Hustlenomics comes out tops in SA leg of Chivas Venture 2020

Chivas Venture gives social entrepreneurs an opportunity to take their social businesses to the next level

13 February 2020 - 14:10
Chivas Venture SA finalist Nhlanhla Ndlovu (middle) with judge Andile Khumalo (left) and assistant brand manager Marco Vandeput (right).
Chivas Venture SA finalist Nhlanhla Ndlovu (middle) with judge Andile Khumalo (left) and assistant brand manager Marco Vandeput (right).
Image: Supplied/Chivas Regal

It’s no secret that SA has significant social and environmental challenges that need urgent solutions. There is also no shortage of bright young minds who continually dream up creative and authentic solutions — and then make them a reality. This is where Chivas Venture steps in.

Nhlanhla Ndlovu, 35, of Hustlenomics is the SA finalist of Chivas Venture 2020, a global platform that supports social entrepreneurs who are using business to solve social and environmental issues, giving them an opportunity to attract investment and funding on a global stage. Ndlovu competed against three other impressive participants at the SA finals held in Johannesburg in January, to walk away with the title.

Nhlanhla Ndlovu, the township hustler 

The qualified bricklayer was raised in a back room shack behind the tiny four-roomed house in Soweto his large family called home. Having to share such a small living space with his siblings while going through all the growth stages of becoming a man, inspired and motivated him to build his own space in the family yard.

His bricklaying skills were put to the test while building a formal structure in the backyard, and he joined forces with friends, who were skilled in plumbing and carpentry. Together they built his first structure in his own backyard, and it is this same structure that was recently used by the family to expand their living space and create a dignified home. 

About Hustlenomics

Hustlenomics combines the provision of housing with positive socioeconomic and environmental outcomes while cutting building costs by 30%.

This is achieved by manufacturing interlocking bricks made from natural soil and recycled construction waste material, which is used to build safe dwellings that blend in with nature while reducing the carbon footprint of the building.

This was the catalyst for Ndlovu to start up Hustlenomics in 2015, with a business model that identifies low-income homes with backyard shacks that could benefit from being replaced with formal structures. Where better to launch than in his own backyard the sprawling township of Soweto — the most populous black urban residential area in the country, where over a million people reside.   

Replacing shacks in Soweto one brick at a time

Since then, Ndlovu and his team comprising five part-time qualified artisans and five part-time unskilled and semi-skilled youth employed on a project-by-project basis, have been replacing inadequate informal backyard shacks in Soweto with proper, durable structures that generate an income for the homeowner over the long term. The team has built 30 homes in Soweto.

Hustlenomics applies an innovative shared home financing model where rental income generated from the completed structure is used to recoup building costs, before eventually obtaining full ownership. The initial costs borne by Hustlenomics include building materials, labour costs, and transaction costs for the search for tenants to occupy the space for rental.

Winning finalist Nhlanhla Ndlovu pitching to the judging panel.
Winning finalist Nhlanhla Ndlovu pitching to the judging panel.
Image: Supplied/Chivas Regal

A clear vision and watertight business plan

According to senior brand manager for Chivas Regal, Blue Masoka, Ndlovu walked away with the SA finalist title because he impressed the judges (among them respected entrepreneur Andile Khumalo) with a clear vision and a proven record that his venture delivers on its promise. He presented a watertight business plan and a scalable business model in townships across Africa.

Ndlovu will be jetting off to the UK in March to take part in an exclusive Accelerator programme hosted by London-based social change platform The Conduit, to sharpen his pitching skills. At the global finals in June, he will battle it out against finalists from more than 29 different countries across the globe in Toronto, Canada, to win a share of $1m in funding for Hustlenomics.

“I’m confident that Nhlanhla will fly the flag for SA and make us proud at the global finals,” says Masoka. We will be calling on the country to support him further down the line, when the voting opens.   

Chivas Venture 2020

The phenomenal young men who participated in the SA leg of Chivas Venture 2020 are each tackling a significant social or environmental challenge that needs an urgent solution. They show us that our country has no shortage of bright young minds who dream up creative and authentic solutions.

Chivas Venture is all about giving social entrepreneurs who find the right blend of profit and purpose in their ventures a real opportunity to take their social enterprises to the next level. – Blue Masoka, senior brand manager

Visit the Chivas Regal website for more information.

This article was paid for by Chivas Regal.