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Local businesswoman is top entrepreneur

A local businesswoman demolished stereotypes in the construction industry when she walked away with the prestigious Standard Bank Top Woman Entrepreneur 2020 Award.

The 42-year-old Celeste Margo le Roux, chief executive officer and co-founder of React24, as well as now co-founder of React Training College – both with their head office in Parow Industria, was awarded at a virtual event on 1 and 2 October.

With 20 years of experience in the construction industry, le Roux has been offering all site services, built environment trades and disciplines under one roof.

The business story of React24 began around her kitchen table with two artisans, her partner David le Roux, a bakkie and a dream, according to her biography.

Now, 20 years later, le Roux and her team have launched React Training College, an artisanal school that uses a competency-based modular training system to make artisanal education easier and more affordable.

Her experience in the construction and built environment industry has taught le Roux that education and skills development are the keys to success.

It is her most sincere hope that through React Training College, tradesmen can master their craft, get certified for their existing skills, learn their way to earning a better income and become the masters of their own success.

Le Roux credits the success of React24 to transparency, credibility and integrity, but most of all her uniquely female empathic ability, which stems from her personal story.

Originally from Retreat on the Cape Flats, le Roux’s father encouraged her from a young age to speak up for what she believed in with intent, yet without malice, according to her biography.

Her father passed away at only 43, followed shortly by her mother. This left le Roux at 22 as the sole caretaker of her teenage brother, Lester.

To support her brother, she worked two jobs almost round the clock until he found work in London.

In the meantime she got married to her husband and became a mother with their son, Adam.

When her brother moved back from London, le Roux insisted that he move back in with her family. At the extremely young age of 30, her brother died after suffering a severe stroke.

Le Roux attributes this traumatic experience to having made her fearless, tenacious and resilient.

“I am so extremely proud to be a part of these prestigious awards and the reality is that I could not achieve such success on my own,” says le Roux.

“I would like to express how profoundly grateful I am to my amazing team at React24. Our success is because of their hard work, their daily excellence and their dedication to our purpose,” Le Roux says.

The mission of React24 to consistently develop people through education and further skills development was formalised with the launch of the React Training College on 22 September, according to a media release.

The Standard Bank Top Woman Entrepreneur 2020 Award is the cherry on top of many awards received by le Roux this year.

She was awarded Woman-owned Contractor of the Year and Woman Mentor of the Year in the Empowerment and Recognition of Women in Construction Awards by the Construction Industry Development Board.

She has received the Western Cape Top Business Award and National Award for Top Business Performer in the Enterprise Development Programme, presented by Property Point.

However, le Roux is not driven by accolades, status or style, but rather by finding a sustainable way to equip people with the skills they need to earn their way to a better life.

She knows that by upskilling South Africans she is doing her part in tapping into the huge untouched potential of Africa’s artisan labour market.

When she is not building a better South Africa one brick at a time, le Roux enjoys spending every second with her family – enjoying leisurely lunches, watching movies, and doing crafts with her son.

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