A vibrant young entrepreneur who believes that women must take their rightful place in industry and the world of business, has founded the Women Entrepreneurs Network.
“I want to build a community where women entrepreneurs are elevated and advocated for. Covid-19 has affected us all badly and I want to push an agenda with our government whereby local entrepreneurs, especially women, are uplifted,” says Lerato Motloung (26).
Lerato was born and bred in Welkom, and lived in Riebeeckstad for most of her life.
After matriculating from the Riebeeckstad High School in 2012, she studied Corporate Communication and Marketing at the University of the Free State (UFS). Financial constraints, however, prevented her from getting her degree and she was forced to work while her peers completed their studies.
When the opportunity arose, Lerato went back to her studies and in 2019 she completed a qualification in Public Relations at Boston Media House in Sandton.
At the beginning of 2020 Lerato was chosen as one of the Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (Prisa) Young Voices, which gives ten young people an opportunity to be mentored by South Africa’s top public relations (PR) and communications professionals.
Lerato took a knock when she then lost her job as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic – but always the survivor and not to be deterred, she started her own businesses.
When the pandemic struck, Lerato was working for an agency in Sandton.
“I was their public relations and digital strategist, and I had a promising future in the world of corporate and lifestyle PR.”
“I started my own agency, Tlou Relations, which I run from home, and I also run a small bakery, PanTreats Bakery.
“Running these two businesses made me realize how women still need to work ten times harder than the average man, just to get a foot in the door, and with this realisation Women Entrepreneurs Network was born.
“I hope this network will bridge the gap between women entrepreneurs and the resources or people they might need to get ahead in business.
“We have launched a business profile on Instagram and we will soon launch our website, where women entrepreneurs can register on our database.
“I hope that the women in my community will support the network. I hope that we can come together, support each other and help each other where we fall short. Men are always trying to pin us against each other and I hope we can break the stereotype that women do not support other women,” says Lerato.
She plans to officially launch her network early in 2021 with an exhibition style event where women registered to the network will be able to show what they have to offer.
“I have always been that girl who chases her dreams fearlessly and with the intent to succeed.”
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