Microentrepreneur award for Molele

Karin Johansson

Karin Johansson

Sewela Joyce Molele has been named the Microentrepreneur of the Year, at an event hosted by financial services group Citigroup in Johannesburg last week.

Molele, who manufactures and sells handmade metal baths, was rewarded for making a major impact with her business, growing substantially and "providing a strong, reliable product that has now become a necessity to her clients and their referrals," according to Citigroup, which coordinates the awards programme together with Marang Financial Services.

Microentrepreneurs are small-scale business people who operate in the informal or second economy but they are often considered too risky to invest in by finance institutions.

The objective of the Citigroup awards programme is to illustrate and promote the effective role that microfinance plays in poverty alleviation around the world and to bring together people with money and projects that need their money.

"More importantly, the initiative empowers local microentrepreneurs to limit the reach of poverty in communities, promote governance, reconcile religious conflicts and protect the environment," said Citigroup.

The categories included Women Empowerment, Community Builder, Most Marketable Product, Skills Development, Creativity and Millenium Development Goals.

Zdenek Turek, Citigroup country officer for South Africa, said: "We recognise the importance of microentrepreneurship in job creation, self-empowerment and economic development, and the important link that this has on microcredit. We would like to congratulate the winners, who are a great inspiration and an example of entrepreneurial spirit."