Joburg-based entrepreneur Mary-Ann Mandishona has walked away with R1 million in prize money as the first-ever winner of Redefine Properties’ Innovation Challenge, for her Cash4Trash start-up business.
Mandishona will also have the opportunity to negotiate start-up support to the value of up to R9 million in the form of either monetary support, education, commercial space or concept acquisition.
She was selected from a group of five finalists for the prize, which recognises an individual who envisions and creates an implementable social innovation project to help communities around Redefine’s properties.
Cash4Trash is an income-generating recycling initiative powered by vending machines located in Redefine malls. The vending machines will be strategically located in Green Zones in the mall and the community can bring through their recyclable trash to be converted in usable coupons inside the mall.
Launched in October 2018 at the first Challenge Convention, the Innovation Challenge is a national competition developed by JSE listed diversified real estate investment trust Redefine Properties inviting the general public to submit ideas on how the company can better engage with and meet stakeholders’ expectations, integrate community and improve experiences.
In its first year, the Innovation Challenge attracted 1250 entries from across the country. The challenge looked for innovative ideas relevant to the property industry which had the potential to revolutionise either retail, commercial or industrial space in enhancing business opportunities and customer experiences, uplifting communities and their integration in respect of any of the spaces.
Individuals could choose to address any issue the community faced embracing technology.
The next Innovation Challenge will be announced towards the end of 2019, Redefine Properties said.