Thato Kgatlhanye, founder of Seven Twelve Group
Thato is a new breed of a business woman in Africa, who has been publicly earmarked by Bill Gates to be one of the entrepreneurs to watch on the African continent. Her pursuit to do work that matters led her to form the Seven Twelve Group which houses the Rethaka Group and The Threaded Group. These are a collection of companies interested in “Resourcing Africa's Future” with operations in the tech, manufacturing, renewable energy, fashion and lifestyle industries. Her efforts in building internationally recognised businesses has earned her recognition by the President of South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa, who in 2018 bestowed her with the South African Ubuntu Award for Youth Diplomacy.
As a purpose driven entrepreneur, she is also widely known for the work she does through the Rethaka Foundation which innovated “Repurpose Schoolbags” which are solar powered schoolbags that allow children living in off-grid homes to study at night. To date, over 10,000 schoolbags have been distributed across the African continent.
At the age of 25, her accolades include being named as a FORBES Africa 30under30 Honoree, “Innovator of the Year” by FORBES Women Africa in 2016, the Elle Magazine Impact Award laureate across 6 continents, and in 2016 she became the youngest business woman at age 23, to appear on the cover of Forbes Women Africa.