was responsible for administration and wine exports. Thereafter he worked as a financial manager, firstly at Nulaid Eggs and then at Pioneer Foods Milling Division. In 2003 he joined his father and built Nibbly Bits into a national food producer mainly supplying Woolworths . In 2016 he sold the business to In2Food, where he is currently employed.
Andre has various investments in smaller business ventures where he serves as a non executive director, and is also on the board of two NGOs in the Drakenstein area, namely NORSA and Valley of Abundance. Andre has an interest in the growth hurdles experienced by fast growing businesses as well as the resulting change in organisational culture.
CEO | ALLAN & GILL GRAY PHILANTHROPY AFRICA
Anthony is the CEO of the Allan & Gill Gray Philanthropy Africa. Anthony completed his CA (SA) at Deloitte in Cape Town and Luxembourg, before working at Standard Bank in London for a number of years, in their international corporate finance team. He then co-founded the Starfish Greathearts Foundation in 2001 which now supports in the region of 15,000 orphaned or vulnerable children across South Africa.
He was the founding CEO of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, established in 2005, growing this pipeline of responsible entrepreneurs, known as Allan Gray Fellows, to a cohort of over 800 individuals and creating businesses to the value of approximately R850m. Anthony is married to Susannah and they live in Cape Town with their three children.
FOUNDER | 5-2-50
CO-FOUNDER & CEO | MULTX
Ashton is the founder of 5-2-50, a business focused on eradicating poverty through the creation of good jobs by building and wisely distributing wealth. He is also co-founder and CEO of MultX, a business accelerator that is part of the Multiply Invest group, and chairman of Zoë Life, a non-profit organisation that seeks to bring wholeness to nations with a strong focus on holistic child-wellness. He is passionate about helping to build businesses with a commitment to seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Ashton believes that God is doing an unprecedented work in restoring the true blessing and design of work through the church, in the workplace, which he calls the Workplace Revival.
He started his career as an office cleaner in a cardboard factory, from where he followed a winding path through insurance, IT operations, restaurants, and studying Organisation Development through UNISA. This path led him to discovering his passion in the relationship between purpose, design, and performance; and how this concept scales from individual, to team, to organisational and system design as a foundation for driving performance and well-being. He spent 9 years in China, during which time he completed a Master’s degree in Managing and Leading Innovation and Change (MALIC), whilst assisting the China subsidiary of an international off-shore equipment manufacture in creating and implementing an effective strategic management process that helped them weather the 2015 oil price crash. He returned to South Africa in July 2017, with his wife Lily, and their two children, in response to a sense that God was calling them to come back and contribute to the building of kingdom-focused businesses, with the focus on eradicating poverty in Africa.
FOUNDER & CEO | WASTEPLAN
Bertie Lourens is the Chief Executive Officer and visionary behind WastePlan, an onsite Waste Management and Recycling Company. Bertie’s entrepreneurial drive and passion – for both the environment and empowering people – led him to start WastePlan in the Western Cape in 2004.
WastePlan currently employs over 1300 staff and services over 320 sites in the industrial, property, commercial, hospitality and medical industries in most of the major cities in South Africa – with recyclable waste being collected from over 100 000 households in Cape Town. “Changing the way we think about waste” is WastePlan’s motto, and as such Bertie is constantly building strategic partnerships and searching for innovative ways of waste reduction and recycling. He is a dedicated family man and father to four children and an enthusiastic aviator.
CEO | ASHBURTON INVESTMENTS
Boshoff joined RMB in 2000 after providing legal counsel to the South African Reserve Bank (SARB)for three years. During his years with FirstRand, Boshoff has been a founding member of DCM. DCM is a joint venture between Fixed Income Currency and Commodities (FICC) and the Investment Banking division (IBD) of Rand Merchant Bank. He served as a Specialist Transactor and Executive Director for various capital market vehicles. In 2007, he assumed responsibility for the DCM Executive Committee and was also appointed to the Management Board of IBD. Boshoff has been the CEO of Ashburton Investments since its conceptualisation in 2009 and is responsible for implementing the FirstRand Group’s investment management strategy.
When Boshoff is not working, he spends time with his wife, Blyde, and his three children Andreas, Nina and Miko. He is a passionate horse rider and Arabian horse breeder, enjoys tennis and fly fishing.
