On Tuesday, 10th May we had the absolute pleasure of meeting four extraordinary South African entrepreneurs.

Whilst their stories are vastly different, as each shared their journey we came to realise a common thread of determination and resilience. Each of these individuals had had the spark of an idea and then chose to invest heavily in developing their concepts…as well as themselves!

All four of our guest speakers are passionate, self motivated individuals who have not only seen their own ideas fulfilled, but in so doing, have inspired others and generate employment and hope for others – embodying an empowerment mission mindset and transforming lives.

From cosmetics to wound care, finances and education, high-end excellence in hygiene services meeting market needs and aspirations, and uniting a nation around familiar, celebrated products – Read their stories and watch the webinar below!

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Emakheni Cleaning & Industrial Solutions, Founded by Portio Dlamini

Portio Dlamini

Portio Dlamini is currently the Managing Director of Emakheni Cleaning and Industrial Solutions – a Level 1, 100% female-owned business, established in 2013. “Our target market are the Industrial & Commercial sectors, where we offer the following Services:

  • Contract Cleaning (Factory & Office Cleaning)
  • Hygiene Solutions
  • Specialized Cleaning (High level & High pressure) and
  • Garden Maintenance.

One of our main focuses as a business is to improve the performance and productivity of general workers and cleaners through a culture of empowerment. It is also to build a business that is highly focused on Safety & Quality compliance by transferring the skills and tools learnt in the Manufacturing sector, thus bringing quality service to our clients.

We are ISO 9001: 2015 QMS certified and have been part of a number of Enterprise & Supplier Development (ESD) programs. These factors coupled with servicing other corporate clients have given Emakheni a strong foundation to build a sustainable and profitable business that is able to service its clients effectively.”

Portio Dlamini – Prior to going into business full time, Portio worked as a Chemical Process Engineer, as well as holding other managerial positions for different companies in the Manufacturing sector. She is a dynamic and passionate individual whose experience in the Manufacturing Industry gave her the ability to understand systems and people, grasping how these can work together to maximize output and increase margin. Emakheni was born out of that!

Starting and running her own business has given her the ability to dream, solve problems and dive into different roles as a leader and ‘change agent’. Her strengths in leadership, communication, and empowerment have given her a competitive edge as an entrepreneur.

Portio is a passionate advocate for the empowerment of the marginalised, in order to transform & elevate their lives. This is one of the major reasons her first business venture has been in the Cleaning & Hygiene industry – to transform lives while cleaning excellently.

She has won numerous awards over the past 5 years, including Sekela Passion & Patience Awards (funded by SA Homeloans Foundation), the Regional Positive Role Model Award (KZN) – by Gender Mainstream Awards, and also came 4th in the same category in Southern Africa. This award recognizes women who are making a difference in their industries. She was also one of the main participants in the KZN Top Businesswomen 2021 campaign that was sponsored by Standard Bank.

Portio sees herself and the Emakheni Group being players in the Cleaning & Hygiene, Waste Management and Manufacturing sectors. And will continue to transform lives through the Empowerment & Leadership development initiatives.

Thendo Makgatho, Founder of MoneyCents

Thendo Makgatho

Thendo Makgatho CA(SA), passionately known as ‘Ms T.’, is the Creator and Financial Coach at MoneyCents, a financial wellness hub that seeks to equip and empower students and graduates transitioning into the world of work with financial education. 

“I believe that financial literacy forms a very big part of a person’s dignity and is an essential life skill to possess, because we all have to make money decisions.

I come from a growing mining town in the Limpopo Province called Musina, I am a Chartered Accountant by profession and have worked in global markets in the financial services sector. I also hold financial coaching certifications from the USA and the UK.

I conceptualised the idea of building a business that would really help students and young professionals in an impactful and enduring manner when I was working in San Francisco (the hub of start-ups) and did the hard work of actually piecing together the concepts and business plans into what we now know as MoneyCents during the thick of the COVID pandemic.

The service offerings at MoneyCents are; One on One Coaching, Group Master Classes and Digital Content Creation published on podcasting platforms and YouTube. 

We partner with financial institutions, universities, graduate programs and scholarship programs to further the agenda of shedding light to students and young professionals.

I consider the work I do at MoneyCents my life’s work, I have found that thing in the world that sets my heart ablaze and that is, raising individuals’ level of awareness where their money classrooms (money believes and personalities) and financial landscapes are concerned.  This is my way of contributing positively to society. 

“I imagine a generation of young professionals who are truly living their best lives” – ‘Ms T.’

For all digital content: https://linktr.ee/MoneyCents

Eiren Drake, Founder of Tin Stuf

Eiren Drake

Tin Stuf is a small canning factory with humble beginnings.

“Tin Stuf was founded by myself, Eiren Drake together with my late grandfather, Spencer Drake, in September 2017. Construction of our manufacturing plant commenced shortly thereafter whereby 90% of our machinery and equipment was self-designed, engineered and commissioned.

