Makgokonyane Story


Mrs Mokgokonyane was then referred to SEF in 2021 by one of the clients in the General Program, Mrs DL Madiba, member of Bojanala Branch (Basadi Sadi centre). She joined and applied for a first loan and took loans in the group lending program for four cycles. When the Larger Loans Program (LLP) was introduced in their branch in 2021; she was one of the first clients who were recommended to the program, but she was unable to join the programme (less than 18-months as a client and low savings balance) because she did not meet the requirements at that time. She did not lose hope, she then increased her savings to build her portfolio. It was in the second attempt that her loan was approved in June 2022. She is one of the few clients who got an opportunity to meet and host the Managing Director and the LLP General Manager who were very impressed by both her business and its impressive financial status.

Mrs Mokgokonyane said that it is “God’s favour” that her application was approved in LLP because not only was it approved, but she was also granted a big amount in her very first loan application. One might wonder why Mrs Mokgokonyane chose SEF among all the other sources of finance available to her and she shared that she chose SEF because of what SEF stands for, the organisation’s mission and vision, and the good customer service SEF offers. “Other financial providers will not come to evaluate your business when you need the money, but SEF does”.

After 15 years of working in the retail industry and having an opportunity to work in one of the biggest South African banks; it was Mrs Makgokonyane’s dream to grow her business which led to her resignation in 2007 to be fully involved in her business. Indeed, her dream was realized, and her business has been moving from strength to strength. From 1999 to date, Mrs Makgokonyane has been operating a fast-food business selling her delicious bunny chows in Mabopane. In addition to this and as part of her diversification strategy, she opened a branch in Pretoria to increase her income in 2006. In 2015, she closed the branch in Pretoria and used the equipment to expand the Mabopane branch.

She operated the business with her husband and her two sons. Mrs Makgokonyane made a vow with and to her sons that they will never work for an employer another day, and they will be self-employed. She did not only preach this, but she also practiced it by involving them in the business operations from when they were in high school.

She then added a pub, a car wash, a supermarket, and a pillow business with the assistance of her children. They managed to build a good credit score and saved enough money to buy a taxi that they used to transport leaners to school, and today the family owns six taxis.

Another reason she joined SEF was because she wanted to motivate and encourage other women. “I want to be a testimony or role model to other women to show them that they can also be successful in business, and I am a living proof that anything is possible with SEF”- said Mrs Mokgokonyane.

“I am a full-time employee in my business, working day and night, it is not easy however it is all worth it”, she said. Throughout the hardships which involved losing her husband in 2019 during a robbery in their business, the challenges faced by the business, and the business slowing down due to COVID-19; it is the dream that keeps her going. She wants to honour her husband by making a great success of her business and to gift her children and grandchildren a legacy that will be passed on from generation to generation.

Being in one of the most competitive environments; her business is at the most convenient location with easy access to transport and the fuel station. Mrs Mokgokonyane has managed to keep her business afloat by being mindful of her product pricing, giving her customers the best service, and being consistent in always supplying the best quality products.

In her pub she ensures that she has all the supplies to cater for all her customer’s needs. She strongly believes that customers buy anything; therefore, she is not about to slowdown in developing her business. Her vision is to turn her business into a complex; a one stop for her customers to get everything they need.

Mrs Mokgokonyane is a go getter, and her confidence has skyrocketed ever since joining SEF. This is evident from a statement she gave when asked more about how she will expand her business. “I am going to make an offer to buy the business next to mine because I need the space for expansion, and with SEF and the Larger Loans Program (LLP) by my side, I know it will be a reality”.

Her message to all SEF clients is that “SEF is here to stay and will meet all your needs, be patient until you get to the top”. “We can help our nation by being entrepreneurs and being our own bosses”.

Like Makgokonyane, many of our clients are skilled entrepreneurs just lacking the capital to get started. A little credit goes a long way towards helping these women reach their full potential.

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