Londiwe Dlomo | 3 August 2023
‘The role of the black woman is at the forefront of the economy’.
As we enter Women’s Month, there will be many talks and thought-pieces on women in this country, especially entrepreneurs.
Sadly, women entrepreneurs globally still do not receive funding at the same rate as their male counterparts. In spite of this, they 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, as well as helping to create more inclusive and equitable workplaces.
Support for women-owned businesses is important and holding the state to its promise to further and support those behind them is required. This Women’s Month, put your money where your mouth is, government.
South African women have huge entrepreneurial spirit, from those who sell vegetables on the streets to women in corner offices who’ve started or are running companies.
There are many success stories, and if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, here are four women who could ignite your entrepreneurial flame.
Praisy Dlamini, GM and winemaker of HER Wines, says she saw a gap in the market for an all-female, all-black business that could combine women's skill sets to offer a unique proposition, a wine brand women could be proud of. The business, HER Wine, is named for all the women — sisters, mothers, daughters and grandmothers — who go out into the world to make their mark.
“We are a group of trailblazers, growing a business in uncharted territory. We’re passionate about investing in more young women who will be pioneers in their fields while they inspire others to reach higher and wider,” says Dlamini.
The team strongly believes in giving back, with the company pledging 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 have started their journey and will be mentored by the HER Wine team. They will learn critical skills about starting a business and overcoming the challenges associated with entrepreneurship.
GET YOUR BEAUTY FIX
After the success of her online beauty story, Beauty on TApp, Mathebe Molise launched her first store in April. The company, 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 offerings.
The store, in Midrand's Mall of Africa, is testament to how a loyal customer base can do wonders for a business.
TAKE ON THE BOYS
Tebogo Mosito, founder and CEO of Ditsogo Group, and Andiswa Xozwa, founder and CEO of Okuhle Project Management, were both finalists in 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 at a young age. Entering an almost exclusively male-dominated sector did not deter Mosito; rather, it ignited a tenacity to create viable and safe opportunities for women to add value to the industry.
“As a woman you need to prove yourself twice to show you are capable,” says Mosito.
For more than a decade, Mosito has managed a steel engineering and mining services company, steering it to 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 collective growth and empowerment.
Xozwa’s team at Okuhle Project Management is 70% black women. The business delivers infrastructure services to marginalised 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 infrastructure development in the construction industry, her most significant accomplishment is in her role as a catalyst for transformative change.
Her commitment to skills transfer within 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.
‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.