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For as long as society can remember, the sole objective of opening a business has been making money. But more and more entrepreneurs are reimagining the purpose of business. Things don’t have to stay the same.
It seems modern-day entrepreneurs have their sights set on something other than the bottom line.
While the importance of a healthy profit margin can’t be overstated, plenty of entrepreneurs are putting philanthropy ahead of financial gain.
Here’s a list of four proudly South African enterprises that are driving positive social change:
Subz Pants and Pads
According to Stellenbosch University Law Clinic, about 30% of girls in the country miss school because they can’t afford sanitary pads. This is why Subz Pants and Pads founder Sue Barnes designed a washable sanitary pad that lasts for up to five years. The pads are distributed free of charge and are accompanied by a presentation on the female reproductive system.
Little Green Number
We can all agree that recycling is important. But sometimes the only selling point of a recycled product is the fact that it’s eco-friendly. Juanita van der Merwe, founder of Little Green Number, has been reversing that trend for the past eight years. Her company uses recycled materials to make laptop, cosmetic and baby bags. Little Green Number employs what it describes as the “Buy 1 Give 1” philosophy: every time a bag is bought, the company donates one bag to a child in need.
Soweto Bird Club
After taking a month-long course with Birdlife South Africa in 2005, youth worker Bafana Nkosi put his newly acquired skills to good use. He keeps record of bird species and teaches children in Kliptown, Soweto, about avian life. Nkosi has also partnered with three schools to run bird guide and bird identification programmes. According to Soweto Bird Club’s Facebook page, the organisation’s mission is “promoting birding both as a hobby and an alternative career choice mainly for the youth in Soweto and beyond”.
Bonga Cycling Academy
Founded in 2015, Bonga Cycling Academy is the brainchild of Bonga Ngqobane. Membership is free and open to young people aged between 16 and 26. The academy currently trains 34 aspiring cyclists and runs an education programme, life skills classes, as well as career guidance talks. Thandazo Koyo, one of the academy’s rising stars, went on to join Sampada, a team made up of the best black cyclists in the country.
If one person can do it, millions more can. You might also have a lightbulb moment that could change lives. But the only way to find out is to allow yourself to live your way.
When you’ve figured out what your business will be, you might want to consider MiWay business insurance. Not sure it’s the right insurance for you? Well, getting an insurance quote is the only way to be certain.
This article is sponsored by MiWay.
Feature image: supplied, MiWay