The Chivas Regal Venture SA Finalist Hustlenomics, a for-profit social enterprise which upskills women and youth by training them to replace backyard shacks with durable shacks using innovative building technology, is a business model at the perfect time, in the right place, for SA’s low-income families

Now in its sixth year, the Chivas Venture gives away $1 million each year in no-strings funding to start-ups who blend profit with purpose to make a positive impact on the world. This year’s competition saw 26 social enterprises selected from 26 countries, across five continents, with local venture Hustlenomics winning the local final in SA. The model assists low-income families operating from backyard shacks who can’t get access to traditional home financing – something even more desperately needed in the wake of the COVID-19 lockdown, which has effectively hobbled SA’s economy and left indigent communities in even greater need.

Due to the lockdown simultaneously in place around the world, Chivas has cancelled the Global Finals and has decided to share the $1 million prize money equally among all 26 finalists. Accordingly, South African finalist Nhlanhla Ndlovu will now receive $40 000 (about R700 000) in funding, which will help his business start-up, Hustlenomics, survive and create positive change in his community.

By enabling women and youth to replace backyard shacks with affordable, sustainable structures, and helping them take ownership of them with a unique financing model, Hustlenomics gives them a means of income.

Since the Chivas Venture competition first launched in 2014, over 8 000 social enterprises have applied for the chance to receive a share of the annual $1 million fund. To date, the competition has awarded $5 million to 100 start-ups which have positively impacted over 2 million lives in 50 countries around the world in initiatives which include providing safe drinking water to communities, recycling 1 300 tons of waste, helping over 2 500 farmers’ families out of poverty and funding over 75 000 days of education for women and girls.

In SA, the Hustlenomics model gives desperate township women and youth an opportunity to become economically active, provide for their families and create employment.

Just as Chivas Regal champions the perfect blend of malt and grain whiskies in its Scotch, the Chivas Venture champions entrepreneurs who blend profit and purpose to make a positive impact on the world.

We’ll drink to that!