Updated 11.10.2022

Top 12 Successful Women Entrepreneurs in South Africa

South Africa, in the recent decade, has become the breeding ground for budding women entrepreneurs to breathe life into their revolutionary idea. Right from the government’s favorable policies to easy funding, South Africa is an ideal place to start any business being a woman.

South Africa today is the fastest growing economy in the African continent. Over the last decade or two, this African nation has fostered international investment. Businesses worldwide are investing big time here, mainly because of well-structured economic infrastructure and emerging market potential of over 10 million people.

Here are the many reasons why South Africa could be your alternative to the highly competitive European market for starting up a business:-

  • Robust Economy Policies
  • A Favorable, Legal Environment for Doing Business in The Country
  • Has a World-Class Infrastructure
  • Access to Emerging Markets of The African Continent
  • Excellent Trade Reforms
  • Low Cost of Doing Business

The above advantages unite as one big compelling force that has made South Africa a country of limitless possibilities when it comes to setup up your business, irrespective of your industry sector and initial budget.

Top 12 Successful Women Entrepreneurs

Here we’ll be talking about the top twelve women entrepreneurs who are making an impact in the South African and international entrepreneurial space.

  1. Dineo Lioma

Dineo LiomaShe is amongst the top-listed entrepreneur below the age of 30. Dineo is the co-founder of Deep Medical Therapeutics, Incitech, and CapeBio Technologies. The success of her biotechnology innovation companies is enough to suggest that South Africa is one nation in the African continent that is ready to embrace newer technologies and innovations to drive their society forward.

One of her companies, Deep Medical Therapeutics, is in cooperation with the global tech giant IBM to unite on the power of AI to revolutionize the health care sector of the country. The new system is proposed to assist doctors of diverse expertise to recommend their patients with the right drug-resistant diseases such as TB.

Dineo during her journey as a woman entrepreneur has bagged several awards, these include the Top 20 Wealth Creators of Africa by Forbes, and had her name in 200 Young South Africans List by Mail & Guardian.

  1. Arlene Mulder

Arlene MulderArlene gave her resigned from her high-paying job as an investment banker to set up her own company, WeThinkCode. The primary objective with which the company was founded is to create the best talent in the technology world. Mulder is also the co-founder of ToyBox, and it is the out-of-the-box platform that supports people with an innovation mindset to breathe life into their ideas to build a better society.

Today, Arlene is the proud global ambassador of the organization known as the She Loves Tech.

The biggest appreciation she got during her journey as a tech entrepreneur was from Forbes as Woman Africa Technology and Innovation Award.

  1. Monalisa Sibongile Zwambila

Monalisa ZwambilaSecond, on the list is Monalisa Zwambila. She is the founder of Riverbed, one of Africa’s leading through-the-line communication agency. She had the inner-leverage to start the company with ambitions; even though she had a high paying job. Her success story is inspiring for all that if you have big dreams, then you can easily establish a business in the country, as the government policies are quite favorable, along with the ease of getting the loan application approved.

Her company Riverbed is thriving at a significant rate- 18 million in revenue to 80 million each year. Monalisa has received several global awards, one to mention is the 2017 Regional Business Women.

  1. Nneile Nkholise

Nneile Nkholise

Source: Forbes Africa

Until now, you might be wondering if South Africa is a destination to set up a tech company in the world or not. The success story of Nneile throws light on the ocean of opportunities people have when it comes to starting an IT company in the country.

She established the company IMed Tech Group in the year 2015, even when she was pursuing her mechanical engineering degree. The company is working in the direction to drive innovation in the direction of medical solutions to enhance the overall healthcare in Africa.

Nneile has had greater expertise in the 3d printing applications for the medical field for the production of custom products.

  1. Jeanne Groenewald

Jeanne GroenewaldIn the year 1996, Jeanne Groenewald commenced raising free-range chickens for friends and families. Then, after gaining a lot of experience in this vertical, she founded the company Elgin Chicken in the year 2002. Presently, the company one of the leading independent free-range chickens companies in the country.

