Tlholo Melamu and Sonwabile Papu, former pupils of HTS Louis Botha in Bloemfontein, won the national SAGE (Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship) competition in the Social Responsibility Category this year.
The two presented an interactive and very entertaining presentation of an app they have developed which they believe will contribute to the alleviation of human trafficking in our country. “We are the successors of an NPO called Give Back Friday,” said Tlholo. “Our app will include reliable sources of information such as SAPS and will carry features like tutorials on self-defence.”
Meeting other young entrepreneurs at the national event was a highlight for her. “Other than that it was really challenging to meet all the criteria required, but is also was a lot of fun!” she says. For Sonwabile is was great to be exposed to the different mind-sets and expertise of the judges. “I was under a lot of stress since it was the first time I was competing.” The highlight for him was winning the last round of presentations and “the biggest challenge I found was the final round of questions.”
Tlholo learned valuable lessons she can take back from the event. “Success cannot be bought, but with enough passion absolutely anything is possible.”
They are as ready as they can be for the world stage presentation in August and have confidence in their coaches and each other. “Our plan needs a bit more work because the platform is so much bigger than at Nationals,” says Tlholo. “We still need a little bit of work concerning our public speaking skills but I reckon we will get it right on time,” believes Sonwabile.
Both of the candidates have never been abroad before (“except for Lesotho” says Tlholo), and they are very excited about the trip. “This is a life changing experience for me,” she says. Sonwabile is looking forward to not only learn about business but also about other cultures, “so we can be ready when we take our business global.”