Our Stories

Explore more stories about Riversands I-Hub

Our Stories

Explore more stories about Riversands I-Hub

Work Wear Entrepreneur Rationalises Business And Reaps The Benefits

When Riversands entrepreneur Sizwe Jantjie bought work wear specialist company KTF Africa at the end of 2019, little did he realise the tumultuous journey that awaited him!
“As soon as the pandemic made itself felt, I had to take a long hard look at the business and seriously curtail the overheads to stand any chance of survival,” commented Jantjie ruefully.

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Riversands Alumni Is On A Mission To Save The Planet

Apple Green Environmental entrepreneur Langa Sangoni is a dedicated sustainability activist who has a vision for a zero-waste society within his lifetime. He runs the business with his business partner Boniswa Sangoni (who also happens to be his wife) and – like numerous businesses worldwide – when the pandemic hit in 2020, the company had to be innovative to ensure its future sustainability.

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Applied Metrology

Accurate Calibration Ensures This Company’s Success

Riversands entrepreneur Wisani Hlungwane first started Applied Metrology Services (AMS) as a side hustle and soon had sufficient turnover to take premises at Riversands Incubation Hub in 2018. As a business that specialises in industrial metrology, it has been successful thanks to a number of factors.

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Why Cook - Riversands Alumni

Riversands Alumni Pivot Their Business And Continue To Shine

What is to be done when a business’s main income source all but dries up due to a pandemic? In the case of the team at Why Cook Studio, the two female entrepreneurs immediately realised that they would have to pivot their business and offer different food experiences when corporate clients were working from home and they no longer required regular team meals to be delivered to their doors.

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Prim and Proper Landscaping Keeps Gardens Flourishing

The indigenous landscaping on the 40 000 square metre campus of Riversands Incubation Hub looks spectacular thanks to a woman-owned business Prim and Proper Landscaping which maintains the area. Entrepreneur Tiisetso Sylvia Khabele has an established team of six men – all from Diepsloot – who spend their days mowing, weeding and pruning the beautiful shrubs, groundcovers and lawn. Among this group is a supervisor, who has freed up Khabele to focus on networking and business development.

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Feisty Entrepreneur Demonstrates a Lesson in Resilience

When chatting to designer entrepreneur Vuyokazi Nghona from Inami Trading one would be excused for thinking that her business is flourishing despite the fact that her principal source of income from the tourist market has been decimated. “Most of my contemporary African clothing designs were previously sold through tourist outlets such as OR Tambo Airport and curio shops in leading centres. Naturally with the crash in of the international tourist market, I had to make alternative plans,” remarked Nghona.

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Riversands Alumni won’t let the pandemic slow her down

Entrepreneur and Riversands Incubation Hub graduate Cindy Malaza is a consummate professional. Her business, Timeless Opulence, manufactures bespoke furniture but Malaza has learnt hard lessons from the lockdown – don’t rely on things always staying the same! In this light, she now plans to establish a ready-to-go range of furniture which can be bought off the showroom floor and in the near future, these pieces will also be available in an online store.

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Women-owned cleaning business takes advantage of project reignite

When South Africa started emerging from the hard lockdown, Riversands Incubation Hub realised that business owners would require additional support and Project Reignite was formulated. The entrepreneurs responded enthusiastically and immediately started applying for the employee subsidy grants, undertaking to do the training that was the condition of obtaining the money.

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Cell phone towers prove to be a lifeline for this electrical company

Unity Electrical entrepreneur Manamane Mathabatha’s business has been steadily improving over the period of the pandemic thanks to network tower installations around Gauteng.
“When construction is complete, my team goes on site to set up the electrical component of the installation. This final phase of each tower has proved to be a game-changer for my business,” commented Mathabatha.

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This essential service ensures healthy food

Entrepreneur Khutsiso Kgole took premises at Riversands Incubation Hub towards the end of last year when his business, KLM High-giene Solutions, had experienced one of its best years of trading since being established in 2013.
“During lockdown, we were classified as an essential service. Of course, being a microbiology service, we knew about taking precautions against contracting Covid!” commented Kgole.

