ask africa ashoka
Who we are


LifeCo UnLtd South Africa is a replicable social business and is owned and governed by a charitable trust. The group employs business principles for social impact.

Life College Group (founded in 1997) has merged with UnLtd South Africa (founded in 2011). LifeCo Unltd SA as a group exists for society’s benefit and distributes 100% of its net proceeds and declared dividends to society.


Who we are


Vision: A Sustainable Nation of Champions.

Purpose: Growing Social Capital

Goal: Impact 1 million youth, 100 000 leaders and 300 emerging Impact Entrepreneurs by 2020

Investment Target: (to fund this work) Grow the current R110m (£6m) asset base to R750m (£40m) by 2020

We will achieve our vision by:

  • applying business principles for social impact (social enterprise)
  • developing critical thinking skills and purpose detection in people for enhanced academic, intrapreneurial, entrepreneurial and life performance
  • finding, funding and supporting emerging impact entrepreneurs who will champion sustainable change
  • being a leading academic and distribution authority on purpose-centered consciousness, engaged citizenship education and social enterprise
  • being a leading social enterprise that independently finances our purpose
  • maintaining good governance and fund administration


Who we are


LifeCo UnLtd SA Trust (Governance Focus)

Overarching governing entity with one beneficiary: The NPO LifeCo UnLtd – Cradle of Champions

LifeCo UnLtd – Cradle of Champions (Development Focus)

Section 21 NPO (not-for-profit) has programmes and support processes for the development of youth and adults as active contributors to the economy and society - either as graduates, engaged employees, intrapreneurs or social entrepreneurs. Section 18A PBO (Public Benefit Organisation) status and is able to receive grants and issue tax certificates in line with SA Revenue Service guidelines.

LifeCo UnLtd – Investments (Investment and Distribution Focus)

Has diversified investments and also distributes services and programmes to business / government / educational intuitions. 100% owned by LifeCo UnLtd SA Trust. Ideal BBBEE partner. BEE Rating Certificates available on request.

lifeco structure

Who we are


Trustees serve on LifeCo Unltd SA Trust and have governance oversight. The trust is the sole shareholder of the Investments Company and benefits only the NPO. It has no operating activity. (Chair: Ntombi Langa-Royds).

Directors inform, govern and direct the operating group companies and all investments - with input from Trustees (Chair: Ferdi Gazendam).

Board Members

John Campbell

Non-Exec Director

Vani Chetty

Non-Exec Director; Chair: Remco

Carmen Di Rito

Exec Trustee

Ferdi Gazendam

Non-Exec Chair, LifeCo Unltd SA Group

Renee Kruger

Non-Exec Director

Ntombi Langa-Royds

Non-Exec Chair, LifeCo Unltd SA Trust

Ian Lourens

Non-Exec Director

Pat Pillai

CEO, Exec Trustee


Board: Nelson Mandela - The Champion Within

Santie Botha

Businesswoman; Chancellor: NMMU

Pregs Govender

Deputy Chair:SA Human Rights Commission

Dr Reuel Khoza

Chair: AKA Capital; Chair: Nedbank Group; Chancellor: University of Limpopo

Wendy Lucas-Bull

Chair: Barclays Africa Group; Director: Peotona Group

Jebu Mabuza

Deputy Chair: Tsogo Sun Holdings; Chair: Telkom

Prof. Njabulo S Ndebele

Emeritus Professor: University of CT; Chair: MRF, NMF; Author

Joel Netshitenze

Executive Director: MISTRA; Commissioner: National Planning Commission

Doug Smollan

Chair: Smollan Group

Special Advisor: Ahmed Kathrada


Who we are


  • Is 18 years old and has developed empirically sound, relevant, world class African solutions for critical thinking, entrepreneurship and leadership skills programmes.
  • Founder Member of the Global Social Entrepreneurship Network (more than 40 countries linked to the UnLtd family).
  • 2008 – awarded the Ashoka Fellowship ( now part of a network of over 2000 Ashoka Fellows & social entrepreneurs across the globe.
  • Global partnership with The Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Mandela Rhodes Foundation to develop and offer Nelson Mandela - The Champion Within programme based on the book Conversations With Myself by Nelson Mandela.

national impact media impact

Click to enlarge


  • LifeCo UnLtd SA has reached more than 80 000 beneficiaries nationally (youth, community and corporate leaders), and more than 4 000 Young Entrepreneurs (school level programme),
  • It operates nationally and has in excess 62 institutional clients and partners.
  • 80 established entrepreneurs, 30 of whom are Impact Entrepreneurs, have operating enterprises, some with turnovers in excess of R5m p.a, together creating more than 1000 jobs.
  • South African Impact Entrepreneurs naturally occur in 4 main areas: green economy, skills & education, science & technology, business services, other.
  • Outcome of the Champion Mentality Series for Youth: 100% retention, 100% pass rate, minimum 50% high quality passes / university entrance passes. Graduates are encouraged to study further, seek employment or start an enterprise.
  • A bank of expertise of 50 "life champions"/captains of industry in SA who guide and mentor their learners and entrepreneurs.
what we do


LifeCo Unltd SA is made up of a number of Business Units. These include:

  • Mindset Academy
  • Investments
  • Social Ventures Capital
  • Transformation
  • Entrepreneurs & Incubators
  • Development Managers
  • Schools
  • Empowerment
Our partners


We are proud to partner with enterprises from a variety of sectors.

Click on the below to view our partner enterprises:

  • Corporates
    • 3b2be absa ac2 acsa avis aveng barkers b+p bsg csss dbsa deloitte distell dorsa dsg epiworx g4s getset hri idc intellepark investec macsteel medscheme mtn n-s nedbank netcare nrf oimiom oim onelogix pan-macmillan pnp ppc quest saa santam servest shanduka shell smollan social-adv sea stdbank stortech suncity t-s webber-wentzel
  • Universities & Business Schools
    • dut gordon institute nmmu uct uj fort hare kzn western cape unisa wits wits bs
  • Civil Society
    • asen ahmed ashoka 1 ashoka 2 dorper freedom park gsen gwf mad rhodes mistra nepad nelson r ackerman rivers foundation tswane unltd unltd india
  • Media
    • camhouse caxton cinecntre cinemark e tv kagiso primedia 1 primedia 2 sterkinekor supersport uip
Become a partner


Apply to partner with us

If you are looking for funding and support, please apply to be a LifeCo Unltd SA Enterprizer.


If your company/organisation is looking to partner with us please fill in application below.



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How would you like to partner with us?

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We support Impact Entrepreneurs who are committed to delivering sustainable solutions to social challenges in South Africa.

We do this by seeking, profiling, and investing in emerging Impact Entrepreneurs. We then support them and open doors for them in South Africa and through our membership of the Global Social Entrepreneurs Network (GSEN). As part of the more than 40 countries in the UnLtd family worldwide (UnLtd India, UnLtd UK, UnLtd Thailand, etc.), we bring together best practice globally and local, tailored relevance to our impact entrepreneurs. These individuals are transforming their communities in South Africa by tackling social problems, improving people's life chances, or delivering environmental sustainability. They are creating effective and enterprising solutions with a measurable impact – and they go on to create jobs.

global entrepreneurs
Apply for support


Apply for support


The window for individuals to submit applications is currently closed, and will re-open in 2016.
However we will still accept nominations of individuals from organisations.

If you are an impact entrepreneur, click here for further info.

If you are from an organisation nominating an impact entrepreneur, submit a nomination.




Click on a year to view individual news items.

Contact us


Click each branch to view full details.