This year, the Green Innovators Pitch saw about 200 applications! After a rigorous selection process focusing on criteria such as innovation, sustainability, and profitability (to name a few), only the strongest 40 business ideas and businesses remained.

The 40 were invited to a pre-pitch workshop, which was aimed at assisting candidates with crafting solid business models and strategies, and capacitating all pitchers with the necessary skills to articulate their great ideas. The main purpose of this workshop, however, was to select the top five candidates who will pitch their ideas at the Green Youth Indaba on the 29th of June.

Due to the brilliant ideas presented, seven candidates made it to the Indaba! After delivering compelling presentations to our audience and a panel of judges, (comprising of The Innovations Hub’s Climate Innovation Centre Senior Manager, Mr. Billy Bokako; the Director of the Department of Science and Innovation, Dr. Henry Roman; and the Corporate Services Executive of the Energy and Water SETA, Candace Moodley) the Green Innovators Pitch 7.0 winners were announced!

In third place, we had Ms. Lungile Marhungane for Jeslu Puro-Water, a business that provides high-quality water solutions using a Green Water Purification System, that utilizes crushed macadamia nut shells and turns them into a fibre, which is then used to purify water as opposed to using chemicals. She was awarded a R5000 cash prize.

Ms. Reshoketswe Molepo was the first runner-up! She won a cash prize of R7000 for RRT Green Constructions, a renewable energy and green construction company that specializes in the supply and installation of solar systems and the manufacturing of building materials from construction waste.

The number 1 spot was taken by Ms. Sisi Nxumalo, who won R10 000 for her innovative green brand SoulShooz, which turns automotive and exercise waste into cool, comfortable, eco-conscious shooz. In collaboration with local recyclers, SoulShooz collects worn-out tyres, wetsuit material, rejected car seatbelts, and other offcuts (all of which would have landed up in landfills across JHB and SA) from communities. These materials are used to create shooz, turning trash into treasure and creating sustainable employment, one step at a time.

In addition to their cash prizes, the top three will be absorbed into the various incubation programmes offered by The Innovation Hub.

The Green Youth Network congratulates this year’s winners! You dared to create a path for yourself and worked diligently to give life to your idea. We wish you more success on your current and future ventures! Continue being trailblazers!