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Upholstery Specialist Has Very Happy Customers

Riversands entrepreneur Frans Masenya has become accustomed to customers telling him about the awesome work the upholstery team from his business, MT Upholstery, delivers. The specialist upholsterers tackle anything from new patio furniture to headboards and lounge suites to re-covering old furniture and revamping car interiors.

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Resilient Seamstress Always Looks on The Bright Side of Life

Fashion design graduate Kelebogile (Kele) Serake established Ekares Twilight in 2016 after completing the textile upcycling programme sponsored by Coca-Cola South Africa at Riversands Incubation Hub. Initially she focused on producing matric jackets for different schools in Diepsloot, which led to an evolution in the business consisting of making leisure wear and other fashion items.

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Mouth-watering food & patisserie from Marlo's

Mouth-watering food & patisserie from Marlo’s

What happens when a qualified CA spends so much stressful time at work that she feels she needs a sabbatical? If that CA’s name is Marlo Chipunza, she heads home and, after putting her feet up for a short while, she soon starts entertaining her friends, serving her culinary delights and wowing them with yummy desserts.

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Preggsson’s Spices - Riversands Entrepreneur

All Spiced Up!

When it comes to curries and pickles, Preggsson’s Spices produces a range of delicious goods which make your mouth water! Riversands entrepreneur Seimani Naidu says that once her customers try out her pre-mixed Kashmiri curry powder, they’re hooked and will never go back to using individual spices in their meals.

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Yococo Ice Cream

Anyone for Ice Cream?

A love for ice cream and a dedication to the health of the planet led vegetarian entrepreneur Sinenhlanhla (Sine) Ndlela to start experimenting with recipes to make artisanal dairy-free ice cream, Yococo.

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Baked by Opy

Stunning Celebration Cakes Make Dreams Come True

Give Omphile Magasa a brief to create a cake of any description and she immediately gets to work, researching and designing the most stunning creations. Her dedication to her craft and her hard work have meant that her business, Baked by Opy, has grown to such an extent that she is now contemplating hiring extra team members, getting more baking equipment and moving to a bigger unit at Riversands Incubation Hub.

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Preserving Memories Is The Vision Of This Framing Company

It’s not often that a framing company has the bold vision of preserving its customers’ memories but when entrepreneur Kagiso Tshikare started Kaone Décor Framing and Paintings, he was determined to set himself apart from the crowd.

“It’s wonderful to carry a high-end camera around in one’s cell phone to capture memories and having the photographs printed then framed turns them into décor items for the home or office,” commented Tshikare.

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Food by Kirti

Catering Company Flourishes Despite Lockdown Headwinds

When the Covid-19 lockdown was announced, business partners Kirti Kamal and Dasen Sarugaser were wondering if they might be forced to close their business, Food by Kirti but what transpired was a pleasant surprise!
“Our Facebook and Instagram marketing attracted customers who were tired of cooking for themselves each day.

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Rocky Brands

Young Entrepreneur Cracks the Cleaning Market

Rishav Juglall is no ordinary young man! He started Rocky Brands at the tender age of 21 because he was absolutely determined to become an entrepreneur. The business is now poised to celebrate its 10th birthday in 2021.
“When I started, I used my youthful resilience to my business’s advantage because I kept phoning prospects until I got a ‘yes’. From the beginning, I’ve treated everything associated with my business on a professional footing and now I’m starting to reap the rewards of this attitude,” explained Juglall.

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This Entrepreneur reaps the Rewards of a perfect product fit for the market

There’s no shortage of inspirational stories at Riversands Incubation Hub, where entrepreneurs show up every day to build their businesses and find new ways to grow their incomes. Metallurgist Pascal Hlongwane is one such individual. He started his business, Pascal Investment Holdings, at the beginning of 2018 after working in the mining industry and has steadily been ensuring that it goes from strength to strength.