HEAD OF INCUBATION | LAUNCHLAB
Brandon is currently the Head of Incubation at the Stellenbosch University LaunchLab. He oversees the incubation and acceleration programmes, recruits potential investors and service providers, works with corporates to engage with startups, and speaks at various startup events promoting the Western Cape and South African tech startup community. He also directly works with more than 10 startups.
He was on the founding team of a Campus Outreach in Johannesburg, a global ministry to university students serving as the Mobilisation Director. After eight years with Campus Outreach, Brandon joined Applogix in 2012 where he headed the Project Management and Business Analyst functions. He facilitated a strategy and culture overhaul in 2014, which was crucial to Applogix being acquired by WPP (UK based group of creative agencies) in 2014 for around R50m. Brandon received his MBA from East Carolina (AACSB) in 2013. His undergraduate studies were in business science at UNC-Charlotte. Brandon’s expertise lies in strategy, culture and business model design.
CHRIS DU TOIT
CO-FOUNDER & DIRECTOR | CUSTOM CAPITAL
Chris is passionate about raising up the next generation of entrepreneurs. He is driven by the dream that he and others can be instrumental in shaping and defining the future. His professional life bears testimony to a firm belief in the brick-by-brick principle of consistently doing the basics well. He started as a collations clerk at a bank. In 10 years, he rose from salesman to managing director of Canon SA. In 2001, he ventured into a now thriving partnership with his brother, Pierre. In 2011 they were approached by Mercantile Bank Limited to partner on building a billion-rand portfolio. In 2016 they sold the business to Mercantile bank and embarked on a R1.6 Billion mixed use development partnering the Multiply Group. In 2017 they relaunched their asset finance business aimed predominantly to small to medium sized enterprises.
Chris attributes his success to some of the guiding principles and lessons he has learned: perseverance, honesty, understanding the value of people, sacrifice, consistency, working smart, and having fun. For 28 years Chris has been married to Wanda, who is a dynamic and creative entrepreneur. They have two daughters, aged 25 and 18, and a 22-year-old son. Topping the list of his interests are good food, red wine, and travel, especially to international cities.
CO-FOUNDER | THE APIARY
Christine Meintjes (officially Van Niekerk) is a multi-faceted entrepreneur, driven to establish innovative ways to connect creativity with business. She is an internationally acclaimed photographer and the first-ever female appointed as a Nikon Premium Ambassador (for Southern Africa).
In 2010 Christine founded the Pretty Blog, a renowned lifestyle platform that has won numerous national and international awards for its exceptional content and storytelling experience. Recently, she co-found The Apiary: a company with the tagline “A group of companies, taking creativity seriously”. The Apiary is the holding company for The Pretty Blog and a venture called The Local Edit: an exciting new app that will bring South Africa’s best-designed goods to your fingertips and home.
Christine also started a podcast, Behind The Edit, which facilitates honest and raw conversations about what it takes to build “perfectly edited” brands. In her free time, she enjoys consulting and mentoring, but above all, she is a devoted wife and mom.
CO-FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN | BLU SKY INVESTMENTS
Darin is a successful entrepreneur and has been involved in a range of industries throughout his career. Business interests and investments include clothing manufacture and distribution, homeware, property, technology, and business development. Business investments are both local, in South Africa, and international.
Darin is currently executive chairman of 3 companies and sits on the board of 10 companies, both locally and internationally. Darin holds therein a majority ownership stake and the founding board member of 2 non-profit organisations.
Darin thrives on his international relationships and finds himself challenged, rebuked and constantly encouraged by other like-minded people globally who share the same Kingdom principles. He loves to meet up with these people and together share ideas and strategies.
Darin currently resides in Salt Rock, South Africa, with his wonderful wife Paula and their three magnificent children, namely Savannah, Joshua and Kristin.
FOUNDER & CEO | AVOLANDS
David is a passionate avocado entrepreneur and an ardent ambassador for agribusiness development. He believes that the free market and small business development is the only credible means to long-term prosperity for all South Africans. Prior to farming, David worked as a consulting project manager in commercial and development agriculture throughout Africa. He is a dedicated family man and when he is not working, you will find him motorbiking in the bush with his two sons or riding his mountain bike in the forests surrounding his farm.
