Last Saturday, Endeavor Entrepreneur Shona McDonald was honored with a Shoprite Checkers Women of the Year Award, which recognizes visionary women leaders creating social impact in South Africa. Shona received the Socio-Economic Business Developers Award at a sparkling ceremony in Gauteng, South Africa.
Shona is CEO of Shonaquip, a social enterprise that enhances the lives of people with disabilities through technical, social and policy innovation. Having built her business from nothing into a multi-million dollar enterprise that has received recognition from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the South African Department of Health, Shona is known for the large-scale impact she and her company have had on disabled South Africans.
Shona built her first modular support buggy nearly 20 years ago to improve the quality of life for children with severe physical disabilities. Her comments at the ceremony reflect how far her impact has spread since then:
“Over 500,000 children and young adults with mobility disabilities living in South Africa do not have access to appropriate wheelchairs and accessible community based seating support services. This shortage of appropriate wheelchairs results in unnecessary, costly and devastating health and social outcomes for both the wheelchair users and their families who support them.”
In terms of how the award will allow Shona to further her impact moving forward, she said:
“Having spent over 20 years building Shonaquip, a social enterprise, as a tool to drive positive change in the field of appropriate wheelchair provision in under resourced regions, I now realize that I need to reach further. I need to explore ways to shift the historical contravention of human rights of people living with disabilities from its entrenchment in charitable giving and pity to become part of the moral concerns of mainstream society and establish an inclusive footprint across the globe. And for this reason I am delighted that Shoprite Checkers has recognized the impact that a social enterprise can have as a powerful driver of sustainable social change.”