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Retail News South Africa

#YouthMonth sponsored by

Woolworths Youth Makers competition winners

The Woolworths Youth Makers competition, launched in 2023, forms part of the business’s Inclusive Justice Initiative; a commitment to inspire inclusive growth by taking action against discrimination and marginalisation, and promoting inclusion and empowerment of all.

Understanding that the youth hold the key to South Africa’s future, Woolworths aims to empower and uplift small youth-owned businesses and improve the socio-economic reality of our youth – a vital step towards building an inclusive future for all.

Hundreds of hopeful young small business owners entered the competition and just 30 finalists were flown to Johannesburg to pitch their businesses. Fifteen winners were selected for the exclusive opportunity to learn from some of the best in the field.

Each winner receives one-year mentorship from Woolies experts to support them to build sound foundations for the retail world, exclusive insider information on how retail works in South Africa, the opportunity to market to Woolworths customers, and a R130,000 grant to grow their brands.

This year, Woolworths kicks off Youth Month by unveiling the 15 winning, youth-owned, small businesses.

Meet the 2024 Youth Makers competition winners:

  • Balini Naidoo Engelbrecht, founder of Balini Braille Clothing, designs beautiful clothing to help visually impaired people choose fashion they like.

  • Helen-Jean Stubbs and Sim Cele created Enzo’s Mighty Bites, winning the judges over with their desire to create nutritious snacks for busy little ones.

  • Isabel Bothma established Isa B Jewellery Designs; home to unique, bold and beautiful jewellery pieces.

  • Kabelo Moraloki Arts pty Ltd features artwork on mugs, t-shirts and tote bags by the brand’s namesake, Kabelo Moraloki.

  • Award-winning Khaya Burwana has made a name for himself in the agricultural sector along with his business, Agrikey Farming.

  • Makomborero Mutezo spent years researching and sourcing the best ingredients to make his brownies, and his business, The Hungry Mute, a success.

  • Michael Ludwig Hittinger celebrates gender expression and inclusivity through their cutting-edge fashion brand - Michael Ludwig Studios.

  • Brother and sister duo, Neo Dulaze and Katleho Mchalla, created lifestyle brand Berry Homeware to harness their creativity with art, décor and home scenting.

  • Hlubi Hewu opened her store, Planned Gifts, to curate special gifts for every occasion.

  • Nompumelelo Nhlapo is the force behind Gadat House, an innovative and inspiring fashion house rooted in sustainability and intentionality.

  • Sibusiso Mokhachane’s SoulArt Foundation produces recycled and upcycled luggage, textiles and clothing with a vision to “use what you have, where you are”.

  • Subtle-T Designs was created by crochet genius, Tenele Zwane. Each of her pieces is made to order, taking hours of dedication and craftmanship.

  • Tshegofatso Ramothibe and Oageng Manana are the proud founders of Meetlo by CityBirds, home to incredible furniture designed with a modern, African twist.

  • Unathi Mgolombane and her sustainable brand, doba.upcycle, boast colourful designs that start conversations around recycling while brightening up every outfit.

  • Tendalo Trading is home to ethically sourced bags made from recycled and upcycled rubber tubes, all thanks to owner, Xolile Mabuza.

Find out more about the Woolworths Youth Makers winners and the competition here.

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