Female Entrepreneurs: 100 Female Entrepreneurs in Africa, from South Africa meet Tivania Moodley

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November 30, 2021
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Story Time

NB: Every Wednesday and Friday please be on the lookout for female Entrepreneurs!

The coming months, content that will be explored are stories of female entrepreneurs in Africa. 100 Female entrepreneur’s stories will be published from Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Botswana,  Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Angola.

Meet Tivania Moodley from South Africa:

Who is Tivania and where are you from?

I grew up in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal. I have been living in Johannesburg for the past 14 years. I am a purveyor of hope and a storyteller 😊

Please share with us the inspiration behind Feminine Rising.

A year ago, I was retrenched for the fifth time in my role as an editor. I realised that maybe the universe is pushing me towards doing the work that I am here to do, the work that makes my soul come alive. Feminine Rising was borne out of a real desire to create awareness and transformation around gender-based violence and mental health. As a survivor of rape, intimate partner violence, 20 years of depression and a failed suicide attempt. I know the importance of creating advocacy using my life story as a testament of hope.

How has the journey been like establishing Feminine Rising (highs and lows)?

The actual business formation was easy. Getting work and putting myself out there proved to be more challenging. Despite having a public profile already because of my book and speaking engagements. It was still very difficult to get corporates on board to create wellness initiatives within the workplace.

Please share with us that one turning point in your business, career or personal life?

On the 3rd of  June 2014 was my turning point. It was the day I survived my suicide attempt and decided to follow my dreams of being a writer and author. It took a life of its own and what unfolded in the last seven years has been pure magic. My lowest point became the birthplace for me to live my dreams.

Lack of self-confidence and confidence in business is a reality? How did you manage to overcome the lack of confidence in business?

My lived experience has allowed me to gain industry respect because my entire life is a testament to what I am trying to sell. My biggest asset is that my story, although not unique, bridges connection through a shared humanity and empathy. It is not something people have to think about. It’s a feeling. I do get a lot of negativity and people who troll me, but that’s a small percentage compared to the lives that are changed because of my story. My confidence comes from those people who are impacted by my story.

Have you ever encountered any gender bias in business? If so, how did you deal with it?

Yes, it happens often. Inappropriate sexualised comments happen often, and many organisations are still reluctant to give women the time of day. Those are not the businesses I want to get involved with, so I let it go. I think a lot of companies are becoming more aware of old ways of behaving and are ready to embrace change.

According to BusinessToday (2019) “80% of women who own small/micro scale business ventures have a hard time getting credit”.

Please speak to the above in relation to Feminine Rising?

We are living in unprecedented economic times. Every avenue I have sought for funding has been declined. I totally understand this concept and I think banks are a lot more conservative because so many businesses are having to shut down. It’s incredibly hard and we must be open to unconventional ways of doing business in order to get work. My business model is different, in that I render a service, so I don’t need credit.

Why is it important for young female entrepreneurs to be empowered?

It is absolutely vital for women to make their own money and have different income streams. It is essential if they need to walk away from bad relationships and not be bound to an unsafe environment because of finances. It is also a way to emancipate families and communities.

Family, friends, work and health. How do you meet a balance and remain sane?

I don’t have much of a social life. I am usually with my kids. I work seven days a week, although erratically, and I have to make the time to rest. It’s not always easy but I have to ensure that I care for my mental health and say no to things that take more away from me.

Words of wisdom to young female entrepreneurs in Africa considering entrepreneurship full time.

It’s a bumpy road, buckle up. Make sure you surround yourself with people who see your vision and who support you. Don’t agree to doing anything that takes you away from your integrity, and it’s okay to ask for help.

How can we connect with you? (Social media handles and website)

Connect with Tivania Moodley:

Company Website: www.tivaniamoodley.co.za

Instagram:          @phoenix_flame_rising

LinkedIn:             Tivania Moodley

Facebook:           Tivania Moodley – Girl on Fire      

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