South African company Wonderbag, started by entrepreneur Sarah Collins, has been named as one of the most genius companies in the world, according to Time magazine.
Time has ranked the 50 most genius companies in the world, based on their ability to find a creative solution to a problem, and how those solutions have the potential to change the world.
The group asked its global network of editors and correspondents to nominate businesses that are “inventing the future”. The nominees were then evaluated on key factors, including originality, influence, success and ambition.
The final top 50 list comprises a variety of companies, all tackling different issues – from environmentally friendly products like the Wonderbag, to the likes of Airbnb, which has changed the face of hotel alternatives.
Big companies are also part of the list, including Apple, which has changed the way we interact with devices and gadgets, and Amazon, which has completely transformed the way people shop.
The list even ranks Disney among the top 50, for the way it has shaped entertainment through the creation of ‘movie universes’, that span over several blockbuster hits – each bringing in billion-dollar box offices.
South Africa’s genius company
Ranked among these heavyweights is the Wonderbag – a simple, environmentally conscious slow-cooker that can retain heat and cook food for up to 12 hours, without electricity.
Food does however, need to be heated up through conventional means – in a pot over a fire or on the stove – but is then placed inside the Wonderbag, where it will continue to cook.
According to creator, Sarah Collins, the low-tech product solves many problems encountered in Africa, where electricity isn’t always available, or where the dependence on fossil fuels for power is a danger to the environment.
Wonderbag has been around for 10 years, and there are 1.5 million of them in use world-wide, according to Time. In partnership with the Red Cross, they have been delivered to refugee camps in Uganda and Rwanda.
They are produced in South Africa – in KwaZulu Natal – with satellite production units in several other locations.