PROFESSOR | PUBLIC THEOLOGY & ETHICS, STELLENBOSCH UNIVERSITY
DIRECTOR | BEYERS NAUDÉ CENTRE FOR PUBLIC THEOLOGY
Dion is theologian whose work focusses specifically on political ethics and economic ethics at the intersection with faith. He serves as Professor of Ethics at the University of Stellenbosch and as the director of the Beyers Naudé Centre for Public Theology whose aim it is to serve Churches, Faith Based Organisations, and leaders in Faith Based Communities and society, to work of justice, reconciliation, the care of creation, and human wholeness and flourishing. Dion also serves on the board of Unashamedly Ethical, the Pneumatix academy, and is the Chairman of the Board of South Africa’s largest distance learning theological college, Theological Education by Extension College (TEEC). He is an associate of the Allan Gray Centre for Values Based Leadership, an honorary research fellow at the University of Cambridge, and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network.
MANAGING PARTNER | KINGSON CAPITAL
Gavin is the Founder and Managing Partner of Kingson Capital. Gavin provides strategic leadership to the development of the Kingson funds and portfolio construction of the underlying businesses. Gavin is a qualified Chartered Accountant and is registered with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. Kingson is a venture capital firm based in South Africa and provides venture investment for early stage seed, post seed and series A rounds for startups focusing on emerging technology, particularly in Africa.
Kingson is backed by Silicon Valley-based investors and supported by the United States Government, via the United States Agency for International Development. Kingson’s Fund Two is a $100M fund dedicated to investing in startups in Africa, with a special focus on South African based startups. Gavin’s key strengths lie in identifying and developing business opportunities, strategy and business development, innovation and business leadership. Gavin sits on the boards of several startups, acts as an advisor and mentor for South African based accelerators and also co-founded a not-for-profit investment holding company that supports non-profits and charitable foundations.
FOUNDER & CEO | ECRA SOLUTIONS (PTY) LTD
CO-FOUNDER & DIRECTOR | KAVANAH (PTY) LTD
TRUSTEE | ITAVERO TRUST
DIRECTOR TRAINING | CENTER FOR ORAL SCRIPTURES (JERUSALEM)
Disciple of Jesus Christ, husband to Elmarie, father to Jean Gerhard and Liezl-Mari, servant-leader, Bible and Orality scholar, accountant, auditor, strategist and experienced entrepreneur with a demonstrated history of leading teams and establishing new redemptive enterprises.
Gerhard is passionately committed as a Kingdom Builder in all aspects of life and wants to serve the purpose of God in this generation. Through redemptive enterprises he leads people to life-changing experiences.
CEO | POPUP UPLIFTMENT
CFO | CREATION CAPITAL
Gerrit is a Chartered Accountant with experience in logistics, manufacturing, financial services and skills development. He is the CEO of POPUP Upliftment, a non-profit company, which focuses on providing skills training to unemployed youth. POPUP has trained nearly 7,500 people up to the end of 2017. Gerrit is also the CFO of Creation Capital, an asset manager which manages a debt fund and a property fund.
DIRECTOR | EXPERTTECH INTERNATIONAL AND LEADERSHIP PRACTICE
Hannalie has distinguished herself by operating and dealing with higher-level complexities as a trained Assessment Centre Administrator and Observer. She thereby contributes to the success of business initiatives by increasing productivity and enhancing business performance through the assessment of behavioural and organisational competencies. Her passion is working with leaders, helping them recognise and realise their potential and coaching them to apply their newly acquired skills in real life situations.
Hannalie has more than twenty years’ experience in designing, developing and facilitating leadership development. She received most of her leadership training in the USA through Strategic Management Group and obtained a Masters Degree in Organisational Leadership from Regent University, Virginia Beach. Her research paper focused on the need to create enabling and empowering structures to enhance the capabilities of women leaders and included a quantitive study to ascertain whether EI and SQ competence are prevalent in women in senior leadership positions, and to what extent coaching is used as a method for delivering leaders.
