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Lindokuhle Mdluli

Eco-Eagle
Sector
Agriculture
Year Selected
2012
Age at Selection
18
Country
Swaziland

Born in a rural area in Swaziland, Lindokuhle lost his father at the age of 12 and moved in with his uncle, an agriculture teacher. While enrolled in Lusothi High School, Lindo became inspired to address two major issues in Swaziland: the environment and food production. Together with 15 classmates, Lindo established Eco-Eagle.

Under Lindo’s leadership as CEO, their team used hydroponic methods to grow organic produce. Using this and other low-cost methods, Eco-Eagle produced vegetables on otherwise non-arable land with high yields. This helped address food shortages and high food prices simultaneously. Lindo and his team sold 160 shares in the company at 5 rand, invested that capital to purchase seeds, and negotiated permission to plant on their school’s campus.

In a three month growing season, his team generated 5,000 items of produce, including broccoli, cauliflower, and lettuce, which they sold to major grocery chains – Pick ‘n’ Pay, Boxers, a local country club, and local residents. Low-cost methods allowed Eco Eagle solid profits despite selling at below-market rates. Lindo’s team earned a 10X return on investment and invested the profits in uniforms for needy schoolmates, growing the business, and a dividend for their shareholders. Eco-Eagle went on to win the top prize in both the Swaziland Junior Achievement competition and International Junior Achievement competition in Ghana.

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