LAUNCHED October 2018 at the first Challenge Convention, the Innovation Challenge winner for 2019 is Mary-Ann Mandishona.
Mandishona’s Cash4Trash emerged as the R1million winner in the first ever Redefine Properties’ Innovation Challenge announced at the Challenge Convention at packed Maponya Mall Cinema- Soweto, this week.
This also allows her an opportunity to negotiate start-up support to the value of up to R9 million in the form of either monetary support, education, commercial space or concept acquisition.
Cash4Trash is an income generating recycling initiative powered by vending machines located in Redefine malls. The vending machines will be strategically located in Green Zones in the mall and the community can bring through their recyclable trash to be converted in usable coupons inside the mall.
Born in Westbury, a notorious coloured township in Johannesburg known for gang related violence, Mandoshina has Master’s from Goldsmiths University of London (UK).
“As exciting as this win is, I cherish the time spent with the mentors and deeply appreciate the guidance from Marc Wainer and Jacques Velleman who helped me to better understand the challenges we were finding solutions to.
Redefine provided all the finalists with mentors for pitching and it was really helpful as the feedback was great and criticism constructive.”
Continued the soft-speaking Mandoshina: “We were able to access a lot of resources on this journey from the proof of concept-to-the- prize and I am looking forward to working with Redefine and the mentors I met through the competition to help further develop my idea.”
The Innovation Challenge is a national competition developed by JSE listed diversified real estate investment trust Redefine Properties inviting the general public to submit ideas on how the company can better engage with and meet stakeholders’ expectations, integrate community and improve experiences.
The Challenge Convention concept is a live forum-style event that brings together all stakeholders around Redefine buildings including business students, entrepreneurial-minded thinkers, community representatives, NGO’s, tenants and shoppers. The collective seeks to elevate conceptual thinking to practical implementation, delivering tangible outcomes for the benefit of the communities.
Sbu Leope aka DJ ‘Sbu’ told this reporter he was excited that the competition was won by a female that goes on to show our sisters’ can also do it.
“Mandoshina’s win is indicative that any person or any child the future is bright, as long as you put effort and determination into it. She’s an epitome of what SA needs because she’s young, black and gifted, “uttered the bucket-sweating Sbu, who also boasted he’s now based abroad but only came to honour the invite and see family for a week.
In its first year, the Innovation Challenge attracted 1250 entries from across the country.
The challenge looked for innovative ideas relevant to the property industry which had the potential to revolutionise either retail, commercial or industrial space in enhancing business opportunities and customer experiences, uplifting communities and their integration in respect of any of the spaces. Individuals could choose to address any issue the community faced embracing technology.
The top fourteen finalists pitched their ideas over the past 2 days to a panel of judges which included Marc Wainer founder and executive chairman of Redefine properties, Vusi Thembekwayo, global speaker, venture capitalist and author, as well as Bridgitte Mathews an independent non-executive and deputy chairperson of Redefine Properties.
Mandishona’s credits include the award winning documentary Portrait of an African Matriarch: Joyce Mujuru”. From 2008 to 2016 she worked for CREET (Centre for Renewable Energy and Environmental Technology) as managing director with her father Dr Gibson Mandishona in initiating innovative environmental projects like the installation of biogas digestors in rural clinics, community centres and homes.
The event was also graced by the grand-children of legendary business guru ntate Richard Maponya.
The next Innovation Challenge will be announced towards the end of 2019.
(Redefine 2019 Innovation Challenge winner, Mary-Ann Mandishona, second from right, posed with S’bu Leope, Vusi Thembekwayo, Ayanda Thabethe, Marc Wainer and Bridgette Mathews at Maponya Mall). Image Jacob MAWELA.