Shoppers doing the early rounds at a Woolworths store in Rivonia Village mall, Joburg, at the beginning of the year were in for a shock. They were greeted by a dapper man protesting against the retailer; he’d posted "Stop killing SMEs" on the back window of his Mercedes hatchback. Marnus Broodryk, a former judge on M-Net reality series Shark Tank, got up early that Tuesday because he wanted to show support for Shannon McLaughlin, the founder of Ubuntu Baba. In late December, she’d accused the retailer of replicating her company’s baby carrier, and selling it for a third of the price. McLaughlin’s dispute with Woolworths went viral on social media, eventually leading to a meeting with the retailer. Woolworths was forced to eat humble pie as it "acknowledged" the "striking similarities" between its carrier and that of Ubuntu Baba. The dispute ended with Woolworths donating its stock of the product to underresourced communities, with its branding removed. Broodryk, an entrepreneur and ...

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