Black, women-owned businesses are on the rise and #BossLady is a staunch supporter of this new wave of women entrepreneurs juggling side-hustles or making a leap from employee to entrepreneur.
As women growing businesses ourselves, we know that supporting black, women-owned businesses means both the upliftment of the individual woman AND the many parents, siblings and relatives that depend on this income. Women led businesses also offer inspiration to our future generations, and grow our personal self-esteem and self-worth. So, we say YES again and again to them!
We spoke to ‘Tlhogi’ Letsholonyane, 28, founder of a fashion Academy and 25-year-old Lerato Moeng, co-owner of a pre-paid credit facility that lets ladies have their beauty treatments and pay for them in affordable monthly instalments…
Rustenburg-born ‘Tlhogi’ Letsholonyane graduated with a degree in Fashion from the LISOF Retail Academy. She was immediately snatched up by the EDCON Merchant Development Program as a graduate trainee buyer.
After overcoming her own insecurities at the changes her teenaged body went through, she was inspired to ‘own her body’ from every flaw and build a fashion business. This gave rise to the ‘OwnIt Start Up Academy as well as an underwear line called OwnIt Intimates.
The OwnIt Startup Academy is a New Venture Creation Academy that assists women interested in the business of fashion with various skills including; how to identify trends in fashion, create garments, price and market them.
“It took me a long time to make connections, get funding or find the right manufacturers and suppliers. I don’t want other people to go through the same challenges. The fashion industry is saturated, but this Academy is my contribution to empowering my clients to teach and build new businesses in fashion”.
Tlhogi is honest about the difficulties that many black women face when it comes to starting their own fashion businesses.
“Money! At the academy we really try help you grow your business with the little that you have! You don’t have to have hundreds and thousands of rands to start!
I always urge start-ups to stay away from debt for as long as they can. We try and minimise risks and save students time and money by sharing information and contacts”.
One of the standout success stories from the Academy is that of twins who own a brand called Maria and Regina;
They are qualified chartered accountants but have been successfully trading their clothing brand for the past 5 months. They use social media to market their brand and are currently looking into trading at Spree!
Books such as The Alchemist and mentorship from industry leader, Tasleem Bulbulia are some of the tools Tlhogi has used to jumpstart her business and career to the next level. She also mentions the Foundations of Advertising course with UCT. #BossLady salutes this rising star for taking full ownership of her growth and development!
BossLadies, take note: the OwnIt StartUp Academy’s next intake is in September 2017 and classes will be held on Saturdays. Contact Tlhogi on firstname.lastname@example.org
Lerato grew up in Katlehong. She dreamed of becoming a Psychologist. This enterprising young woman has done everything from counselling courses to being a PR Officer.
Inspired by business powerhouses such as Basetsana Kumalo and Phuti Mahanyele, her next step was #The BeautyCard. A prepaid credit facility that allows women to have their beauty pampering treatments and pay for them at a later stage.
The Beauty Card offers ladies 2 options: The Beauty Card Classic is a low interest, revolving credit plan. You can step into any of the participating salons or spas, swipe your card at the pay point, then pay for your treatments in affordable monthly instalments. As soon as you’ve paid an instalment, you’ll again have access to your full credit limit. The Beauty Card Prepaid is ideal for those who want access to top quality hair, body and facial treatments. But prefer not to commit to a payment plan. Once you’ve loaded cash onto this prepaid card, you’ll be able to swipe it to pay for beauty treatments at any of the participating salons and spas.
GLO’ UP ON A BUDGET
My business partner and I realised that women love to look and feel amazing, but they have so many FINANCIAL responsibilities.
With #TheBeautyCard, ladies can get spa treatments or have their hair, nails and facials done. Without worrying about paying right there and then.
An extension of this concept is #Lunchdatewiththegirls, a monthly get-together that Lerato hosts at selected beauty spas. The idea is for women to meet and share their life lessons. All while letting their hair down and enjoying the treatments on offer.
A DATE WITH THE GIRLS!
The next #Lunchdatewiththegirls takes place on Saturday the 30th of September 2017. It will be at Liyanda Experience. A beauty salon co-owned by TV Presenter and entrepreneur, Ayanda Thabethe. #BossLady has been at one of these events. Trust us when we say, it’s a must-attend! Get your tickets now on 071 048 1898!
We have interviewed many young, black, female entrepreneurs including a founder of a nude underwear range, a vegan ice cream business owner and an organic feminine hygiene product provider but we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface on all the businesses that have been launched. What we can say is that, it’s wonderful to see a business dream take form and empower other women while doing so! #BossLady salutes these women and many more making these braves moves!