Inspiring South African entrepreneur Sibongile Manganyi-Rath went from a vegetable seller on the streets of South Africa to a multi-million-dollar business owner
A South African entrepreneur named Sibongile Manganyi-Rath went from selling goods on the street to creating a multimillion-dollar company. She was raised in an entrepreneurial household, which influenced her decision to pursue self-employment.
When she was younger, she helped her deceased father sell discarded bottles to larger companies like Makro and other glass bottle recycling agencies. Because of that, she learned important entrepreneurial principles at an early age that later helped her launch a successful multi-million dollar business.
When she was 12 years old and in charge of one of her father’s fresh fruit kiosks at the Dube village train station, she also discovered the value of providing excellent customer service.
Manganyi-Rath left her corporate career at age 26 in order to pursue full-time entrepreneurship. In a sector that was mostly thought to be controlled by males, she founded the Indigo Kulani Group, a firm that develops infrastructure and real estate. She told Entrepreneur that the business, which has since grown to include IKG Start-up Capital, is committed to developing world-class businesspeople across the African continent and has a turnover of over R100 million (currently $5 million).
Through a number of infrastructural initiatives, Manganyi-Rath has benefited South African society, delivering more than 200 schools in the country’s rural areas. According to her, her organization has also worked on housing, water and sanitation projects, clinic construction, and management in other formerly underserved regions.
She was recently named Africa’s most influential woman in business by CEO magazine.