iKapa Impact Profile on: Mandla Higa
Updated: Mar 16
One of our most recent iKapa Impact interns, Mandla Higa, participated in a very exciting Agri Tech Project in collaboration with the organization, “Humans to Humans.”
‘Humans to Humans’ is an organization that bridges the gap between university students from the world’s leading institutions to entrepreneurs with high growth and sustainable ventures. They boost ventures through multicultural teamwork and support the ventures’ acceleration through their global network, mentorship program, speaker series hosted by leading experts, exposure to investors, and collaboration with top-tier talent.
Mandla runs an enterprise in South Africa called “4iR Student”, whose mission is to improve food security in rural impoverished areas through the use of precision agriculture tools and involving youth in schools and unemployed youth living in rural areas. Mandla links local smallholder farmers from Mthatha, Eastern Cape province, with agriculture graduates who help farmers increase their crop yields. Additionally, gardening tools are sold through the cooperation of the graduates with farmers and a stationery shop. Their aim and belief are that improved agriculture production in rural impoverished areas will create jobs, bring income and improve food security which cannot be sustained by social grants only.
At ‘4iR Student’, they assess the farmers’ livestock in terms of age, breed, weight, etc., and create a management system for them that leads to the market. They tag the livestock using electronic tags, capture them with RIFD readers and load the information onto a livestock app. The program is designed to run in contact sessions where, during the livestock handling sessions, they invite youth and school children to be a part of the process as they capture the weight, tag the livestock, load the information on the software, and make decisions for improved production.
Through iKapa Impact, ‘Humans to Humans’ connected Mandla and ‘4iR Student’ with 3 students from top-tier universities from around the world. Gissell Lopez, with a Finance and Entrepreneurship degree from Cornell University in the USA, Prava Mathew with a Business and Finance degree from The University of Warwick in the UK, and Alicia Marchewka with a Management degree from The University of Warwick in the UK.
Through working with the students from ‘Humans to Humans’, Mandla’s startup was able to explore its products globally, which opened up his expertise to the international business space. This collaboration also accelerated his startup by drawing on the business skills of these students from top-tier universities.
When Mandla began with ‘Humans to Humans’, his business was in the developing stage and was actively creating/brainstorming a sustainable and successful strategy. Overall, the students worked with Mandla and the workers effectively, with no commitment or communication issues, to create a comprehensive business plan along with other deliverables.
This project and collaboration was a great success for all parties involved and is only the beginning of so much growth and expansion to come!