In a leap of faith and with plenty of trial and error, we managed to attain the approval of our product and process by the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) and completed the construction of our 100% owner-funded processing plant by the end of 2019. Early in 2020, Tin Stuf officially commenced production of our flagship product line – 400g Canned Chicken Feet & Necks – a concept that was inspired by our family’s humble background – having grown up on a small timber farm near Tzaneen in Limpopo, as a young boy I spent a significant amount of time with my late grandfather’s employees, whose children were my friends and playmates. It was then that I was first introduced to the widely loved and consumed dish of chicken feet, which very quickly became my favourite meal and still is today! 

 As a young man I gained a deep understanding of the local culture and moreover an insight into the simple eating habits of our farm people. The difficulties these people faced, regarding access to affordable, good quality protein and the lengths to which they are forced to go, every day, in order to simply obtain dinner for their families, created an innate awareness within me…. [and] ignited in me a need to dedicate my adult life to contributing towards a solution which I now see as a far more serious “pandemic” than any virus. 

In November 2020, amidst our effort to launch Tin Stuf to market with very limited resources, I was faced with one of the biggest setbacks of my personal life. The unexpected passing of my business partner, investor, life coach, mentor and beloved Grandfather was, and has since been, by far the most difficult challenge that I’ve had to mitigate.  

At my wits’ end, with a lack of any significant regular sales and the complete loss of all capital investment and strategic guidance from my Grandfather – I found myself and my business in a position of absolute disarray with very little direction and even less hope of ever being able to realise the vision on which Tin Stuf was so passionately built.

I kept my chin up and flew the Tin Stuf flag…..thankfully, in February last year I was fortunate enough to be the recipient of what I believe to have been a true “blessing from above”, when I was directly approached by Shoprite Holdings’ senior category buyer. Following our initial engagement and negotiations with Shoprite, it gives me great pleasure to share that we have successfully concluded a three year exclusive supply agreement with Shoprite Checkers (Pty) Ltd!

As a small business owner and my very first engagement with formal retail in the corporate space – I am humbled to add, that the national listing of not just one but TWO variants of our canned chicken feet and necks product have been finalised and our very own TIN STUF brand of products are now available at over 300 Shoprite outlets across South Africa.” (Reduced from original text)


Kerryne Krause, Founder of eyeSlices

Kerryne Krause

I-Slices® Technology – a first in the world – is a unique Cryogel dermal delivery system with its applications in the cosmetics, veterinary & medical industries. Manufactured in SA (in a globally unique facility) and exported to various countries since 2007, eyeSlices® (the first of a range of innovations) is a proudly South African story that spans more than 10 years of Research & Development and boasts a manufacturing process for the technology that is globally unique. It is a story of perseverance, resourcefulness and overcoming a multitude of obstacles in the advanced manufacturing & life sciences technology space. The Company has further developed ranges for the pharmaceutical industries for treating burns, as well as acute and chronic wounds; and is already seeing early-stage results on sever diabetic ulcers.

The company’s big hairy audacious goal is to build globally recognized brands and develop products that change lives!

In 1999, Kerryne Krause, “decided to embark on the arduous and complex journey of developing an eye care product that really works and really delivers sustainable results, but had no idea back then that it would take almost 10 years to develop and perfect my product.”

The journey was not an easy one! In her own words, taken from the eyeSlices website, Kerryne shares:

“By an act of serendipity, a chance meeting with a manufacturer led me onto the discovery of a unique technology at the Council for Scientific Industrial Research Polymers Department. They had engineered an exciting polymer technology dermal delivery system ( a method of delivering ingredients into the skin) for the application originally for burns and wounds.

The technology was unique and had applications in the cosmetics and veterinary industries as well. The first samples that came out of their laboratory for my hi-tech cucumber slice, had potential and I negotiated an exclusive license agreement for the technology. ​Unfortunately the technology was only developed to laboratory scale and had no method of manufacture either.

On the 10 year journey of development, I faced enormous trials and obstacles trying to take the technology from concept to commercialisation. All the scientists who had worked on the technology initially had left the country, and no one was able to assist me in completing the research & development, engineering the manufacturing processes or crossing the major technology and innovation chasms along the way.

So in a nuthsell, I became the scientist, spent years experimenting, working with my suppliers, partnering with an electrical engineer whose brain I seriously tapped for answers and eventually got the product to market.

Today we have a globally unique manufacturing facility for this technology and products that are tried and tested! I am also happy to say of course that I no longer suffer from puffiness and at the age of 49 have no wrinkles thanks to the daily use of (and the preventative properties) eyeSlices for the past 10 years!”

Kerryne Krause – Chief Excitement Officer (CEO)

www.eyeslices.com [email protected]

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