  1. Mayleen Venessa Kyster

Now, coming to the construction sector of the country, Mayleen Kyster is one name that echoed with great trust and appreciation in the country. She founded the African Steel Holdings in an era when the steel industry was struggling for survival in South Africa.

Today, her company is a top trade of raw, manufactured, and fabricated steel for a majority of construction projects in South Africa. She got appreciation from the Steel and Engineering Federation of Southern Africa for adding a whole new dimension to the country’s steel industry.

The success of Mayleen is like an open invitation for construction investors from around the world to come and prosper in the country.

  1. Beverley Gumbi

Would you believe a container business can make you a millionaire? Well, that’s true in the case of Beverley Gumbi, who is the founder of the Isivuno Container Business, a company established in the year 2005.

This company comes up with a unique concept of refurbished shipping containers in the country to cut down on the services cost significantly. She took his major leap after a visit to China, which is also known as the world’s capital to innovation. In China, she learned a lot, what containers could do; the experience backed her to start a container in South Africa later.

A few awards she received for innovative approach include the SAB Kickstart Business Competition, Regional Business Achievers Award by Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa, and many more.

  1. Charlotte Aubin

Charlotte AubinCharlotte began her professional career as an international investment banker but always want to do something that has a big impact on society and the environment we breathe in With this mind, launched GreenWish, a company which is a leading clean transformative power supply in Africa. Her clean power initiative is an inspiration for all women across, if you big dream, you can make it big.

“We are pioneers of solar energy on the continent,” says Aubin. “We combine international and local networks, technical, financial, and contractual expertise with a massive transformative purpose of accelerating social and economic development in Africa by bringing access to power.”

  1. Rapelang Rabana

Rapelang RabanaRabana was voted as the entrepreneur and investor for the world in the year 2014 by the World Entrepreneurship Forum. She is also an inspirational speaker motivating African ladies to accomplish big things in life. In 2017, Rabana was among the Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum. Rabana is determined to help everyone, right from school goers, entrepreneurs, and farmers.

“I believe that in 10 years, one of the greatest drivers of data usage on the continent will not just be entertainment and social media, but educational, training, and learning content, and I want Rekindle Learning to be at the crux of that,” says Rabana.

  1. Lynn Baker

Lynn BakerSoon after establishing the company Customer Experience Academy South Africa (CX Academy), Lynn enrolled for the Disney Quality Service Course to implement new strategies and approaches to their business. Her company is working to improve the customer experience for top brands like Uber, Airbnb to Flourish Baker’s company has done a tremendous job setting the yardstick for customer experience.

“Where do you and I start to create a better customer experience strategy? We need to shift our thinking and challenge our mindsets. More importantly, we need to recognize that this is happening in a completely new landscape,” explains Baker.

  1. Magda Wierzycka

Magda WeirzckaMagda is a South African millionaire. She is the director and co-founder of Sygnia Ltd. She is against the growing corruption in the country. During her high school days, she used to sell cheese and cold meats, but her hard work made her an eminent name in the country.

  1. Thuli Magubane

Thuli MagubaneMagubane studied politics and wished to be a diplomat, but life has decided something else for her. She bagged a corporate job, and from there on, she climbed the corporate ladder. Later, she established Mint Fresh Advisory Services, and now her business is going from strength to strength.

To further ensure her business success, Magubane studied PDM at the Wits Business School. Magubane’s business already has the support of big corporate clients such as The City Of Johannesburg, Tata, Sasol, Standard Bank and SAPS.

To Wrap Up

From the above, it is easy to deduce that success is at your mercy; all you require is to put in the hard yards along with smart work to make your biggest dreams come true. Right from the medical sector, IT to the construction industry, the possibilities are limitless in the country.

But, before you plan anything big, it is important to thoroughly analyze the potential markets of South Africa to understand whether your products have the potential to succeed or not.

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