SAMANJALO and Green Guru Solutions are the 2023 Mpumalanga Green Solutions Pitch Challenge winners.
SAMANJALO and Green Guru are the winners of the first Mpumalanga green solutions pitch challenge. They each win cash prizes sponsored by Seriti Green and Enertrag. The winner of the best youth focused solution was awarded to House Harvest with a cash prize sponsored by the Anglo America Foundation. GMS won the incubation award, sponsored by SAREBI.
These green economy solutions were chosen by a panel of judges during a pitch event hosted in Emalahleni on Wednesday 1 November. The judging panel included representatives of the Presidential Climate Commission (PCC), the British High Commission to South Africa, Grindstone, Untapped Global, the Anglo America Foundation, Seriti Green and Enertrag.
“Mpumalanga’s transition to cleaner forms of energy is integral to helping South Africa to meet its climate change commitments. This is why the UK is dedicated to funding initiatives like the Green Solutions Pitch Challenge, where we have the chance to support green innovations in strategic sectors of the province,” said British High Commissioner to South Africa, Antony Phillipson, speaking at the pitch event.
“For me and the Presidential Climate Commission, this marks the start of activating and stimulating green entrepreneurship among the innovative and talented young people in Mpumalanga. Real people, doing real things, for real impact,” said Dipak Patel, Head of Climate Finance and Innovation at the PCC.
SAMANJALO is a flyash beneficiation business based in Emalahleni that uses technology to beneficiate the coal waste into green products used in construction and infrastructure environments such as green cement, bricks, pavers, barricades etc. “Winning this challenge said to us, it’s all in the timing, as long as you continue to wake up with hope, give every opportunity your best shot, treat it like it is the first one,” said Prudence Simelane from SAMANJALO. “This was the day we needed to remind us of hope.”
Green Guru Solutions with their Conscious Waste Management Services is Implementing Black Soldier Fly farming for sustainable food waste disposal in Mbombela and surroundings, offering safe disposal and producing valuable resources for agriculture and animal feed. “Taking part in this event has been an incredible journey filled with growth, collaboration, and innovation. Winning the prize is a humbling and validating experience, showcasing the dedication and hard work that my team and I put into our project. I’m truly excited about the opportunities that this recognition opens up for us,” said Stacey Lee Engelbrecht from Green Guru Solutions.
House Harvest Produce is an aquaponics startup that sells leafy greens and fish using a circular model of waste management by incorporating Black Soldier Fly. “Getting recognized and winning the youth-focused prize from the Anglo American Foundation cements my business idea and gives me hope. When agriculture intertwines with the mining sector, not only can we accelerate the just transition framework, we can also achieve climate smart solutions that have the community engaged, healthy and employed,” said Gugulethu Mahlangu from House Harvest.
“The Green Solutions Pitch Challenge provided an outstanding opportunity to showcase the innovative efforts of entrepreneurs from all corners of Mpumalanga. The Anglo American Foundation is proud to support innovative and forward-thinking entrepreneurs like Gugulethu Mahlangu from House Harvest for her Circular Aquaponics project. By recognising and rewarding such transformative ideas, we believe in fostering a future where young minds drive sustainable solutions, shaping a world that is environmentally responsible, economically robust, and socially inclusive,” said Beatrice Watermeyer, Head of Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning at the Anglo American Foundation.
“The win to me was a total surprise and am looking forward to it to help polish my skills for the next step in my entrepreneurial journey,” said Calvin Mahlangu from Graduated Man of Steel (GMS).
The finalists had the opportunity to network with potential investors, business incubators, local government decision-makers and green economy experts.
Seriti Green also pledged an order of 100 SolaGeyzas. “The pledge from Seriti Green to purchase SolaGeyzas to be distributed in Kenya and Tanzania was truly appreciated and an affirmation to our team that our innovation is solving a global problem that will protect the environment and make life better for communities throughout the continent and beyond,” said Pheladi Chiloane for The SolaGeyza.
Sponsors and partners: The winners of the 2023 Mpumalanga green solutions pitch challenge won cash and in-kind business support prizes from Seriti Green, Anglo American Foundation (for the best youth-focused project), SAREBI, The Ethical Agency and Enertrag South Africa, and a marketing video worth approximately R40 000. Thinkroom Consulting is sponsoring Thinkubate licenses for all the pitches. The workshop and pitch challenge is supported by GreenCape in partnership with the UK PACT (Partnering for Accelerated Climate Transitions). It was hosted by the Mpumalanga Green Cluster Agency.
The 2023 Top 10 finalists are, in alphabetical order:
Clearfountain: Providing sustainable solutions for the effective and efficient isolation of chemicals from water treatment sludge, promoting environmental and social responsibility. They customize chemical isolation of water treatment residue at water utility plants.
Green Guru Solutions with their Conscious Waste Management Services: Implementing Black Soldier Fly farming for sustainable food waste disposal in Mbombela and surroundings, offering safe disposal and producing valuable resources for agriculture and animal feed. (Website).
GMS with their E-pacer 100: An electric cargo bike ready for piloting, supplying to recyclers and buyback centers.
House Harvest Produce: An aquaponics startup that sells leafy greens and fish using a circular model of waste management by incorporating Black Soldier Fly. (Website)
Kruger to Canyons (K2C) Biosphere region (NPC) with Agri SSME aggregation: Establishing a production kitchen facility that will support the market access systems for rural based smallholder farmers. (Website).
Smart Food Growing (SFG) Technologies with their WickBoxTM & The WickTrayTM grow trays: Smart food growing solutions that are self-watering and made from recycled plastic. Water-use efficient and high crop-yielding with little effort. (Website).
SAMANJALO: A flyash beneficiation business based in Emalahleni that uses technology to beneficiate the coal waste into green products used in construction and infrastructure environments such as green cement, bricks, pavers, barricades etc. (Website).
SolaGeyza: Solar heated hot water for households without running water. (Website).
Solar Rais: Enabling the monetisation of carbon offsets. Their product is an online platform where energy certificates can be bought for the trade of CO2 of projects, after creating the virtual asset for trading (creating a voluntary carbon market). (Instagram).
Thrive Land Restoration (Pty) Limited with their hyper-accumulator crops: Working with mining companies to regenerate degraded soil and water resources, developing communities of waste collectors, composters, growers and food and fibre processors supplying each other in a sustainable circular economy. (Website).
This initiative forms part of a multi-year project delivered in collaboration with the Mpumalanga Green Cluster Agency by GreenCape in partnership with the UK PACT.