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Motama Kitchens is building its way to success

The entrepreneurial spirit is so strong in some people that they’ll walk away from a high-powered role in an SOE to follow their dream of becoming independent and more fulfilled. This is what qualified chemical engineer Aluwani Mutamani did when she took the plunge to devote herself full-time to Motama Kitchens at the beginning of 2018 after starting it as a side-hustle in 2016.

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IG3N rides the energy wave

When walking into IG3N’s unit at Riversands Incubation Hub, it is immediately apparent that this company is going places: the team is feverishly putting together lithium iron phosphate batteries or preparing parcels for delivery while the directors maintain the steady upward trajectory of the business.

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Local Village Foods move online for lockdown

While many business owners threw up their hands in despair when level 5 lockdown was announced, Riversands entrepreneur Sipamandla Manqele was not one of them! She doubled down in her efforts to obtain additional listings with online platforms as a way to continue her business.

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Riversands Incubation Hub allows Masodi Organics to unlock growth potential

This past month we conducted a virtual interview with Jan Matli, Managing Director and the entrepreneur behind Passiffire-SA, a fire proofing firm based at Riversands Incubation Hub. This is a man who has devoted himself to self-improvement from technical studies, business skills and even the Bible. He had a twenty year career in electronics and telecommunications before switching into a very niche construction speciality.

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Jan Matli: A Man Forged in the Fire

This past month we conducted a virtual interview with Jan Matli, Managing Director and the entrepreneur behind Passiffire-SA, a fire proofing firm based at Riversands Incubation Hub. This is a man who has devoted himself to self-improvement from technical studies, business skills and even the Bible. He had a twenty year career in electronics and telecommunications before switching into a very niche construction speciality.

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Being innovative in challenging times

Bongiwe Althea Moroke officially started Phekhu Business Solutions in June 2016 together with her business partner Pheko Moroke. They offer a broad range of services including reselling and implementing the Ubuntu School Communicator platform, the PBS Policy Admin System used by funeral policy providers as well as undertaking custom software projects. We sat down with Bongiwe to learn more about the business.

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Canon Connect

Canon launches Canon Connected – a free to access content hub featuring educational and inspiring videos for photography enthusiasts

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, April 29, 2020/APO Group/ — Canon Europe (www.Canon-Europe.com) today announces the launch of Canon Connected, a free-to-access content hub, designed to educate, inspire and entertain photography enthusiasts and videographers. Produced by Canon Ambassadors and community of filmmakers, experts and influencers across Europe, inspiring and educational videos will be uploaded to the hub regularly, enabling people to lean a new skill or perfect their technique during these unprecedented times.

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ekaya-holdings-gaining-traction-in-spar-stores-riversands-incubation-hub1

Ekaya Holdings gaining traction in Spar stores

Charou Bread from Ekaya Holdings is proving to be immensely popular during lockdown. Shortly before we were all sent home, Riversands business owner Kershen Naidoo started supplying a few selected Spar stores in Gauteng and the range of roti wraps has been flying off the shelves.
The vegan flatbreads have a shelf life of seven days despite the fact that they contain no preservatives and can be frozen for up to three months. They are also soft and pliable enough to be used as wraps, which is unusual.

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demand-for-facemasks-outstrips-supply-riversands

Demand for face masks outstrips supply

Riversands entrepreneur Patience Nkomo is not one to throw her hands up in despair simply because there’s a pandemic sweeping the world. As the name of her business suggests, Touch Car Care Solutions usually sells waterless, eco-friendly car care products through a team of distributors in the different provinces. When lockdown came, the distributors looked to her for support so she realised she had to make a plan to replace the business’s income.

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essential-services-website

The essential services show must go on!

Essential services are exempt from lockdown (obviously taking social distancing and protection precautions for personnel on the road) and two businesses at Riversands Incubation Hub are deemed essential: Organic Matters which removes fat from grease traps for supermarkets and Montech Calibration Services which calibrates equipment for a medical client.

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ndumiso-asiye-green-website

When life gives this entrepreneur lemons he makes lemonade!