CEO | BLOUDRUK GROUP
Hardus, who studied Business Economics and Industrial Psychology at Stellenbosch University, is an entrepreneur at heart and launched his first venture in 1994. He is CEO of Bloudruk Group, a media network that includes Tygerberg 104FM, Groot FM 90.5, Die Groot Ontbyt, one of the most popular shows on kykNET, Radio Christian Voice, the largest radio station in Zambia with over 4 million listeners, Bloudruk Media, that specialises in the Afrikaans market and digital TV channel RoepTV.com.
Hardus is actively involved in the community and founded the Voortrekker Road Corridor Improvement District, the largest CID in South Africa, as well as serving as Exco member of Unashamedly Ethical.
JOHAN DU PREEZ
FOUNDER | SAAD INVESTMENTS & TREE OF LIFE FOUNDATION
Johan, who obtained the degree M. Pharm from the University of Pretoria and an MBA from National University in San Diego, California, is the founder of SAAD Investment Holdings and the Tree of Life Foundation. He began his career in California, USA, where he specialised in the turnaround of large retail pharmacies for American Drug Stores, a retail group that owned more than 700 stores. He then moved on to managed healthcare, specifically medical insurance and risk management, and was part of a core team that created national prescription benefit manager RxAmerica.
On his return to South Africa he was instrumental in the turnaround of Sanlam Health, where he served as CEO from 1999 to 2001, led Glacier by Sanlam and headed the start-up of the financing company Quince Capital. He subsequently acted as the CEO of the then JSE listed pharmaceutical company Cipla Medpro South Africa and, during this time, concluded a R4.5bn transaction with Cipla India that saw the delisting of Cipla Medpro. During his involvement with the Sanlam group he served on the Executive committees of Sanlam Life and Sanlam Investment Management.
CHAIRPERSON | UMALUSI COUNCIL
CHAIRPERSON | DG MURRAY TRUST
John was born and raised in Cape Town South Africa. He started his academic career at the University of Western Cape, South Africa where he studied mathematics and physics and later completed the PhD in mathematics education at Cornell University, Ithaca NY in 1988. He returned to Southern Africa in 1990 after almost a decade in the USA.
John served as Campus Vice-Principal at the then University of Natal, Durban and later Pro-Vice Chancellor for Partnerships at the University of KwaZulu-Natal until 2004. He has also been centrally involved in curriculum reform in post-apartheid South Africa and has been asked by all four Ministers of Education to play a leading role in the transformation of education in the new South Africa. He served for four years (2006 -2010) as the Chairperson of Umalusi Council, and is now serving a second term as Chair of Council. Currently, he also serves as the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the Durban University of Technology, a university of 27 000 students as well as the Acting Vice-Chancellor at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He is also the Chairperson of the DG Murray Trust, a public innovator committed to developing South Africa’s potential through strategic investment. After 25 years away from Cape Town he returned to and refurbished the house in Cape Town where he grew up. John and his late wife Engela, who was also a teacher, worked together in voluntary community based educational projects in the Athlone area with a focus on young people.
DIRECTOR | INTERNATIONAL SPORT LEADERSHIP SCHOOL
John’s purpose is to enhance strategic Kingdom expansion processes and to develop emerging leaders through the means of catalyzing and multiplying Gospel movements. He is the global co-convener for a global sports coalition with partners in 200 countries. Since 1999, over 5 million young people in 170 countries are reached and discipled through sports and games annually as a result of training for 80,000 leaders each year.
John is the director of the International Sport Leadership School (ISLS) – an initiative that has trained 500 emerging global leaders from 130 countries. He is the global facilitator for Ubabalo – an initiative to equip coaches to be fathers on the sports field. Ubabalo has exploded to over 140 countries with 10,000 coaches trained annually and open source material available for multiple sports in multiple languages. He holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and is a Certified Behavioural Consultant. John is married to Wan Yi and they have embraced the adventure of parenting their daughters Emma and Ellie. They love serving young couples and young families to discover their purpose within God’s mission.
CO-FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | NATION BUILDER TRUST
Keri-Leigh is the Executive director of the Muthobi Foundation within the Mergon Group, as well as co-founder and director of the Nation Builder Trust. Nation Builder is an initiative that equips and enables businesses to leverage their skills and resources to bring about social change while doing business. Nation Builder has launched the first social Investment self-assessment tool, a knowledge platform with best in industry resources and an exclusive online community caters for peer-learning and collaboration.
