Mashonga started working for an IT company after completing a computer programming diploma. But after 12 years in the sector, she began to feel like her hard work and dedication were being overlooked.

“I was restrained from further promotions as the culture in the company was not conducive for women to be promoted. I hit the proverbial glass ceiling, so I decided to resign and open my own company,” she explains.

In 2009, she launched GlobeScope Security Solutions, which provides security and surveillance solutions, such as fingerprint access systems, CCTV cameras, alarms, intercoms and guard systems for personal computers in Cape Town.

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Breaking barriers

‘My initial fear was the loss of a fixed income and venturing out into the unknown,” says Mashonga. “I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to run and sustain a successful business, because getting funding was a big challenge. But once I had my business plan in order, I was able to secure a small business loan and take the plunge.”

Mashonga say that in the beginning, it was very difficult to change people’s perceptions of women in the technical security industry. She tackled the misconceptions by displaying strong leadership skills and devotion.

“This has enabled my company not only to survive in our industry, but to expand and grow. I’m a qualified technician and all my technical staff look up to me for mentorship and guidance. I’m also fully qualified in all office and accounting programs so I guide and teach my admin staff to manage the office efficiently,” she says.

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Her tenacity and business savvy have allowed her to secure clients such as Absa, the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and the University of the Western Cape. Her company has also won two big awards: The Nedbank Regional Business Achiever Award and DTI Women in Technologies.

Moving forward, Mashonga plans to grow the staff complement from 15 to 25 within the next year and she want to offer recent graduates internship and employment opportunities. She is also aiming to open branches in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State and the Eastern Cape in the near future.

“Entrepreneurship is hard and requires toughness and perseverance, but the rewards of managing your own company and creating jobs are incredibly rewarding,” she says.