"My goal is to connect ethical producers with conscious consumers, as this is the key to cultivating a better world."
Sipamandla Manqele is a 28-year-old entrepreneur breaking fresh ground in the realm of agro-processing with her business, Local Village. She produces a variety of artisanal and organic foods and has built a compelling value proposition within a niche health market. Manqele’s business has been running for three years and has already proven itself a viable and valuable startup, providing employment and community growth.
“I am inspired by our continent, Africa, its diverse cultures and its quest for social and economic unity,” says Manqele. “My startup was founded on a vision to create a network of vibrant and local agri-preneurs across Africa, all supplying equitably sourced and sustainably grown indigenous African ingredients to the global village. My goal is to connect ethical producers with conscious consumers, as this is the key to cultivating a better world.”
Manqele’s immediate plans are to scale up the business and take it to bigger retailers in South Africa and beyond the borders. She wants to play a role in the implementation of free and fair trade across Africa. When asked who helped her to bring her dreams to life and focus on her vision for the future, she says: “My husband has been a fervent supporter throughout this journey, and my mother and older sister have shown me how to work hard and choose my own path.”
Manqele advises any young South African looking to build their own story of success to look to who benefits from what they do.
“It is not success if you are the only one benefitting,” she concludes. “Work is a gift we should receive with open arms; there are no shortcuts, and instant gratification should not be something we pursue. We need to focus on rebuilding South Africa — politics is just one part of our society and we should not allow it to dictate how we treat each other and the contribution we make.” – Tamsin Oxford