Director Woman Fastrack Edition 1

Sike Nofemela: Empowering women through entrepreneurship

Sikelelwa Nofmela

“I believe there is a purpose for each of us in the world; mine is very tied to the creative world, which saw me launching this business. SM and Co is a creative studio anchored by woman empowerment and collaboration. It is the expression of the nature of a woman in business and seeks to inspire women to start businesses from their gifts. SM and Co motivates women to reach for their goals through wellness and community, conversations about passion and following calling, events, and the informative use of social media platforms.

I dream big, scary dreams, and one of them is owning a wine farm. I have my own vegetable garden, I find planting and harvesting very therapeutic. Owning a wine farm, farm shop or coffee shop would allow me to create jobs whilst using my own gifts, which are hosting, design and a little bit of farming.”

You might not know that Sike –

  • had a nail bar and an events business previously.
  • is a qualified Industrial Engineer currently studying towards an Interior Design Diploma
  • spent her early years of childhood living in a shack with her grandmother and learnt most of the things she knows about business from watching her.
  • wakes up at 4:30 am every day.

Industrial Engineer meets Interior Design

“I did not have the luxury of studying Interior Design in university as I would have liked because of financial issues and had to opt for engineering. During the pandemic I quickly realized how short life is and the urge to serve from my gifts grew stronger and so I decided to study towards Interior Design. Fortunately, the bases of Industrial Engineering is project management and continuous improvement which can be applied anywhere so having this qualification comes at no loss.”

God, self, family and the balance

“I am all about family. It is something I take pride in and when I have employees one day I will encourage them to prioritise their families too. It does [however] get challenging to balance work and family, especially when deadlines need to be met. I try my best to make time for my son and husband – this requires me to be highly intentional with the things I do.

Having a family has taught me the importance of self-care and self-love because taking care of myself means I can pour from a full cup. Though I do prioritise my family, I’ve learnt that they have to come after my relationship with God and the relationship with myself.”

To empower through entrepreneurship

“Like most visions, my vision for what SM and Co needed to be wasn’t clear from the start. While setting my goal at the beginning of this year, I made a prayer to God asking that He shows me how to serve. Serving other women was one of the things He showed me. I use my Instagram page to invite women and men to discuss empowering topics around career, purpose, business etc. I have also launched a podcast called Women Space with Sike Nofemela, a space to remind other women that they’re not alone as they navigate life and other impacting factors like friendships, relationships, business and more. In June I will be hosting an event called Half Past 2021 where me and 10 other ladies will review our 2021 goals. My ultimate hope is that women tap into their gifts and talents and not fear serving from them.”

Collaborations and the problem with collabo culture

“For our second product launch, we collaborated with a fellow businesswoman as means to uplift her business while we also leveraged off the skills that she brought into the collaboration.

I think the biggest hamper to collaboration amongst women entrepreneurs would be competition. Girls have been taught that other girls are competition. The moment we realise that collaboration is better than competition and that we are all adding value, then the girl entrepreneur community will thrive – I for one, am very excited about what we can do together as women.”

Dear young Sike

“There is space for all of us. If there is a gift inside of you that you want to share with the world, do so. No matter how similar or different it is to others’. If it is in your heart, there is space for it in the world.”

About Author

Director Woman Fastrack is a monthly, in-depth publication that profiles African business and career women. The feature articles are designed to inspire, impact and inform readers interested in starting their own business or pursuing a particular career field.