‘Litsha biz icon gets new trophy

2016-04-07 06:00
 Award winning Luvuyo Rani.

Award winning Luvuyo Rani.

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Twelve years since he started his computer business from the boot of his car in Khayelitsha, Luvuyo Rani was selected as one of 11 social entrepreneur awardees for the 2016 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year for 2016.

Rani, 41, is the managing director of Silulo Ulutho Technologies and has 33 operational branches in and around the townships in the Cape.

He has recently opened more businesses in the Eastern Cape.

He sells second-hand computers, runs internet cafes, a computer school and installs software. His goods and services are affordable, which means many entrepreneurs have access to much-needed technology.

The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship is the sister organisation of the World Economic Forum (WEF). The winners were announced by the board of the Schwab Foundation in Geneva.

The 11 entrepreneurs will get the opportunity to attend WEF conferences throughout the world and interact with other global business people. Thousands of entrepreneurs from around the world entered, but in the end Rani was one of the few who made the cut.

Rani ventured into entrepreneurship while he was an accounting and business teacher at Kwamfundo Secondary School in 2004. It was the year the government introduced Outcome Based Education (OBE) into the curriculum, which meant teachers had to use computers.

“Many of my colleagues had never used a computer before and I sold them second-hand computers to help,” he said.

He quit his teaching job to sell computers fulltime from the boot of his car with his brother Lonwabo.

Since then he has also become the founder and chairperson of the Ekasi Business Network that connects business owners and entrepreneurs from the Cape Flats.

Rani saw the need for information systems technology in Khayelitsha and saw how many people were unemployed because they did not have computer skills.

Through Ekasi Rani has now connected entrepreneurs from Khayelitsha with entrepreneurs in Constantia.

“This is a way entrepreneurs from different communities can connect and business opportunities can be created.

Start-up businesses will also be able to get a platform for funding.

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