Women equal to men

This International Women’s Day, we look back at some of our most powerful entrepreneur profiles.

These trailblazing women overcame challenges to pursue their dreams, nurture their passions and give back.

On loving your job

Matseleng Mogodi gave up teaching to start her own real estate agency.
Her advice is:

Choose an industry that speaks to you and makes you look forward to Mondays.

On leaving an impact

As the founder of Narachi Leadership, a leadership consultancy, Rachel Nyaradzo pursues an authentic career because she has always been fascinated by human behaviour.

She says: “My work involves bringing clients out of their doubt into their authentic power. I help them reconnect to their strengths, their purpose and their greatest impact.”

On giving back

Dermatologist Dr Nomphelo Gantsho is at the top of her field and has discovered her philanthropic side. She shares: “As you grow older, you discover that you have two hands – one for helping yourself and another for helping others. We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

On perseverance

Bokang Montjane-Tshabalala made the transition from beauty queen – she was Miss South Africa 2010 – to entrepreneur.

She says: “It wasn’t easy getting here, but it was worth every tear, blood and sweat… Don’t give up, regardless of how many doors you will have slammed at your face, regardless of how many people reject your idea or dream, regardless of how many times they tell you it’s not good enough, it won’t work or it won’t sell. I say that’s when you should hold on to that dream even tighter.”

On having a calling

Neo Mohapi went from being an engineer to a teacher and starting her own maths tuition company, Mohappy Mathematicians. She says: “What’s the most rewarding thing about teaching? The goose-bumpy, tingling feeling I get when a pupil understands a concept. Not all pupils are on the same level, but if I can make each of them realise their own potential, then I know I’ve done my job.”

On work ethic

Florence Mosepele started a cleaning service company called Cleaners On Call because she wanted to transform the sector.

“From a young age, I have been a dreamer, with a vision to excel in what I do and to also create employment for other young people. When you work hard, you distinguish yourself from your competition,” she says.

On persistence and improvement

Portia Mngomezulu was inspired to start her business, Portia M Skin, after she had her son and saw the positive effect marula oil had her stretch marks. She advises:

A no isn’t a no, it only means you have to do better than before.

On meeting expectations

Shandu Mukwevho promotes diversity in the TV industry through her agency, Simbarashe Casting. She says: “I learnt the value of knowing and understanding your capacity. Do not promise clients things you cannot deliver, as it damages your reputation as an agency.”

On leadership

Nokuthula Luthuli created communications agency, Bloom Marketing which has crafted award-winning campaigns for multinational corporations.

She says: “The best leaders are both students and masters, so always strive to improve yourself and develop new skills.”

On overcoming fears

After more than a decade in the IT sector, Glynn Mashonga decided to open her own company GlobeScope Security Solutions.

She recalls: “My initial fear was the loss of a fixed income and venturing out into the unknown. 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.

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