Mamoloko Mothapo, the founder of Ponyaponya Trading and Enterprise, chats to us about how her pickled mango atchar business started.
By Fundiswa Nkwanyana
I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur, but I didn’t know where to start. So to gain knowledge, I enrolled at the New Venture Creation SETA Learnership Programme. During my first lesson, I was inspired to start a small business.
In February 2017, I started selling atchar in Ga-Molepo, Polokwane. After expressing my desire to be an entrepreneur, my mother motivated me and taught me how to make the product. My friends and family loved it, and this gave me the confidence to sell it in my village. I used to go around selling it in a wheelbarrow.
Initially, I struggled with working capital because I didn’t have money to keep the business afloat. However, I soon learnt to keep reinvesting profits into the business. Also, though there are many people selling atchar in my village, I was able to gain customers because people loved my recipe.
Winning the Enterprise Woman SA 2017 competition helped me a lot. As a contestant, I was part of a mentorship programme where I received training and gained knowledge on ways to run a successful business. I’m glad that my business is now growing steadily.
I’m looking forward to expanding my business. I plan to secure funding in order to grow my business so I can supply retailers. I also aim to export my product and create employment to help uplift my community.