On the Riversands campus, Ndumiso Mathebula from Asiye Green is known as a determined, resilient business owner who never gives up and always manages to look on the bright side of life.
These characteristics have allowed Ndumiso to leverage off the fact that people are in lockdown to call old contacts and set up virtual sales meetings. “Lockdown is the best time to call people because now they have no excuse to not answer the phone!” was his take on the situation.

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thought-africa-bridges-digital-gap-riversands-incubation-hub

Thought.Africa bridges digital gap

Entrepreneur Joel Kaplan’s organisation Thought Africa is crowdfunding to provide 100 000 EduCare packs for disadvantaged children during the lockdown. As a Riversands Incubation Hub partner, Kaplan is no stranger to social entrepreneurship and had the idea of creating physical packs to encourage youngsters to learn to code and do DIY projects offline.

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covid-19-riversands-statement

COVID-19 Statement

As Riversands Incubation Hub, the continued growth of small businesses in South Africa is what we strive to achieve every day. Yet, with unprecedented circumstances such as the COVID-19 pandemic, it now requires us all to look at the world from a different perspective. We support the President’s call and the efforts of government, business and civil society to defeat this disease, and our priority remains the health and safety of our tenants, colleagues and contractors.

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great-premiere-solutions-window-aprons

Customised window aprons protect babies in cars

Speaking to Riversands entrepreneur Stephen Maponya about the Window Aprons his business produces is akin to inhaling the purest oxygen. That’s the level of dedication and enthusiasm he exudes for Great Premier Solutions, which was recently listed on South Africa’s largest online retail platform, takealot.com.

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i-g3n-loadshedding-provides-opportunities-innovative-energy

Loadshedding Provides Opportunities For Innovative Energy Solutions

South Africa’s sluggish economy can largely be attributed to power supply constraints but the team at Riversands Incubation Hub-based i-G3N is very bullish that the country will be adopting renewable energy at a much faster rate this year to help stimulate growth.

i-G3N has developed technology to assemble and distribute lithium-iron batteries which are extremely cost-effective over the life cycle of the battery, lasting up to three times longer than the lead-acid alternative.

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new-appointed-ceo-at-riversands-incubation-hub

Riversands Incubation Hub Names Tafadzwa Madavo As Chief Executive Officer

The organisation’s founding CEO Jenny Retief steps down to pursue other business ventures. She remains involved in the organisation as a member of the board. “True sustainability of any organisation requires putting succession at top of mind. We are fortunate to have some of Tafadwa’s calibre to step up to lead the organisation. He has a proven record of execution and has shaped the Hub’s direction and programmes for many years. I am confident that he will bring his own stamp to this leadership role, while also staying true to our mandate,” comments Retief.

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afribat-sme-riversands-incubation-hub

Afribat set to revolutionise the lead acid battery industry

Riversands entrepreneur Afribat is poised to change the stationary and motive battery industry status quo – targeting financial, risk and environmental efficiencies. The company specialises in maintenance, management and monitoring services to all lead acid battery environments in the telecommunication, power utility, data centre and forklift industries.

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lynx-system-riversands-incubation-hub-stock

Big problems require tech muscle to resolve at scale

Anyone who visits Riversands Incubation Hub for the first time is blown away by the sheer scale at which the organisation operates. And the fact that we have over 150 businesses based on the campus at any given time, across different industries and stages of maturity, means that there is a huge amount going on, and data to track. Also exciting, is that with proper collection and management of this data, it soon becomes possible to spot trends and identify potential multipliers to business growth.

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Why Cook - Riversands Graduates

Small Business Excellence Awards: Beyond 5 2019

Riversands Incubation Hub graduates Why Cook took full advantage of the support services while on the campus and have now moved to new premises in Bryanston, where they plan on expanding the business to include a studio where they’ll offer cooking training and a venue for food photo shoots.

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SME ecosystem builds bottom lines

SME ecosystem builds bottom lines

It goes without saying that NPC Riversands Incubation Hub seeks the best value for each Rand of procurement so it is pleasing to note that in the 10 months since the beginning of 2019, it has spent almost a million rand with on-campus SMEs. From inception in 2015 to date, the total rises to more than R7-million.

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