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Thabang Mabapa - Brand South Africa

The 26-year-old PR graduate and business is the founder of Selokong sa Dimelana, a project that uses castor oil as alternative to fossil fuel. Castor oil is a sustainable feedstock to producing biodiesel and is effective as a substitute to crude oil as well as having other uses ranging from cosmetics, soaps and paints to jet engine lubricants and polymers for electronics and telecommunications. SSD has also produced samples of bio-gasoline and bio jetfuel.

Soweto-born Mabapa has based his project in Muila Village in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, affording the impoverished community the opportunity for employment and to gain new skills and – should the business take off as Mabapa hopes – a booming local economy. So far, the project has 24 employees and 68 volunteers and are such an integral part of Mabapa’s vision that after winning a competition early this year, he passed all the winnings on to them.

A Red Bull Amaphiko Academy participant in 2015 - he was hand-picked by the Red Bull Amaphiko Academy among only 20 of the top social entrepreneurs in the country, to attend their in-house training course, and benefit from a one-on-one mentorship programme - Mabapa is Spark International’s (South Africa) 2016 ‘Changemaker’ of the year and his organisation was among the top 10 Total Startups of the year 2016.