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WHAT IF YOU COULD BUILD AFFORDABLE HOMES USING RECYCLED MATERIALS?

Apartheid forced thousands of South Africans to move into underfunded and underdeveloped townships. Now, more than 20 years after the Reconstruction and Development Program (RDP) was implemented by Nelson Mandela, more than 3.5 million South Africans are members of households who earn too much income to qualify for state-subsidised housing, but cannot afford safe and secure housing within the private market. This means that many South Africans are living in unsafe shack structures without electricity or running water.

At Hustlenomics, we provide affordable and sustainable housing options. We replace unsafe shacks with durable rental units, constructed with sustainable bricks made from natural soil and recycled construction waste. We use innovative interlocking brick technology that means we can build a house in approximately one month. There is no upfront cost to homeowners, as construction and labour are paid off through an initial rental period – once this is paid back, the full ownership of the unit is transferred to homeowner. We’re also creating jobs in an area where the unemployment rate is extremely high – sitting at 30% in Soweto – especially for women and young people. Annually, at least 51% of our revenue is reinvested back into the business to create more homes and jobs in South Africa.

FUNDING WOULD ALLOW US TO…

Funding would allow us to increase our capacity to roll out building projects for at least a year, and also expand on our materials and equipment. In addition, we would be able to hire more people to produce more bricks. There’s a big demand for our business and this would help us to meet it. Eventually, we want to expand our service to every township across the country.

POOR LIVING CONDITIONS INSPIRED ME

I was born in Soweto, sharing a living space with 12 immediate and extended family members. I was tired of my poor living conditions, but we didn’t have the money to pay builders. My friends who had plumbing and carpentry skills joined forces and together built our first structure in my backyard, which my family still lives in today.

WHAT’S YOUR BLEND FOR SUCCESS?

For me, my success is down to finding a social problem that really drives me, and then building a business around that. It’s important to always have your goal in mind. Build a good team around you and aim to inspire, elevate and empower them. Make sure you and your team deliver a good quality product, and don’t compromise quality for quantity. Find support among your own community and offer them opportunities.

I like to say, there’s always a door behind every door. Take every single opportunity handed to you and run with it - see failure as a learning opportunity, and never give up.

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