By Emily Setona
QWAQWA – Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) board Chairperson Xolisa Daku says SEDA decided to celebrate successful female entrepreneurs in the rural community of Maluti – a – Phofung because there is a need for women empowerment specifically in the rural areas.
She said this during an interview at an event held at the multipurpose hall in Phuthadithjaba last Friday.
“The purpose of the day today is to inspire more women to enter the business space especially in the rural areas. We want to see more women who will succeed in business and grow the rural economy. As SEDA we are development based so it is our responsibility to make sure that the businesses that we support grow and become sustainable,” Daku said
SHETRADES is a program that SEDA is running that allows women who run businesses that sell a product to be able to get their products standardized and SABS (South African Bureau of Standards) approved and thus be able to access global markets and get to a position where they can eventually export their products.
“As the global president of the circle of global businesswomen, I have had the privilege of working with SEDA through their SHETRADES program. I have seen women who enter this program get their products to enter global markets and eventually build a client base outside the country,” Sindiswa Mzamo said while addressing the audience.
Local entrepreneur and owner of Meaparo ya Afrika Tselane Mokoena says that when she was a baby of only one year and seven months she was badly burned and injured in an accidental fire at her home. She grew up in Universitas hospital until she was ten years old. After this unfortunate ordeal that left her without the use of her right hand she was then raised by her grandparents in Lesotho where she learned how to sew and she eventually turned this passion into a business. “I am very proud of my culture and heritage and despite my disability I have managed to take the skill that my grandmother has taught me and make a business out of it. I have managed to register my business with the help of SEDA. I am also teaching my three daughters about this business,” Mokoena said.
Getrude Sekoto the CEO of Autokes tyre fitment all the way from Ficksburg said; “Being in a male dominated industry my company encourages young women to join me in this space. We offer young women internship opportunities for them to learn about this business and in this way we are slowly changing the nature of this business industry.”
Clinical Psychologist and motivational speaker Thato Motaung said that it is very important for women to love themselves and embrace all their challenges with a good attitude because this will help them build the confidence that is often needed to have the courage to venture into entrepreneurship.
The event also hosted a few exhibitions that allowed business owners from the Thabo Mofutsanyana District to showcase their products. “Our role as SEDA is to make sure that we assist small businesses to grow from one level to the next level,” Daku said.