A group of SA students is hoping to win a R15 million capital injection from the Hult Prize Foundation. The four students - Nobuhle Ndebele (24), Lindokuhle Nene (25), Reitumetse Nkhahle (26), and Gauta Matlou (29) - all PhD chemistry students at Rhodes University in Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) - are on a quest to win a $1m (R15 million) cash prize to fund their start-up company.
They are currently in the UK as part of the Hult Prize accelerator program for a period of 5 weeks to prepare for the final pitch that is to take place at the United Nations Headquarters in the USA in September. The four, known as Team E-Smart, won the regional Hult Prize Summit at Brookhouse International School in Nairobi, Kenya, with their business model to develop an idea to provide meaningful work for young people within the next decade. The idea is to create job opportunities for the youth through the collection of electronics and electrical waste materials for further recycling, repairing or re-purposing into new market products.
The Hult Prize challenges innovative university and college students from across the world to a social entrepreneurship start-up that will create 10,000-plus meaningful jobs in the next decade.