Four entrepreneurial trailblazers to emulate
‘The role of the black woman is at the forefront of the economy’
As we enter Women’s Month today, there will be many talks and think-pieces written about the state of women, especially women entrepreneurs in this country.
Sadly, on the global scale women entrepreneurs still do not receive funding at the same rate as their male counterparts. In spite of this women are making headway, especially in traditionally male-dominated fields such as construction and mining.
In these and other industries, women are leading transformation and spearheading the shift towards gender equality and empowerment. Women are helping create a more inclusive and equitable workplace for all.
Support for women-owned businesses is very important and holding the government to its promise to further and support women, is needed. This Women’s Month, put your money where your mouth is.
South African women have such an entrepreneurial spirit, starting from the woman who sells vegetables on the street to the women in corner offices who’ve started or are running companies. South African women have been holding it down for a while now.
There are many success stories still to come from the women of SA. If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, here are four entrepreneurs to set that entrepreneurial flame inside you ablaze.
Raise a glass with HER
Praisy Dlamini, general manager and winemaker of HER Wines, says they saw a gap in the market for an all-female, all-black business that could combine their skill sets to offer an unique proposition, a wine brand women could be proud of. The wine is named for all the women – sisters, mothers, daughters and grandmothers – who go out into the world to make their mark. The HER team is an all-women team.
“We are a group of trailblazers, growing a business in unchartered territory. We’re passionate about investing in more young women who will be pioneers in their own fields while they inspire others to reach higher and wider,” says Dlamini.
The team strongly believes in giving back to the community. The company has pledged to contribute 2% of its profits to a scholarship fund that enables young, talented and driven individuals to achieve their dreams through the HER Wine Collection Bursary.
The first two scholars to receive funding from the bursary have started their journey and will be mentored by the HER Wines’ team. They will learn critical skills related to starting a business and overcoming the challenges associated with entrepreneurship.
Get your beauty fix with Mathebe
After the immense success of her online beauty story, Beauty on TApp, Mathebe Molise announced and launched her first store in April. The company, which was founded in 2015, is a deliberately curated one-stop shop for in-demand, affordable beauty products, providing customers with a range of skincare, haircare and makeup products.
The store, which is based at the Mall of Africa in Midrand, is a testament of how a loyal customer base can do wonders for a business.
Take on the boys with Tebogo and Andiswa
Tebogo Mosito – founder and CEO of Ditsogo Group – and Andiswa Xozwa, founder and CEO of Okuhle Project Management, were both finalists for the Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Award 2023.
Mosito grew up in a rural village in Rustenburg, North West, near the platinum mines, and her interest in the mining industry started from a young age. Entering an almost exclusively male-dominated sector did not deter Mosito, but rather ignited a tenacity to create viable and safe opportunities for women to add value in this thriving industry.
“As a woman you need to prove yourself twice to show that you are capable,” says Mosito.
For over a decade, Tebogo has managed a steel engineering and mining services company, steering it towards success. She takes great pride in the business which boasts a 100% black, female-led foundation. Fostering a network of women, united in support and mentorship, Ditsogo enables an environment of collective growth and empowerment.
Xozwa’s team at Okuhle Project Management is 70% black women. Okuhle delivers infrastructure services to marginalised local communities and fosters a holistic cycle of upliftment by actively engaging black women-owned subcontractors and suppliers.
“My goal is to show young women that even when coming from the dusty streets of Daveyton, on the East Rand, it can be done. The role of the black woman is at the forefront of the economy, and we must be brave in assuming these positions,” says Xozwa.
Operating within the realm of infrastructure development in the construction industry, Xozwa’s most significant accomplishment lies in her role as a catalyst for transformative change.
Her commitment to skills transfer within the surrounding communities has become the cornerstone of her company. By prioritising increased participation and the empowerment of women and youth, she has flipped the traditional narrative, paving the way for a brighter and more inclusive future in the industry.
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