About Us

Who We Are

At StartWell, we’re a passionate team making a measurable difference in the fight against a specific kind of malnutrition which is the leading cause of child stunting. We don’t just talk about the problem – we take action by designing, producing, and delivering nutrient-rich, ready-to-eat meals directly to vulnerable communities.

0 +
Children receives a morning meal every school day
Provinces in South Africa
Years of feeding our children in South Africa

Our Vision

Our Vision is Inspiring

To produce nutrient dense ready-to-eat products carrying the best possible quality and quantity macro-and micronutrients to support thriving lives.

Our Blueprint for Success

Develop premium quality products, maintain world class food safety standards, and run a low-cost operation model with dedicated, principled and inspiring people.


The StartWell Foundation NPC holds 70% of the StartWell Foods (Pty) Ltd shares.

Our Mission is Pioneering

To operate not-for-profit food processing plants, focused on producing and selling nutrient dense ready-to-eat meals.

Bio-science is the Bedrock of our Brand Values

The best possible quality and optimum quantity macronutrients are the crux of the matter. The proteins, fats and carbs making up our meals are minimally processed and bio-available to humans. This can never be compromised.

Our Constitutional Hope

That every child gets the opportunity to live a life to their fullest potential.

Founders Story

I had an urgency upon completing my MBA studies in 2016 to create or invest in a business that could make a positive difference in South Africa. Three years later, in 2018, an incredible opportunity presented itself that could potentially be the answer to my quest. I was offered the chance to acquire a food factory that produced “nutritious feeding scheme meals” for thousands of children across the country.

Digging deeper into the company’s product range was disheartening. Although the food factory made great profits, the nutrient content of the meals was questionable. The breakfast meals served to children were mainly maize based porridge loaded with sugar, salt, and added vitamins. For lunch there was flavored soy with a starch. Any dietitian would describe the meals as energy-rich but nutrient-poor. The recipes lacked essential nutrients like animal source proteins. I was further shocked to realize that the questionable meals but so-called “super nutritious breakfast and lunch servings” dished to deprived growing children were unlikely to ever reach the plates of the same aged children growing up in middle and high-income households. This is wrong and scewed.

Read More >> + -

Determined to make a change, I founded the StartWell Foundation in 2018. The aim of this legal structure was to shift more focus towards achieving nutrition benefits for its beneficiaries – growing children (in contrast to a private food processor always prioritizing focus towards shareholder interests).


I soon realized that we needed our own Food Extrusion Plant to design and produce nutrient-rich meals at the lowest possible cost. Through many appeals to philanthropists and donors, the required capital funding was secured in 2020 to commission a customized food extrusion plant.


The StartWell Foundation became one of the very first not-for-profit organizations to produce its own meals in its own factory. Thanks to our team’s hard work and dedication, the StartWell Foundation made great strides in improving the quality of meals provided to children across the country. I believe we are well on our way to build crucial partnerships which will yield a positive impact on early childhood nutrition in South Africa.

Our Team

Org van der Wath
Managing Director
Terri Coetzee
Finance Manager
Sydney Mpungose
Lisa Verster
The Village Project
Jerome Aylward
Schae-Lee Olckers
Food Scientist
Yolandi van der Wath
Suzan Maphatlalatsa
Industrial Cleaner
Linda Dube
Packaging Team Leader
Lehlohonolo Moloi (Lucky)
General Worker

Board of Directors

Org van der Wath

BA Languages (NWU), MBA (University of Stellenbosch), Nutrition Executive (Gain)

George (Org) is a South African entrepreneur and businessman. He started his career as a schoolteacher in 1992, but his entrepreneurial interests soon led him to the private and later also corporate sector.

Read More >> + -

After completing an MBA at the Stellenbosch Business School in 2016 and conducting a study researching the small farming industry in South Africa, he became intensely aware of the dangerous levels of stunting and critical shortcoming in the nutritional value of sponsored meals to the poor and underprivileged communities in South Africa.


