Founding Team

SHAPE (Shifting Hope, Activating Potential Entrepreneurship) is a progressive movement  that draws on current societal technologies to improve businesses and youth potential. The SHAPE program was founded in 2013 by Dr Thea van der Westhuizen and offers three services tailored for business, executives and youth. These programs aim to transform attitudes toward business and provide practical tools to foster change on all levels.

Founder of SHAPE in 2013 and the driving force behind business and leadership programs. She has over 15 years of international work experience in the corporate and academic sectors. High profile collaborations with Ambassadors, Municipality Managers, Sheikhs as well as CEOs of multi-national companies all forms part of her portfolio.

Currently researching barriers to youth entrepreneurship from a systems perspective. He has worked in Australia for ten years with his specialization being human resource management.

Dumile is a passionate leader with an energetic enthusiasm. Her strong sense of vision, planning and hard work have seen her through the challenges she faced.  She has extensive corporate experience at senior management levels which together with her qualifications has equipped her with business management skills within the broader socio-economic and political environment. Her corporate experience is coupled with experience in the small, medium and micro enterprise sector.

Khosi Sithole is a mentor to entrepreneurs and business people. Sharing a passion for business development, she contributes skills and knowledge on how the local government can support young entrepreneurs in getting their business started, business registration and business skills development.

A Doctoral research student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, was formerly an associate lecturer at the Lagos State University (external system), Ojo. Lagos. Nigeria. He has experience in teaching and marketing in the private sector. He is interested in developing young entrepreneurship to grow African economy.

Janine Upton is a qualified Research Psychologist, specialising in the fields of Psychology, Research (both Qualitative and Qualitative), Epidemiology, Research Methodology, and Data Analysis. Since 2012, Janine has run the MANCOSA Data Analysis Unit (MANCOSA DAU), and lectures part-time on both the Undergraduate, and Postgraduate Programmes at MANCOSA. Janine has consulted on several PhD projects, and more recently SHAPE. Janine was formerly a Study Coordinator on multi-site, multi-national clinical trials, both at CAPRISA and IMPAACT, and has subsequently pursued a career in academia. Janine has played a pivotal role in developing and refining the research and quantitative MBA and MPA modules, and is currently registered for her PhD.

I am a masters student in commerce. I am passionate about the environment, and helping people reach their full potential. I am creative in nature, and love to collaborate with others. My goals are to become an entrepreneur, particularly in knowledge production in education and provide support for other entrepreneurs