Navigating through the tumultuous waves of unemployment, Kedibone Segole, a vibrant 28-year-old, transformed her passion for personal care into an entrepreneurial venture. In the face of adversity, Segole breathed life into her lifelong dream, laying the foundation for Moipone Aesthetics, a start-up that crafts an assortment of personal care products ranging from body creams and oils to liquid soaps and scrubs.
“Unemployment wasn’t an end but rather a turning point for me,” says Segole, reflecting on the inception of her venture. “With the 2018 expiration of my contract, I was driven to tap into my fervor for personal care and lifestyle trends.”
She wasn’t a stranger to the world of personal care, having experimented with various products for her sensitive skin since childhood. This curiosity and her background in political science pushed her to research the benefits of these products, and particularly, how olive oil could nourish her black African skin. Brimming with newfound knowledge and confidence, Segole decided to package her unique product and introduce it to the world.
“Our products are suitable for all skin types and ages, and are designed to be affordable and multi-purpose,” she explains. “The packaging is not only attractive but also reusable, allowing a single product to be shared by an entire family.”
Her resilience caught the eye of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda), who lent their support to the emerging business. The NYDA supplied raw materials worth R60,000 in 2019, while Seda offered export development training and inclusion in the SheTradesZA program in 2022.
Despite having to balance her business with contractual employment to sustain both her livelihood and her venture, Segole remained committed to her vision. The arrival of COVID-19 in 2020 posed a formidable challenge, as it disrupted her budding business just as it was beginning to make a profit.
“It was a devastating hit, as all our lined-up projects fell through. I even had to sell my property,” Segole shares, her voice embodying the spirit of resilience.
Nevertheless, Segole didn’t waver, standing firmly behind her entrepreneurial commitment. “I had the foresight to understand that this venture could yield long-term returns, and I wasn’t ready to let go.”
Today, Moipone Aesthetics has extended its reach to various incubation programs, including the South African Chemical Technology Incubator run by Seda and the Gauteng Department of Economic Development. It’s also part of the Innovation Hub’s incubation initiative, granting Segole access to production facilities.
With ambitions aimed at global recognition, Segole stands as an inspiring beacon for every South African wrestling with unemployment and dreams of making their mark in the entrepreneurial world.
About the Author:
Lunga Dlamini is a journalist specializing in African start-ups and entrepreneurship. Lunga’s fascination with innovative business models and emerging market trends guides his writing. He has an MBA and has been with Africa Nova since its inception. Lunga Dlamini is a journalist specializing in African start-ups and entrepreneurship. Lunga’s fascination with innovative business models and emerging market trends guides his writing. He has an MBA and has been with Africa Nova since its inception.