Keri has worked both locally and in the United Kingdom in marketing and development as well as initiating and leading a national drive, to raise awareness for autism in South Africa – igniting a passion to utilise marketing and business to raise social awareness and investment.
FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | EN GEDI
Laurie founded En Gedi and serves as its Executive Director. Her passion is to serve and encourage, and God has used her experience in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors to apply those gifts around the world. Laurie has worked as a manager with Master Sports and as Executive Director of her family’s foundation, MasterWorks Foundation before founding En Gedi.
She served on the board of Leadership Development International (LDi) in China and is currently on the advisory council and also ministers at her local church.
FOUNDER & MANAGING DIRECTOR | SILULO ULUTHO TECHNOLOGIES
Luvuyo Rani is an award-winning entrepreneur, and founder and managing director of Silulo Ulutho Technologies, a Cape Town based IT services company. The story of Silulo began in 2004 when Rani, a teacher in Khayelitsha, saw teachers struggling with the new computer technology that was being introduced into classrooms. He started his business from the boot of his car, buying old computers, refurbishing them and selling the gadgets. Today, Silulo has 46 stores in townships and rural areas in the Western, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, 220 full-time staff members, and 21 franchises. Rani gradually set up internet cafes in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, while establishing one-stop ICT (information and communication technology) centres offering internet access, training, sales, repairs and mobile support. By 2008, they had perfected this model and started to expand. Today Rani is an award-winning social enterpreneur with a top-floor office in the city and a business that is helping thousands of South Africans succeed.
He is still driven primarily by the desire to empower township and rural communities by connecting them to the world of technology. Several awards and accolades have accrued over the years, including the national Productivity Award and the Endeavour Global Entrepreneur award. Luvuyo Rani was featured in Forbes Magazine’s March issue in 2014 and he was the Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the year in 2016. Luvuyo was named one of the 2014 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World ( JCI TOYP) recipients in the category of business, economic, and/or entrepreneurial accomplishment. One of strengths of the business has been the entrepreneurial spirit that has kept it one step ahead. As the internet became more accessible and smartphones entered the market, for example, the company adapted its business model to offer more training courses and partner with other companies. Silulo has become a known brand and this has opened doors. At the same time the business has been helping to secure loans for individuals to open franchises, mentoring young entrepreneurs and creating networks for others to succeed. In 2018, the Silulo Business Incubation Hub was opened in Mitchells Plain, to assist young entrepreneurs in setting up and launching their business.
FOUNDER | THIRD SECTOR INSIGHTS
CHAIRMAN | WORLD VISION SOUTH AFRICA
Malcolm is the founder and managing trustee of Third Sector Insights, a social enterprise that focuses on shining the light into the board rooms of nonprofit and social impact organisations. He is also the chairman of World Vision South Africa, a global Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. He is widely known by the South African Small-to-Medium Enterprise support fraternity, especially for his role as founding Chief Executive Officer of NAMAC Trust. He is also a founding member of the World Institute for Governance of Non-Profit Organisations (WIGNPO).
His exposure to both for profit and nonprofit organisations has allowed him to develop a greater understanding of the differences and similarities that exist between them and to apply this knowledge in these fields. He also lectures at the Stellenbosch University Business School, presents the governance module for the USB-ED NPO Management programme. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from Newport University (USA), and completed postgraduate studies at Harvard Business School in the area of Governing for Nonprofit Excellence and Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management. He completed the Management Advancement Programme at Wits Business School and is a graduate and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa.
FOUNDER | RLABS
Marlon is the founder of Reconstructed Living Labs (RLabs) – a South African social entrepreneur who uses information communications technology (ICT) to empower communities, a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and named by the Mail and Guardian as 1 of 300 young South Africans you have to take out to lunch. He was elected an Ashoka Fellow in 2014.
