Sustainable Success
Fairlady|August 2017

Any entrepreneur that combines their flair for business with a passion for sustainability is worth celebrating – we’re saluting three who have created successful enterprises based on the art of recycling.

Kristen Birch

Lindithondo Construction & Projects

Owner: Nomlindelo ‘Pinky’ Modisang

Start-up costs: Pinky began recycling while she worked for an insurance company. There weren’t many start-up costs involved other than paying for labour, which came out of her pocket.

Turnover: ‘Enough to live on. Our profits have grown from 0 to 50%.’

Nomlindelo ‘Pinky’ Modisang was tired of seeing litter in her community in Vereeniging, so in 2006 she took matters into her own hands. What began as a cleaning campaign turned into a recycling business that brings in an income for her and 15 employees.

‘I worked as a policewoman for seven years, then in insurance for 17 years, so I’m not young anymore,’ says Pinky. At 54, she’s become known in her community for her impactful work, not least for her role in tackling unemployment.

‘The business was run out of our pockets at first and was often considered a “dirty” job. People fell away and for a while I was on my own. But I thought: “I’ve started this – this is my passion, and there’s no way I’m going back to where I was.”’

Pinky attended a workshop in 2008 entitled ‘How to be an Effective Entrepreneur’, and began approaching companies that could assist her. She formed a relationship with local recycling company PETCO, which specialises in products made of PET (a synthetic resin). Recycling offers both entrepreneurial opportunities and potential employment, and PETCO has formalised this in a powerful way.

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