Shabela’s Story

Shabela Marokane is a young, dynamic, energetic and ambitious business woman, who is affectionately known as the “Lastborn” in her Larger Loan Program (LLP) branch, Moletjie. She joined SEF in August 2017 invited by Meriam Makhura. At that time, Shabela was studying Human Resource Management (N5); she was running a business she started in 2010: selling comforters, curtains and perfumes; and she also had five rental rooms. She then left SEF for some time, “I felt I was delaying the growth of my business. It needed full attention” she said.

“I then took my first loan, increased my stock and started selling at the surrounding areas. I was selling everything and anything that is sellable” she said with a gentle giggle. That was only the beginning of bigger things to happen for the young woman in business. She grew from strength to strength until she later built 8 more rooms for rental.

She had an interest in the LLP but was anxious because it meant standing on her own with no assistance from other members; it took her a while before she finally signed for her first loan which was disbursed in December 2018. She then renovated some of the rooms by plastering and painting them and installing a security gate. “I had always wanted to start a fast food business; I then shared the idea with a friend. Unfortunately at the time I did not have start-up capital, and she took my idea and implemented it. “I attended the Personal Initiative (PI)training in February this year and through the training I was encouraged by other members to make my dream a reality and not be discouraged by what happened. One thing that they said that stood with me was that my friend cannot do it the same way I imagined it!”


Shabela is one woman who takes advice very seriously; it was in the very same week that she went all out to make sure that her dream really did come true. She gathered some funds and started with small quantities to experiment. Today her fast food business has grown and she is selling meat (tripe, cow heels and cow head), steak, chips, bunny chow, fish and fat cakes, and soft drinks.“I am grateful to the women who believed in me when I did not, who encouraged and supported me; who said the right things at the right time. Had it not been for the opportunity to attend the training with them, I would not have started my fast food business.” It is true that when women gather together, immense things happen.

“I want to be a successful business woman, being in business is my life. I have done so much more than I ever imaged through business and I want to do more. I am often asked why I am not looking for a job and my response all the time is that ‘I am working.”

She further mentioned that it is tough being in business which is funded by SEF, because sometimes you get judged by the community, as they do not understand how SEF operates. “But I am proud, because the success of my business is only possible through the financial assistance from SEF.”

Like Johana, 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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