Mzansi women thriving in sustainable business honoured at 2024 Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Awards

Six of the best. These women are thriving in the sustainable business sector. Pictures: Supplied

Six of the best. These women are thriving in the sustainable business sector. Pictures: Supplied

Published Jul 11, 2024


Six business women making an impact in the sustainability sector have been nominated as finalists for the 2024 Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Awards.

The six nominees have businesses which focus on waste management, educating poor communities about environmental sustainability, electric vehicle leasing, cleaning and sustainable manufacturing.

The awards, which are taking place for the third year, aim to shine the spotlight on remarkable women in business, like Madame Clicquot did in 1805 in France, when women were not allowed to work or even have a bank account. Despite that, at the age of 27, she took over the leadership and created the first vintage champagne, and the very first blend of rosé champagne.

IOL takes a look at the six finalists.

Mokone, originally from Pretoria, is a self-taught artisan and designer who wanted to make a positive impact in the local community while promoting environmental awareness.

“My favourite part about being an entrepreneur is the ability to be creative and innovative, particularly in finding solutions to environmental problems,” she said.

Morongwe Mokone co-founder of Mo’s Cribs. Picture: Supplied

Tshegofatso Molefi, co-founder and director of Moli & Mela Group

Molefi left her journalism job to pursue entrepreneurship, eventually co-founding the 100% female and black-run eco-friendly and sustainable waste management company with her best friend after identifying a gap in the market.

The North West-based finalist said she too was inspired by Madame Clicquot.

“Just like her, we built an unconventional business that is mainly dominated by males so I resonate with her story,” said Molefi.

Tshegofatso Molefi - Co-founder and Director of Moli & Mela Group. Picture: Supplied

Ndiambani Magadagela, CEO and co-founder of Everlectric

Having grown an interest in electric vehicles and wondered what an EV solution would look like for South Africa, the Joburg-based Magadagela left her corporate job at a top South African financial services group to start an an electric vehicle leasing business with her co-founders.

IOL asked about some of the challenges they face as women in the entrepreneurial world.

“I find that as female entrepreneurs we constantly have to be defying social expectations. At times we become prone to wanting to adopt a stereotypical ‘male’ attitude,” Magadagela told IOL.

Ndiambani Magadagela - CEO and Co-founder of Everlectric / Picture: Supplied

Three other women are nominated in the Bold Future Award category. This award celebrates the female leaders of tomorrow, honouring those with a growing track record of success in their field.

Refilwe Sebothoma, founder of Hakem Energies

Sebothoma is an award-winning entrepreneur, speaker and strategist whose focus is on uplifting the lives of ordinary people through her work. Her company is making liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) accessible to marginalised communities.

“I am personally determined to do the same - leave a legacy and create a pattern for those who come after me,” said Sebothoma.

Refilwe Sebothoma - Founder of Hakem Energies. Picture: Supplied

Rapeleng Ramatlhodi, founder and CEO of Solarev Solutions

Ramatlhodi started a window cleaning company during COVID-19, eventually diversifying to Solar PV cleaning and maintenance after noticing dirty solar panels on clients’ roofs; and so, Solarev Solutions was born.

‘’My favourite part is being able to bring hope and positive change to the lives of families we are co-creating with.’’ said Ramatlhodi.

Rapeleng Ramatlhodi - Founder and CEO of Solarev Solutions. Picture: Supplied

Lufuno Rasoesoe,founder and managing director of Tosh Detergents

Rasoesoe is a passionate advocate for sustainable manufacturing. She founded Tosh Detergents with a mission to revolutionise the cleaning industry with sustainable and high quality products.

‘’Juggling the demands of running a business while managing personal responsibilities can be particularly challenging’’ says Rasoesoe

Lufuno Rasoesoe - Founder and Managing Director of Tosh Detergents. Picture: Supplied

Carole Bildé, a spokesperson for the champagne brand, had advice for the nominees.

“My best advice remains to come as you are, talk about your success and how you’ve learned from your failures.

“Share your vision for your business and how you want to bring impact. We want to feel the personality behind the business,” she said.