Marlon is a former lecturer at Cape Peninsula University of Technology and currently head of Mxit Reach, which is centred on using the innovative technology built by Mxit to create free mobile educational, health care, agricultural and community applications. With over 50 million users, Mxit is Africa’s largest social network. Marlon’s work as a social entrepreneur, and in particular his successes with RLabs franchise, has seen Reconstructed Living Labs popping up all over the world in places like Brazil, Namibia, Tanzania, Nigeria and Somalia. The RLabs model has been replicated in 21 countries, it has incubated 22 social enterprises, and employs 80 people – most of them in Cape Town. More than four million people have accessed support services through RLabs. He was named the National LEAD SA Hero of 2015, a Primedia Broadcasting initiative, supported by Independent Newspapers to promote active citizenship.
CULTURE EVANGELIST | KING PRICE INSURANCE
Marno Boshoff loves people. Motivating individuals, teams and organisations to reach their full potential is at the heart of all his work. As a Culture Evangelist, he helps build the necessary culture to build lasting and efficient companies. He believes that individual development produces more significant team development, which creates greater organisational development, producing more effective and efficient companies.
Marno is an essential part of King Price Insurance’s team that builds the culture needed to drive the phenomenal customer experience they are famous for.
REGIONAL MANAGER: SUB-SAHARAN AFRICAN | MERGON FOUNDATION
Marnus finds great pleasure in being able to connect people and organisations, bringing together a variety of experience, local knowledge and intuition that creates deep work and greater impact. His purpose is to bridge the gap between people from different cultures and environments, and helping them to live towards their purpose and calling.
As the sub-Saharan regional manager of the Mergon Foundation, he works with over 40 organisations in the region to bring about Kingdom expansion. He finds and develops strategic leaders and organisations, helping them grow towards being more sustainable and healthy individuals and teams. Marnus holds a Bachelors of Commerce degree, but is finding more interest in the understanding of human behaviour while also dabbling as an amateur futurist. He is married to Sonja and is a father to two incredibly joyful daughters.
FOUNDER | LEGACY WATER SOLUTIONS
CO-FOUNDER | IN2ENERGY & SOLH2O
Michelle Harding has more than 30 years of experience in key sectors locally and internationally. Before founding Legacy Water Solutions, she held GM and Director positions at some of the leading corporates in manufacturing, mining, construction, and agriculture. As Legacy Water Solutions gained momentum in line with the Food-Water-Energy nexus, she co-founded In2Energy and SolH2O (Water & Energy) in 2020.
Michelle is enthusiastic about finding and implementing business opportunities to help the continent grow to its full potential. She is also passionate about the importance of the next generation. Michelle is a devoted Christian, and her family is an essential part of her life. She is married to John and has two married sons with children.
EXECUTIVE HEAD | MERGON FOUNDATION
Neil is an entrepreneur with a heart for God. He was the founder and CEO of Boomtown for 26 years; today one of the top brand agencies in South Africa. In 2014 he took over leadership of All Nations Church. Together with his wife Mandi, they established All Nations Churches in 20 countries worldwide, including the Middle East, Africa, India and Indonesia.
Neil is currently the Executive Head for the Mergon Foundation, which allocates financial and human capital to ministries expanding God’s kingdom across Africa and the Middle East. He has a deep interest in leadership and creativity, loves being in nature, playing the guitar and is an exhibited artist. He lives in Stellenbosch with his family and is part of All Peoples Church in Kayamandi, Stellenbosch.
NICO VAN DER MERWE SNR
CHAIRMAN | H.A.S.S. GROUP
Nico completed his B.Sc. (Pharm) studies at Potchefstroom University in 1973, after which he and his wife, Anita, practised as community pharmacists. In 1979 they acquired the H.A.S.S. Group – which today is the leading hearing health care service provider in Sub-Saharan Africa with 465 staff, 24 Ear Institutes and a professional agent network situated throughout sub-Sahara.
Nico and his family have a God-given vision – to make a difference in deaf education – given to him in 1992. This resulted in the formation of the “Foundation for Children with a Hearing Loss” and Eduplex schools in Pretoria. Here a few deaf children are included in every class of 25, and where they learn and acquire ordinary spoken language alongside their regular hearing friends – without sign language. Currently, there are 835 children in Eduplex, 75 are deaf, and 50% of these deaf children, the poorest of the poor, are dependent on bursaries that include school fees, two meals a day, after school care, uniforms and audiological management.
