Lesego HolzapfelLesego Holzapfel

South Africa


Occupational Information

Occupation: Social Entrepreneur

Occupational Position: Co-founder and Chairwoman of Raise the Children International

Professional History

Lesego Hopzapfel is the co-founder and chairwoman of Raise the Children International, a registered nonprofit in South Africa, USA and UK , which identifies self-motivated orphans from impoverished and rural communities and mobilizes resources for these children to gain access to higher education that leads to employment and public service with a high return on social investment. She also founded Bokamoso Impact Investments, a social enterprise solely dedicated to uplifting remote underdeveloped areas of South Africa through agriculture and entrepreneurship.

After finishing university, Lesego spent time in Asia in impoverished communities exploring the ways in which entrepreneurship presents a sustainable way to lift whole communities economically and on a long-term scale.

Lesego’s innovative and impactful work in various communities of South Africa has received both international and local recognition. Her work has been featured in local and international research journals and media and profiled on numerous media platforms. Her story has been shown in a documentary of Africa’s top women on FOX TV. Lesego has been invited to speak and share her story in various countries across the world including USA, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Botswana, Colombia and India. She was publicly recognised by President Jacob Zuma as a young Achiever and Trail blazer. In June 2017, she was honored by the Mail and Guardian as one of South Africa’s 200 young leaders. An honorary Golden Key Award was bestowed upon Lesego by the University of Pretoria for her servant leadership and work in developing South African youth. In 2018, Lesego won the Standard Bank Top women award, alongside noticeable icons like Yvonne ChakaChaka.


BA from City College of New York
Masters degree at the London School of Economics
Standard Bank Derek Cooper Scholar


2019 Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow