TEDWomen 2013: Invented Here

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Malehlohonolo Moleko

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.

8 Responses to Malehlohonolo Moleko

  1. Winnie says:

    Hi Miss M. I am @ pretoria I would like to attend this work shop wht must I do to get in

  2. Winnie says:

    Hi Miss M I would like to know how to attend this workshops I am in pretoria can you help

  3. Coceka Nkala says:

    I would like to start my own business as well in baking to be precise been struggling to raise capital since 2009 I would like you to help me.

  4. Sue says:

    So impressed and so very proud of you and your story – wishing you the great success that you deserve. Blessings!

  5. Thoko Unyolo says:

    Dear Malehlohonolo, This a very inspiring story and well done . Please can you share how you found out about the workshop.

    Kind regards
    Thoko (Malawi)

  6. Bongi says:

    Malehlohonolo you are such an inspiration. I wish all women from impoverished communities could emulate you.

  7. Jacqui says:

    Miss M- what an inspiration you are. i first heard your speech at Coca-Cola, Park town. Can i invite you to come and speak at our womens meeting?

    • Mark Kelley says:

      Great story of what determination, strong will, and drive can do. As she stated, she is nt alone. More intelligent women are ready and on their way into the business world!!!!