To take the Vision globally and change traditional deaf education (from sign language to spoken language), Nico founded the Eduplex Training Institute (E.T.I.) – an online virtual classroom training institute that train professionals (teachers/audiologists/hearing aid acousticians) and parents in inclusive education as well as hearing aid acoustics. To date, students from more than 30 countries have received training at E.T.I.
Nico is an author and an international speaker on various business- and Christian platforms. He has been happily married to Anita for 50 years. They have a son and a daughter, and four wonderful grandchildren.
HEAD OF PHILANTHROPY | NEDBANK PRIVATE WEALTH
Noxolo heads up the Philanthropy Office at Nedbank Private Wealth and is responsible for developing the philanthropy offering and strategy. The philanthropy office provides a range of specialist advice and services to individuals, families, private and corporate foundations as well as non-profit organisations (NPO’s) to ensure sustainable and impactful giving.
Noxolo is passionate about sustainable economic and social development, and the strategic role private philanthropy can play. She has extensive experience in the financial services sector, and is an MBA graduate from Henley Business School in the UK. She also holds a post-graduate degree in Economic Policy and Development.
FOUNDER & CEO | MY QUALI DOC
Nthabiseng is a medical practitioner who is passionate about improving access to primary healthcare. She has a vision that, if realised, will make quality primary healthcare affordable for all global citizens in emerging markets.
She has spent the last 10 years navigating the private health sector, firstly as a medical advisor and product manager in the pharmaceutical industry and then as a partner in an emergency medical practice. She also has experience in the sub-acute healthcare environment. Nthabi completed her MBA through the Gordon Institute of Business Science, where her research topic, “Factors that influence the non-urgent use of emergency departments in the South African private healthcare sector” seeks to aid in the development of divergent strategies for these patients.
FOUNDER | CROSSOVER TRANSFORMATION GROUP
Patrick is the founder of Crossover Transformation Group – an organisation focused on offering Value Co-Creation services, a field of expertise focused on accelerating business and economic growth by putting together new relational and transactional economic structures that are constructed by uniting the uniqueness and diversity of thinking from participating stakeholders.
Patrick left a successful corporate career in 2005 and co-founded Umliba Investment Corporation – a South Africa based specialist information and media focused investment holding company. Through this company he set up a joint venture company called PA Sport South Africa (a leading sports information provider) together with London based Press Association Group. In 2008 he further co-founded Livemobile – a mobile media and services company which became the first African organisation to win a Global Mobile Marketing Award for innovation in sports based mobile marketing. He exited this side of business to start Crossover Transformation in 2011. Patrick is married to the love of his life, Maude and they have been blessed with two sons.
FOUNDER & CEO | SIX33 GROUP
Pieter is the Managing Director of the SIX33 Group – a private equity firm with investments in Agriculture, Financial Services, Logistics and Property. He is a qualified Actuary with 10 years’ experience working predominantly in the Financial Services industry. Before starting the SIX33 Group he worked as a strategy consultant for Accenture on various projects across Africa, Europe and North-America.
In 2013 he founded PICSA – a disruptive financial services startup that is now a member of the AFGRI group of companies. Pieter and his wife Estelle share a heart for building God’s kingdom which is why they founded the Aslan Trust in 2014 to reach vulnerable and orphaned children in Africa.
CO-FOUNDER | ACORN PRIVATE EQUITY
Pierre is the co-founder and majority shareholder of Acorn Private Equity. He is a qualified chartered accountant with more than 23 years’ experience in corporate finance, private equity and investments.
Pierre specialised in taxation with Arthur Andersen and worked as an analyst and corporate financier at SMK Securities, which later became BOE Securities. In September 1998, he started with the PSG Group, where he was tasked with private equity and corporate finance. After almost 11 years with PSG he resigned in 2009 to start Acorn Private Equity. Acorn is currently managing their second private equity fund Acorn Agri, an agri and food permanent capital vehicle.
FOUNDER & CHIEF EXECUTIVE | CHAPTER ONE INNOVATION
Rorisang is the Chief Executive and Founder of Chapter One Innovation. He leads the firm in its mission to be the platform off which market winners, industry leaders and world changers are launched, both the organisational systems and the people that work on them. Rorisang is a classical corporate strategist specialising in business model and innovation strategy. He holds a MBA (specialising in social innovation and entrepreneurship) from the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Financial Accounting, Auditing and Taxation from the University of Pretoria.
