Ithala encourages innovative and sustainable business concepts


Ithala Development Finance Corporation’s 2016 Inkunz’isematholeni Youth in Business competition recently drew to a close after the evaluation of all business concepts that were submitted. Out of a total of 131 entries, 20 finalists were shortlisted and two winners were selected. “Think Innovation, Think Green” was the theme for this year’s competition and the submissions varied within the engineering, IT and science sectors.

Inkunz’isematholeni Youth in Business Competition winners Nkululeko Khumalo (left) and Martin Ngcobo (right)

Inkunz’isematholeni Youth in Business Competition winners Nkululeko Khumalo (left) and Martin Ngcobo (right)

Ithala congratulates this year’s winners: Martin Ngcobo from Pietermaritzburg who has developed a way of making instant firewood that once burnt is converted into charcoal and Nkululeko Khumalo from Glenwood, Durban, who has invented a local delivery and transportation bicycle called the “Take Bike”, which has three wheels and is powered by a battery which is charged by kinetic or solar energy.

Inkunz’isematholeni is a flagship project launched by Ithala in 2014 in an effort to tackle unemployment by encouraging the country’s youth to consider self-employment as a job option. The initiative attracts youth with innovative and sustainable business concepts and provides incubation and start-up in their journey to becoming seasoned entrepreneurs.

The top 20 finalists in this year’s competition attended a five-day business development workshop facilitated by Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), one of the strategic partners of the initiative. Thereafter, they had to resubmit their business plans from which six finalists were shortlisted for interviews and two were chosen as winners.
Ithala will assist the winners to turn their creative concepts into fully operational businesses by providing start-up capital and the necessary business support to help them launch, manage and run their businesses successfully. The two lucky winners will each receive a business support package of up to R250 000.

For more information on Ithala visit or call 031 907 8911.

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