Changing your story: UP celebrates Women Entrepreneurship Week

Posted on November 11, 2019

The University of Pretoria’s (UP) Mamelodi Business Clinic (MBC) hosted a very successful high tea to celebrate its first Women Entrepreneurship Week. This annual initiative was created in 2014 by the Feliciano Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Montclair State University in New Jersey. The Centre, whose mission is to support and nurture women entrepreneurs, is supported by and located in the Feliciano School of Business.

This year the MBC was one of more than 200 universities/colleges and organisations that held events on their respective campuses for the sixth annual Women Entrepreneurship Week between 19 and 26 October 2019.

Thirty entrepreneurs from the Mamelodi community were invited to spend the morning at the MBC. The keynote speaker was Nomsa Maseko, a young and upcoming entrepreneur who is a visionary and agent of creating an enabling environment for entrepreneurship in South Africa


Maseko, who is a member of the Tshwane Youth Business Council and Global Shapers, is a passionate leader who wants to teach her audience, particularly women, how to find their power and unleash it. She kept the audience glued to their seats with her passion as she told her fascinating story. Maseko’s message was that women are masters of their own destiny. She emphasised that women add value in society and that they need to understand their worth. She encouraged women to stand up and be seen, believe in themselves and not wait to be chosen.     

     Bongiwe Masemola and Nomsa Maseko.

The second speaker for the morning was Remofilwe Dikoma, former chairperson of Commercii at the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. Her discussion focused on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with specific emphasis on Goal 2 and the importance of zero hunger. Dikoma encourages the women to get involved in the community garden established on the Mamelodi Campus and to start making a difference in their communities.

The third speaker was Senzekile Mabasa, social media manager at Enactus, which is a global community of student, academic and business leaders harnessing the power of entrepreneurship action. She highlighted the importance of eliminating food wastage and how the NGO Fruitful Living tries to make use of fruit and vegetables that are past their sell-by date, but still usable.

Community entrepreneurs (Fruitful Living) from Benoni showcased their preserves with the aim of teaching the Mamelodi community entrepreneurs how they can establish their own businesses by using the vegetables and fruit from the Mamelodi community garden to make pickles, preserves (jam) and atchar.  

The last speaker for the day was Batabile Msengana from the UP Department of Business Management’s [email protected] initiative. The initiative is aimed at creating a platform for women-focused dialogue. She had an empowering message for all the women, reminding them that it is not the responsibility of others to change their story and that they should not expect society to affirm their status in life. She went on to say that every woman should embrace her internal power and follow the passion within herself in order to make decisions that work best for her. Most importantly, women should believe in themselves.

The MBC plans to continue with this initiative next year and hopes to involve more collaborative entrepreneurs and stakeholders.


  Juanita Haug, Samatha Rabie, Carto Abrams-Swarts and Batabile Msengana

- Author Carto Abrams-Swarts

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