From meal delivery services to do-your-own hair kits, South Africans, many of whom found themselves without an income during lockdown, had to innovate in order to survive. As a result, there has been a surge in home grown businesses. Global Entrepreneurship Week, which runs from 16 to 22 November, aims to empower, celebrate, and support new entrepreneurs.
“Although many South African households are women-led, females were among the hardest hit by the pandemic,” says Maureen Sibanda, Community Manager at hair-network marketing company, Wukina. “Many women had to substitute their income to make ends meet.”
During lockdown, Wukina helped women earn an income, through selling Brazilian and Peruvian lace wigs and bundles. Since the beginning of lockdown, the company has seen a rapid increase in signups, with over 700 women joining the hair networking programme.
With the rise of home-grown businesses on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp, more women are abandoning the regular nine to five, in favour of a more flexible schedule. “Network marketing businesses are mainly run through social media platforms. All you need to get started is a mobile phone and data or a good internet connection,” says Sibanda.
There is a serious need for more women to start their own businesses. Yet the road to entrepreneurship is often more difficult for women than men. “Having a strong support system is important for any new business owner. If you ever need help, you know that you have a community of like-minded people to turn to for advice. This is especially useful when you’re just starting out and need mentorship,” says Sibanda.
From supplying women with a fully stocked, personalised website to managing the delivery of hair to customers, the company ensures that their partners are supplied with all the necessary resources to succeed. “We work closely with our community of Wukina women to make sure that they are fully equipped with everything they need to get started and earn a commission from their first sale,” says Sibanda.
Offering guidance, community, and resources to female business owners, Wukina’s business-in-a-box model, which will be expanding to selling hair care products in the new year, provides the necessary tool-kit to start a new business. Working closely with resellers to help them establish their own entrepreneurial venture, the business aims to empower and grow female entrepreneurs. For more information, visit www.wukina.com.