Across South Africa, young leaders are pioneering innovative solutions to critical social and environmental challenges. These visionaries can represent a powerful force, if given the opportunity to develop much-needed skills, resources, and key collaborative learning opportunities to contribute to African development.

Monash South Africa (MSA) is proud to announce the 2016 intake of 10 remarkable MSA LEAD Fellows who will be given the tools to take their solutions to the next level. These fellows are the first generation of innovators and entrepreneurs being introduced to the leading private higher education provider’s first formalised business incubator. 10 youth-led projects impacting their communities have been selected for this yearlong fellowship. This remarkable programme for young social entrepreneurs presents a powerful opportunity for these individuals to gain hands on support help and mentorship along with a prize of US$2 000 (approximately R27, 000) to support their work.

MSA, a private tertiary institution based in Roodepoort, has a 15 year history closely tied to improving and enhancing lives. MSA’s work not only augments the lives of their students from across the continent with quality education and student development, but commits to sustainable support and community engagement with local settlements close to the campus.

According to project coordinator and Head of Community Engagement for MSA, Bronwyn Dugtig, the campus is proud to have worked together with international partners to provide a phenomenal opportunity for individuals from across South Africa. All fellows will be connected to mentors and ongoing professional support through external partnerships as well as MSA academic staff from the School of Business and Economics.

According to Dugtig selecting the winners of this fellowship was “a difficult but hugely inspiring task”. She believes the number of applications and the quality of the entries sourced nationally was encouraging and revealed the huge potential for the creativity and passion vital to driving South African growth and development. Dugtig add that “The applications were remarkably diverse and sought to help grow South Africa across a huge spectrum of focus areas – from music to agriculture, to education and business.

The MSA LEAD programme is a result of a global partnership between MSA, the International Youth Foundation (IYF), and Laureate International Universities, and will be implemented by MSA. Fellows benefit from advanced training during a weeklong leadership workshop covering topics such as leadership development, project management, and communications, as well as continuous learning opportunities throughout the fellowship year.

The stringent judging criteria carried out by a large judging panel of corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, MSA alumni and academics examined criteria including the potential of the projects to become self-sustaining and attract future support and whether the venture has high potential for sustained social impact. It was also key that these young individuals are keen to learn more and display leadership skills.

The fellows selected are:

1. Innocentia Mthembu - Show Time Film Club

2. Josephine Koketso Mbewe - Youth Leadership Investment Network (Pty) Ltd

3. Lebogang Mashigo - Nubreed Music Institute - Female - Mpumalanga

4. Lwandi Victory Sokhanyile - L5 Global Movement

5. Palesa Tefu - The Survival Kit

6. Sharon Rapetswa - New Dawn Foundation

7. Sithembile Ndlovu - Sithuthukile Pre School and Eliny'thuba Non-Profit

8. Sophie Kanza - Sophie Kanza Foundation

9. Thabang Mabuza - Lion's Den Programme

10. Winnie Makhanya - Keagile Wellness Development Centre

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