Study after study has shown that when a woman is empowered, the whole of society benefits, and this is at the core of why Spark* has launched its SHE by Spark Changemakers. Spark* finds and supports these Changemakers, who are local women entrepreneurs that have launched a venture that is changing lives, and helps them turn their startup into a sustainable and scalable venture that improves the lives of women and girls in the country as a result. Spark believes that women are the best levers for change, and following its first female focused Accelerator in South Africa, held in Johannesburg during Women’s Month in August this year, is pleased to announce the first SHE by Spark Changemakers in the country.
Over the coming weeks, Lionesses of Africa hopes to interview each of them and bring their inspirational stories to the attention of the world.
To find out more about the SHE by Spark Changemakers initiative, visit their website.
Anthea Petersen – Community Philanthropy Recycling
Community Philanthropy Recycling empowers women to establish women-owned recycling centres in their communities allowing them to earn an income while at the same time helping women waste-pickers shift from being dependents to bread-winners. Furthermore, as a result, the children of these women are performing better at school because their mothers are now able to put food on the table for them.
Chi Achebe – ResSpot
ResSpot is an online residential communication portal and 24/7 virtual estate manager. Realising that domestic workers often have to travel a long distance from townships to service one client in the suburbs, Chi was inspired to create a portal that directly connects domestic workers to many clients living in the same area. ResSpot has the potential to improve the livelihoods and earning potential of hundreds of female service providers. http://www.resspot.com
Judith Meyer – Store-Dash
Judith believes that technology can be used as a catalyst to alleviate poverty and improve the financial independence of women. With her passion for technology, she has launched Store-Dash which identifies unemployed women and uses technology to help them create sustainable businesses. http://storedash.co.za
Maria Uys – AfriGarde
AfriGarde is a high-end jewellery line launched by Maria to empower domestic workers and at risk women. Maria strongly believes in the economic empowerment of women and through AfriGarde enables the women to start their own businesses whilst in other cases, supplement their income as domestic workers. http://afrigarde.co.za
Mpho Kgosana – VIRYA
For 10 years, Mpho witnessed her mother work as a principal of a school for deaf and blind learners in Limpopo. Seeing how limited, poorly skilled and demotivated the learners were and considering the high risk of unemployment they faced, she was inspired to start her own training academy and thus launched VIRYA. VIRYA offers accredited skills training to women with disabilities, places them in companies and train their employers on how to best accommodate them.
Mulalo Ramathavha – Glenz Cakes
Frustrated with the number of girls who had no idea what to do post High School or were unable to continue with their tertiary education due to financial struggles, Mulalo knew that she needed to do her bit in helping the young women in her community. She launched a training academy as an extension of her bakery. Glenz Cakes teaches young women in rural areas baking skills and sugar-crafting so that they can start their own baking businesses. http://glenzcakes.co.za
Ramona Kasavan – Happy Days
60% of school-going girls miss close to 50 days of school a year because they cannot afford sanitary towels. Happy Days provides cost effective and high quality sanitary towels to meet the needs of the lower earning female population. Furthermore, Happy Days has a direct selling model that employs unemployed girls to sell pads and earn a commission instead of relying on social grants. http://sharehappydays.org
Sewela Seshoene – The Lazy Makoti
With a great passion for authentic South African cuisine and entrepreneurship, Sewela launched The Lazy Makoti. It empowers domestic workers with cooking skills and sells kitchen accessories created by women. http://www.thelazymakoti.com
Thokoza Mjo -Beyond The Lemonade Stand
Beyond The Lemonade Stand uses the creation of a school newspaper to facilitate personal and entrepreneurial development amongst teenagers from under resourced communities. The ultimate vision is to have a school newspaper team in all under-resourced schools in South Africa. In just the pilot phase, Thokoza has inspired one of the girls on this project to publish a poetry book, an indication of the massive potential her venture has. https://www.facebook.com/BeyondTheLemonadeStand?fref=nf
Yolanda Mpilo – Mother & Child Clinic
As a Professional Nurse, Yolanda knows all too well how dire healthcare is in public hospitals in South Africa. It did not sit well with her that quality healthcare in the country is reserved for the privileged few and thus started Mother & Child Clinic. It is a private clinic that provides quality healthcare for women and children in Limpopo at a fraction of the cost.