Sewela Setshogoe, Director of Lefata Engineering, South Africa

Jul 10, 2022
Sewela Setshogoe, Director of Lefata Engineering, South Africa

Tell us about how you got started.

I started the business in 2016 when I saw a need for high quality and affordable solutions within the engineering sector, in the mining industry. I have an Electrical Engineering background, and this made it easier for me to access this market.

What makes your company unique?

The business is 100% black female-owned within a male-dominated field. It also has management that is highly skilled within the engineering field.  

No business is without setbacks, can you tell us about a time when you faced a significant setback and how you recovered from it?

The biggest setback we have had so far was in 2020 when the covid pandemic brought our operations to a complete halt. This resulted in unprecedented job losses within our organization, we are still recovering from its impact on the business.

How do you define success and to what do you attribute your success?

Success to me is growth and being able to use what you have learnt, your experiences, and challenges to help other aspirants and entrepreneurs starting out to overcome their own difficulties that come with starting a business.

What's next for your business, what will it look like in 5 years?

We see the business growing its revenue substantially. We aim to create at least 200 sustainable jobs for the local youth where the business operates. Lastly, we aim to venture into the green energy sector as this is a need for our environment.

What do you think the future holds for Africa-focused entrepreneurs and advice do you have for entrepreneurs who are just starting out?

There are endless opportunities now more than ever. The African continent has so many development opportunities which present an advantage for African entrepreneurs. My advice to business owners that are starting out is to stay resilient through adversity, innovate and create solutions for the local and international market. Most of all, provide support to other entrepreneurs while working and achieving your business goals.

Owning a business while balancing a personal life can be challenging; how do you take care of yourself?

Prioritizing is key. I make sure that I set a clear vision for my personal and work life. This informs me of what I spend my time on, daily. I am very intentional about my diet and exercise habits, and always make sure I put time aside to relax and have fun as well.

What is your favorite quote or mantra?  What keeps you going?

“Nothing will work unless you do” - Maya Angelou

I firmly believe that one needs to be proactive in order to attract good fortune and success.  

What is your favorite app or a business tool that you can't live without

I can say that I do not necessarily have a specific App but technology has made it so simple to store, process, access and share large data and business documents from anywhere with a cellphone. This has completely transformed the speed and ease of working in the constantly demanding role of being a business owner. In a nutshell, I cannot survive without my mobile devices.


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