I am that psychotic African economic patriot that they have warned you about. I go where no one has been and leave a trail.


Rural Development Projects


Triple Shine

Sharon Rapetswa, 35, has spent years making a difference to people’s lives in the rural areas of Limpopo. She has started multiple social enterprises, among them the Triple Shine Foundation in 2016, where she is the managing director. A few years ago she received a scholarship to study in the United States. On her return she saved money with some peers to establish the company. She hires unemployed rural women and youth as her soap factory workers and as sales agents. Triple Shine is named after Sharon’s triplets. Sharon is also the director of Eco Soap Bank, a hygiene products recycling nonprofit organisation. Sje was the winner of the Unilever and Global Alliance Africa Innovation Exchange Challenge, which focused on reducing plastic usage in consumer goods. Previously she started the New Dawn Foundation in partnership with the department of basic education, establishing a spelling bee and creating a board game that incorporates vocabulary words from the national curriculum. Sharon Consulting, which was licensed in 2016, works with small businesses and startups on marketing, branding agents, corporate gifting, and business plans.

  • Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Certificate, Edmonds College, Washington, United States
  • Project Management Certificate, Edmonds College
  • JP Morgan Green Business Scholar Certificate, Gordon Institute of Business Science
  • Certificate in Management, Tshwane University of Technology
  • New Venture Creation Certificate, Kingsbury College, Mpumalanga

  • UKTN Unilever Plastic Challenge award winner, 2022
  • Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneur, 2019
  • Obama Leader African, 2018
  • MSA Leader, 2016
  • Young African Women Leader, 2011
  • Community Grants Programme, 2013
  • NWCCI Scholar, 2011
  • Spark International Fellow, 2013

Growing up in a poor village with other children who came to school hungry or had to miss school because they had to help their parents at the farms as harvest pickers, I wanted to make sure that I leave this world a little better than I found it. I used to imagine myself giving other people things that they need to thrive. It made me feel hopeful.

Never underestimate the process of becoming. Even if nobody has done it before it is okay to do it.

South Africa must have an increased number of trailblazers and entrepreneurs.

View previous winners from 2018 to 2022

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