Kekeletso Tsiloane came second in the annual SAB Foundation’s Social Innovation Awards.


See them shine


Since its inception in 2013, the EWP has seen female entrepreneurs breaking new ground in numerous fields, such as app development, catering, property development, fashion and interior design, as well as maintenance management.


Others have developed and introduced unique products and services to cater for various niche markets.


Examples include the upcycling of plastic bags into designer rugs for the tourism industry, an eco-friendly mobile carwash for corporates and a taxidermy service tailor-made for the wildlife and hunting industry.


Several of these entrepreneurs are now offering employment to other women in their communities. They are even taking in youngsters as interns, showing them the ropes and teaching them the power of entrepreneurship.


Entrepreneurs are building a better future brick by brick

If South Africa is to meet the National Development Plan’s target of creating 11 million jobs by 2030, entrepreneurship – especially among women – needs to be encouraged. The NWU is stepping to the fore as an entrepreneurial enabler by means of its Enterprising Women Programme (EWP).

This year marks the eight edition of this impactful programme, offered by the bhive Enterprise Development Centre (bhive EDC), which is empowering fempreneurs across the university’s geographical footprint.


One of the programme’s alumna, Kekeletso Tsiloane, recently made national headlines when she was awarded second place in the annual SAB Foundation’s Social Innovation Awards.


Constructing a cleaner tomorrow


Her company, Ramtsilo Manufacturing and Construction, received a cash injection of R900 000 for their PlastiBrick invention. PlastiBrick uses recycled plastic – sourced from landfills, households and waste pickers – to manufacture stock and maxi bricks that are strong, durable, fire retardant and environmentally friendly. No water is used in the production of the bricks, thus preserving water.


Kekeletso, who hails from Sasolburg in the Free State, took part in the 2017 EWP. Together with her sister, Kedibone, she is breaking new ground for young female entrepreneurs within a traditionally male-orientated work environment.


Building a network


The two sisters, who started out their invention with R5 000, enter as many acceleration competitions as possible to enable them to broaden their network of likeminded entrepreneurs and business enablers.


Their plan has paid dividends as they have managed to secure funding through the F2019 Standard Bank Top Women Pitching Conference, the Engen Pitch and Polish Competition and now the SAB Foundation’s Social Innovation Awards.


More about the programme


Start-up female entrepreneurs are empowered to not only achieve their business ideas, but also to actively contribute towards the local and national economy.


According to Leonie Greyling, EWP coordinator, the success of the programme lies in its ability to provide real-time business support services to women.


Participants are taken through a comprehensive curriculum to assist them in identifying business ideas and markets, developing sound business models and finally successfully initiating their start-up ventures.


During the process the women become part of a dynamic peer network and are mentored by seasoned entrepreneurs and NWU academics.


For more information, send an email to or contact the bhive EDC on 016 910 3393.




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Kekeletso and her sister, Kedibone, use recycled plastic  to manufacture  maxi bricks, caring for the environment in the process.

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