In 2017 he bid a successful corporate career farewell and became involved full-time in developing nutritious meals and finding innovative and cost-effective ways to ensure deprived growing babies, infants and toddlers receive well-balanced ready-to-eat meals at creches and ECD's they attend.

Themba Mnguni

LLB, Advanced Company Law I and II certificates (Wits), Advanced Certificates in Labour Law and Competition Law (University of Pretoria), Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management (MANCOSA)

Themba is a driven top achiever with numerous law and business qualifications. As a law student, he has made the Dean’s Merit List at Wits University.

Read More >> + -

Themba has been admitted as an Attorney of the High Court of South Africa and has extensive experience in his field. He started climbing the corporate ladder as a Candidate Attorney in 2015, then moved up to Mpact Limited as a Group Legal Counsel and is currently serving as a Group Legal Services Specialist at Peermont Global.


The reason why he joined this dynamic team is because he believes that Inani Start Well Foundation is a solution to childhood stunting and, in this way, he can positively contribute to Africa.

Marlo Janse Van Rensburg

BCom Law (NWU), BCom Honours (NWU), Financial Planning (Wits), MBA (University of Stellenbosch) Various post graduate qualifications

Marlo has extensive leadership experience starting at the school and university levels. He started his career at Liberty Life as a Broker Consultant, where he moved up to a Regional Manager in just a few years.

Read More >> + -

He is currently serving as a General Manager of Sustainability of Afrimat, a listed construction material company on the JSE. Previously Marlo held various MD and Directorship positions.


He has extensive knowledge and experience in his field, and he is passionate about making a difference.


The main reason for joining the Inani Start Well Foundation is to be a part of the solution against the childhood stunting rates in South Africa.

Dr Rethabile Melamu

PhD Chemical Engineering (University of Cape Town)

Dr Rethabile Melamu is a dynamic and self-motivated professional; she obtained her PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cape Town. She is currently the CEO of the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA).

Read More >> + -

Before that she was the General Manager for the Green Economy Unit at the Innovation Hub and before that the acting Chief Director: Sector and Industry Development in the Gauteng Department of Economic Development.


She has more than a decade’s experience in the green economy sector, spanning renewable energy and waste management sectors. She has experience in developing public sector strategies, and has led the revision of the Gauteng Energy and Green Economy strategies. She has vast research experience in the technology innovation field as it pertains to critical elements that contribute to success of emerging technologies in a developing country context including enterprise development of clean tech start-ups.


She has published and delivered reports and academic articles in her fields of expertise including for the OR Tambo Debate Series based on Chapter 5 of the South African National Development Plan.

She was a finalist in the caterory of Outstanding Woman of the Year in the Power and Water category at the 2017 premium African Utility Awards. In 2019, Dr Melamu was honoured by Mail & Guardian as one of the Women Changing South Africa in the Politics and Government category.


Dr Melamu sits on a number of Advisory Boards in the academia and enterprise developments sectors.

Will Coetsee

BSc Biodiversity and Ecology, MBA (cum laude) Social Entrepreneurship (University of Stellenbosch Business School)

Will Coetsee is a passionate entrepreneur focused on social entrepreneurship which combines ecology, indigenous culture and business principles to create products and services in developing countries.

Read More >> + -

Having graduated with a BSc degree in biodiversity and ecology in 2003, he started working for his family business, the Mogalakwena Group in rural Limpopo.


In 2010 he graduated with an MBA (cum laude) in social entrepreneurship from the University of Stellenbosch Business School. Since 2013, he has been Managing Director of Botanica Natural Products, which is a social enterprise that produces plant extracts, oils and powders for personal care applications and nutritional benefits.

Stay Connected


Become a Friend

Become part of this initiative to help establish the Startwell Foundation as a leading role player in the fight against chronic malnutrition and childhood stunting amongst South African children.

Registered NGO: 207-917 NPO  |  PBO Nr.: 930 062 425

B-BBEE Level 1 and able to issue Article 18A Tax Certificates due to NPC status

Copyright © 2024. All Rights Reserved