Since completing her Master in Integrated Water Management degree at MSA, Yolandi Schoeman, CEO of the ecological engineering organisation Baoberry, has forged an impressive entrepreneurial path. Yolandi is the winner of the 2016 Global Cleantech Innovation Programme SMEs in South Africa for her innovative ‘Wetbox’; a floating “wetland in a box” water treatment that is ecologically safe and effective. Yolandi’s success has also taken her to London with the International Water security Network (IWSN) to present her research, as well as to San Francisco where her Wetbox system was awarded runner up in the International Global Cleantech Innovation Programme finals.Yolandi attributes much of her success to her studies at MSA, and says that not only did her time here help her to produce her most impactful research to date, it was also a life changing experience that has contributed to career excellence. She goes on to say that studying at MSA gave her various opportunities to place her research on the world map through national and international exposure, such as the valuable connections she was able to form with the IWSN, the University of West England and Arizona University, as well as the opportunity to present her research in London.Now, as the CEO of Baoberry, Yolandi aims to raise global awareness of ecological engineering, and ensure the building of sustainable, affordable, ethical ecosystems for the benefit of the environment and communities. She envisions a world where ecological engineering will become a fundamental discipline, despite the challenges of funding and the lack of awareness that we currently face.Yolandi’s favourite inspirational quote is “no idea is too small to change the world”, which is a fitting summary for the journey she has taken. From her initial days spent researching at MSA, she says she couldn’t have imagined where it would take her. She is now a globally recognised innovator in the ecological engineering field, with overwhelming interest and demand for her Wetbox system and a waiting list of eager customers. She is undoubtedly the leading young entrepreneur in the field in South Africa and is highlighting an important business concept that is still fairly new to our country. Yolandi says that having the support of an internationally relevant degree from MSA to support her in her endeavours means a lot, and has helped her through all that she has worked hard to achieve so far.
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