Happiness is a doll that looks like me

When Maite Makgoba, an entrepreneur from Soweto, started looking for a doll that her three-year-old niece could relate to, she realised that there was a gap in the market for a truly South African doll with natural hair and an air of fun and excitement around her. This saw the birth of Momppy Mpoppy.

There are black dolls out there, but a black doll with a South African flair? Nothing to be found. Maite has also branded Momppy Mpoppy to include a kiddies’ clothing range and accessories matching the doll's clothing, party-themed accessories and more.

Innovations from Africa

Shack fires pose a huge threat, both to the lives of people in informal settlements, but also to their possessions that are usually completely destroyed due to the rapid spread of these fires. This problem is encountered not only in South Africa, but also in other high density urban informal settlements around the world.

Opportunities abound for Africa’s energy innovators

“Africa has the possibility of being the first continent to become a green continent.” This is the opinion of Kofi Annan, former secretary-general of the United Nations and Nobel laureate who chairs the Africa Progress Panel (APP) and who is closely involved in its day-to-day work. He passed these remarks at a press conference on the ‘New Deal on Energy for Africa’ during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos in January.

Dreaming big

When a close relative of Nkosi Maseko’s failed to secure a place at university, this entrepreneur from KwaZulu Natal realised that the lack of infrastructure at under resourced schools could keep children back from achieving their goals. More than 80% of public schools in South Africa are not equipped with science laboratories and this was just the incentive Maseko needed to invent MobiLab, mobile laboratory that can change the fortunes of science learners in future.


Ackeem Ngwenya

The Roadless wheel system, brainchild of South African-born Ackeem Ngwenya, is a wheel that adapts to different terrain conditions typically found in rural areas like those in which he grew up in Malawi. 

Today, Ngwenya is a product designer focussed on African development and founder of Roadless Ltd. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Jewellery Design at the University of Stellenbosch and went on to complete a master’s in innovation design engineering from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London in 2014.

Heritage Day

Nutritional and beauty products manufactured from the miracle Moringa tree, packaged food derived from an Agripark on a university campus, hand-painted furniture, inspired by the uniqueness of South African cultures, red clay used in cosmetics … all of these are examples of how indigenous knowledge can be applied to create sustainable businesses.

Move your bright idea to the next level

The Moving Ideas Competition, a collaboration between Transnet and the SABS Design Institute, kicked off on 15 September and entries will close on 15 October. This initiative offers an opportunity for entrepreneurs and businesses to bring their innovative new ideas to life – be it a product or a service. These ideas could result in business development support worth R400 000, terms and conditions apply.

Just imagine – an Ideas Hub for South Africa with a task force behind it

South Africa’s vision of an equitable society depends on sustainable long-term development that involves higher economic growth, a lively export market and labour-intensive, value-adding economic activity in the production sectors, led by manufacturing.  The Design Institute is geared towards linking design, innovation and entrepreneurship to unlock new channels of economic growth that is not dependent on a services economy, but relies on new products and services that can add to industrialisation