How SA’s Successful Female Entrepreneurs Overcome Obstacles

South African women are cracking the glass ceiling: more than 60% of the country’s SMEs have women in leadership teams.

That’s according to the Future of Business survey, a joint research effort by Facebook, the World Bank, and the OECD. 

And that’s not the only indicator that women are making powerful contributions to the South African economy. 

Another study found 47% of SMEs are owned by women.

These are women like Mondisa Goduka, the owner of the Kids Cooking Club. Goduka’s business offers cooking and baking classes for children. But it doesn’t stop there; The Kids Cooking Club focuses on using the activity to improve the young chefs development. By creating such a compelling service, Goduka’s business grew so fast she had to turn away business until she could move into a larger premises.

Like most entrepreneurs, Goduka spotted an opportunity when others did not, and it’s the kind of foresight that will drive South Africa’s job growth. 

Trevor Gosling, CEO and co-founder of Lulalend, said 2020 is a big year for SMEs. 

“South African SMEs are the engine room of our economy. We have a lot riding on their success: the National Development Plan has set ambitious targets for SMEs, forecasting that 90 percent of new jobs will be created by “small and expanding firms.”

Yet, as much as they want to make a contribution to economic growth, entrepreneurs grapple with risk and uncertainty every day. Studies into SME sustainability show businesses close mainly because they struggle to gain access to finance and become profitable.

Still, most businesses tell us they don’t believe the future is bleak, said Gosling.

“Preliminary findings from our survey show an overwhelming vote of confidence, over 80% of businesses surveyed tell us they’re positive about the year ahead.” 

What else does it take to be a successful entrepreneur?

We’ve asked women entrepreneurs how they built thriving businesses:

  • Tell your brand story in your marketing – it will make customers (and investors) love what you do
  • Network as much as possible 
  • Define your values and let them drive your business 
  • Connect and engage with your customers; build a community around your business
  • Embrace technology
  • Never sell yourself short: you work hard. Be proud of what you have achieved
  • Pay it forward and mentor other women entrepreneurs 

For more information on how Lulalend can help you access the funding you need to grow your business visit