Phindile Gwala-Ngandu launches an online platform to help businesswomen
Phindile Gwala-Ngandu understands how difficult it is to succeed as a woman in business, and she wants to make it easier for other women.
Many businesses closed when Covid-19 19 went into effect over two years ago, including actor and businesswoman Phindile Gwala- Ngandu’s. The unexpected halt prompted her to think outside the box, and she came up with the Virtual Accelerator Programme for women in business.
In an interview with TshisaLIVE, the 35-year-old said she wanted to use her platform to encourage women entrepreneurs in particular.
“It was when my car wash and tshisa nyama was closed due to the pandemic and I thought of how other business owners and their families were also affected. I decided to tap into their world by creating solutions that will survive through and after the pandemic.”
The actress made it a point to design the internet platform specifically for women. Phindile stated that she drew from her personal experiences that women were not at the front of the priority list.
“It was very important because women haven’t been taken seriously in the business industry. I personally tried several times to get funds and grants with no luck. I’ve sat in unproductive meetings that only lead to empty promises and many other women are experiencing the same reality. To be a woman in the country you have to work two times more to make it.”
Here is a Q&A session the actress did with TshisaLIVE.
How would this platform work?
“Each woman will have to fill in the form online and this is for those with registered and unregistered companies simply because it will mean extra cost to register a company for this particular platform and not be selected. We are considering SA-based entrepreneurs.”
Do you have set criteria as to who can join?
Every women in business can join and we are not restricting those with ideas. They are welcome to apply too.
Have you partnered with other entities to realise this ?
I’ve partnered with other business individuals in SA and abroad to mentor the selected women and I also have people in marketing, PR, finance, sales and so on.
I have partnered with Symaxx Digital who specialise in SEO and web design and will design websites for the selected women. We are turning the digital world into a women fired and filled industry.
Do you wish something like this existed when you started out?
Of course I do. It would have made things easier and accelerated growth for women in business.
How long did it take for you to find your feet and be comfortable running your business ?
It took me some time and I’m not sure about being comfortable because you can’t be comfortable when running a business as this always keeps you on your toes. It’s dog eats dog out there and every day is a new day with different possibilities but we soldier on.
What fuels your entrepreneurial spirit?
“Knowing I’m capable of achieving what I put my mind to and realising I can also open up space for others fuels me up everyday. Daily I try to reach out to one soul and make their day. One day you will be filled with great outcomes.
When is the launch date for the virtual accelerator programme?
It was launched on February 24 2022 during International Women’s Week. I see women in SA becoming a strong digital generation that will produce great future leaders in the ICT space.