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Inspirational Monday: From humble beginnings to business mogul, the story of Portia Mngomezulu

Founder of Portia M Skin Solutions, Portia Mngomezulu. Picture: File

Founder of Portia M Skin Solutions, Portia Mngomezulu. Picture: File

Published Apr 18, 2022

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Durban – Portia Mngomezulu is the founder of the skin care products company Portia M Skin Solutions.

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Mngomezulu got the inspiration for her business in 2010 after she had a child.

Her mother-in-law told her about the healing properties of marula oil and told the entrepreneur to try it on her stretch marks.

Mngomezulu returned to her hometown of Phalaborwa, Limpopo, and sourced the oil from local women. She said she saw a difference within a few weeks.

According to Mngomezulu, the oil worked so well that she thought of making cosmetic products from this indigenous oil.

Reportedly, she began her entrepreneurial journey with just R200. The former IT medical engineer registered her business with only one product.

This business started as an experiment with Mngomezulu using her own house as a de facto mini-factory, using a two-plate stove, and mixing ingredients with cake-mixing tools.

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In 2015, after pitching her business, Mngomezulu received financial assistance from the Innovation Hub, an organisation that promotes economic development through fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.

Her prize from the Innovation Hub award also included a 40 square metre space to kick-start her factory.

To ensure that she could get in-depth knowledge of the industry, Mngomezulu studied a supplier development programme at GIBS business school.

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According to the 40-year-old, she launched her skincare range because at the time there were few products in the retail space specifically made for African skin.

The skincare brand prides itself on using indigenous African oils.

In 2018, Mngomezulu was announced as the recipient of the Top Entrepreneur in Agro-processing Award and the Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2018, at the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Entrepreneur Awards.

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In the same year, Pick n Pay announced Portia M Skin Solutions as the winner of its 2018 Small Supplier of the Year Award.

The Centurion-based company has the vision to become a leading skin care and cosmetics brand in Africa and the world at large, specialising in quality skin care with locally sourced ingredients.

Retailers that stock Mngomezulu’s products include Shoprite, Checkers, Clicks, Game, Edgars, Spar, Pick n Pay, and Ackermans.

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