Thato Kgatlhanye, while partaking in a course at a Johannesburg college, conceptualized a novel idea that would enhance environment as well as the day to day proceedings of school children residing within South Africa’s impoverished rural communities: a solid backpack affixed with a solar-charged illumination bulb, constructed out of recycled plastic bags. Her sophisticated proposition would reduce pollutant land-fills in the region while also equipping underprivileged kids who were using paper bags to carry their books. Further, it would serve as a lantern in areas without electricity.
Her social enterprise expedition was however impeded since she lacked the means to facilitate a cost effective and efficient production. Even worse, finding investors to partner with proved to be quite a challenging task. She then decided to enroll at Red Bull’s Amaphiko Academy in Soweto, with just a unitary prototype. The move was quite advantageous, because in a span of three years, her product was being distributed across Sub Saharan schools by big companies including Coca Cola, while also receiving acclamations from business mogul Bill Gates at various events.