Malehlohonolo Moleko is a baker, small-business owner, mentor, and mother from Boipatong Vanderbijlpark, South Africa. Six years ago, at 32, Malehlohonolo opened her first business—a bakery—near the local factory. The bakery grew popular and now serves full-plate meals to the nearby workers. Malehlohonolo turned her lifelong passion of cooking into a source of income to help support her family and pay for her son’s education.
However, managing her business has not been easy. Malehlohonolo had trouble staying profitable; she lacked an efficient system for restocking her supplies, and the day-to-day expenses of supporting a family were often overwhelming. She knew she needed a more efficient way to manage her business and expenses—what she was missing were the specific business skills that would help her achieve this. The turning point for her was an entrepreneurial business skills workshop, offered to women entrepreneurs as part of The Coca-Cola Company’s 5by20 initiative.
Malehlohonolo is now a mentor to women in her community, sharing with them the knowledge she has gained by owning her own business. She dreams of seeing her son graduate from business school, buying a home, and continuing to grow her business. These dreams are possible now that she has the entrepreneurial skills she needs.