Rorisang is also an adjunct member of faculty at Duke University CE, delivering a portfolio of corporate education programmes. He is an African Leadership Institute / Oxford University Desmond Tutu Fellow, an Africa Leadership Initiative / Aspen Global Leadership Network (YALI) Fellow and a Bertha Foundation Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fellow. Amongst Rorisang’s hidden talent are that he is both a retired politician and a retired radio show host.
FOUNDER | AGES GROUP
FOUNDER | TOUCHING AFRICA GROUP
Stephan is a South African citizen, born in the late fifties and resides in Potchefstroom where he is involved in family, business and community activities. He is married to Christa and they have a family of four children and one grandchild. He is the founder of the AGES Group of companies and co-founder of various related businesses with focus on geo-environmental engineering solutions and management.
He obtained his Ph.D. in Environmental Geology in 2009, and is involved in various post-graduate research programmes and studies. He is well known and recognised in the geohydrological community of South Africa and is involved in widespread regional water research and management projects. He is the chair of the Touching Africa Development Trust, contributing to community and business development through a cooperation of vision driven businesses, networking throughout various countries in Southern Africa. Stephan lately focused on the documentation and research on Kingdom principles and understanding the Word of God as a practical tool in all aspects of life, including the corporate environment. This has led to the development of training material, publications, and various wide spread presentations.
FOUNDER & CEO | GOLD YOUTH
Susannah holds an MPhil degree from Stellenbosch University and her active involvement in youth behaviour-change and skills-access has led her to pioneering the Gold Youth Development Agency (Gold Youth) in 2004, of which she is CEO. In striving to build Gold Youth’s sustainable scalability, Susannah established Gold Enterprises in 2011, a for profit company, 100% owned by Gold Youth. Susannah is an Ashoka fellow who is steadfastly committed to change and to finding innovative solutions for addressing the debilitating youth-education and unemployment crisis amongst the most vulnerable.
Susannah won the Regional Business Woman’s Association of South Africa Award in the 2016 Social Entrepreneur of the Year category and was nominated as one of only four finalists in the 2017 Global Citizen award, in recognition of her innovation, action and impact in the alleviation of poverty. In early 2018 Susannah was selected as Life Co Social Entrepreneur Enterprizer.
DIRECTOR | HALFTIME SOUTH AFRICA
Tommy O’Kennedy is the first full-time director of Halftime South Africa. He started his career as a teacher and was involved as seminar leader and facilitator for Leadership Development and Management Development programmes for many years. He started his own business as entrepreneurship and management consultant and also taught in Business Management and Entrepreneurship at CPUT and Leadership Development at Stellenbosch University.
After reading the book “Halftime” in 1998, Tommy desired to live a life of significance and in the middle of 2009, after a number of years in the academic and business world, Tommy was asked to become the first full-time director of Halftime South Africa. He felt that he could realise his dream to inspire business and professional leaders to embrace their calling to live a life of significance.
CO-FOUNDER & CEO | GAP CAPITAL
Wesley is a qualified Chartered Accountant specialising in private equity and transaction advisory services. Amongst other deal-related services, he has focused on mergers, acquisitions and disposals, fundraising, due diligence investigations, valuations and transaction structuring and advice. Wesley is the CEO and co-founder of Gap Capital SA and USA. Prior to that he was the founder and CEO of LIV Business, a philanthropic investment company.
He was responsible for heading up the Corporate Finance divisions of KZN and the Eastern Cape for PricewaterhouseCoopers and before that was the founder and owner of Smith Savage, a registered auditing, taxation, boutique corporate finance and advisory practice in Johannesburg. Other business leadership roles include the finance executive for Louis Vuitton South Africa.
FOUNDER & CEO | INOVO
Wynand Smit, the current CEO of INOVO, has worked in the South African contact centre industry for over 10 years. Along with his wife Liesl and his two kids, he spends many holidays connecting with nature at game parks or camping at scenic locations around the country. From creating his own self-sustaining fruit and vegetable garden to incubating new business opportunities, he is never short of starting new projects, and devising creative ways to bring his ideas to life.