The World Economic Forum has introduced its newest cohort of 100 Young Global Leaders from around the world.
Rapelang Rabana, entrepreneur and CEO of Rekindle Learning, is among the 100 nominated distinguished leaders under the age of 40 being honoured this year.
Featured on the cover of Forbes Africa magazine before the age of 30, selected as a Fast Company Maverick and named Entrepreneur for the World by the World Entrepreneurship Forum Rabana is no newcomer to the global stage.
Rabana joins the Forum of Young Global Leaders, a community of over 800 enterprising, socially-minded men and women who operate as a force for good in overcoming barriers that stand in the way of progress.
The community is made up of leaders from all walks of life, from every region of the world and stakeholder group in society. Only four South Africans have been selected this year: Aarti Takadoreen, Billy Mawasha, Mmusi Maimane and Rabana.
“I continue to be stunned by all the accolades and gestures of support.,” says Rabana. “Just 11 years ago, when I started my entrepreneurship journey, all I knew was that I had to follow my instincts. I had no idea that tuning into the rhythm of my soul would take me so far.”
Her journey began in 2006 as part of the founding team of Yeigo, a tech start-up based in Cape Town that built some of the earliest mobile VoIP applications.
Rabana is now the founder and CEO of Rekindle Learning, a dynamic learning tech company with the ambition of improving the efficiency with which we learn and build skills both in business and academia.
Rekindle Learning was profiled in the McKinsey Lions go Digital report as a “striking innovation” in mobile learning. Rekindle Learning has recently launched an online bridging programme, EnglishWordPower, for first-year university students to develop their English language skills and reach the proficiency levels required to tackle higher education.
Rabana comments: “the #FeesMustFall movement has highlighted how imperative it is that universities become more inclusive and I believe that improving English proficiency and achieving language equity is a fundamental empowerment strategy.”
Towards the end of 2016, Rapelang broadened her horizons beyond technology and has joined financial advisory and private equity firm Nisela Capital as a partner and executive director. “With this move, I intend to build my skills to be in a better position to support and grow tech investment in Africa in the future,” she says.
“As entrepreneurs, we have long complained about the lack of smart capital for early stage tech businesses and now I seek to be part of the solution by working on the other side.”