Entrepreneur Luvuyo Rani, owner of Silulo Ulutho Technologies in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, has been chosen as one of twelve 2016 Social Entrepreneurship winners by the Schwarb Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.
Mr Rani, an external member on the False Bay TVET College Council serves on the Audit and Risk Committee as well as Chairperson of the Advisory Board for the Centre of Entrepreneurship.
He hails from Queenstown in the Eastern Cape and started his business selling computers out of the boot of his car 10 years ago.
“It feels good to be recognised in this way. The Shcwab Foundation is doing a great a job in promoting social entrepreneurship around the world and to be part of this network is a great exposure for Silulo," said Luvuyo Rani.
"This opens a door for us to grow beyond South Africa to the SADC region. Within a period of three years, we plan to open stores in the region. This award also allows me to attend all the World Economic Forum (WEF) events of 2016 around the world and attend training programmes at Harvard in 2017.”
Mr Rani now operates IT stores and training centres in townships and rural areas across the country, and provides job opportunities for unemployed youth. Silulo has 33 operational branches in and around the townships and works with companies like Tsiba, Microsoft and Vodacom.
The 2016 awardees are particularly active in providing access to the internet and various low-tech solutions to help underprivileged communities to participate in the fundamental changes of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, according to a statement issued by the WEF.
Several awardees are using new technologies in marginalised and poor communities to provide jobs, skills training and education in innovative new ways.
Mr Rani and Tracey Chambers of Clothing Bank are the only South Africans selected. He is also part of the Santam 1001 Days In Business campaign, which aims to help many more small business owners reach the three year success milestone as most business fail before reaching period.
According to the WEF, the 2016 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs of the Year represents 12 social entrepreneurs from 11 organisations operating in more than 70 countries that are pioneering solutions for social and environmental challenges, from child labour to women's empowerment to climate change and more.
“The development of entrepreneurs is an important part of the college mission. We are extremely proud of Luvuyo Rani’s achievement, especially in the light that he is the Chairperson of the Advisory Board of the newly established Centre for Entrepreneurship at False Bay TVET College. He is indeed an exemplary role model.” Said Mr Cassie Kruger, Principal of False Bay TVET College.
The winners were selected by the board of the Schwab Foundation. Its members include Mohammad Yunus (chair of the Yunus Centre in Bangladesh); David Gergen (director of the Centre for Public Leadership at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University); Zanele Mbeki (chairperson and founder of the WDB Trust in South Africa) and H.M. Queen Mathilde of Belgium.