By Amanda-Ellen Jojo
CONVENTIONAL wisdom says one need to be an extrovert so at establish a successful business, however Grace Miss Grace Anne “Indlovukazi” Ndlovu’s story who is the founder of Own Your Dream Foundation (YDF) is evidence that an introvert can advance in the business world.
“I grew up in Bulawayo, just as a timid young girl who fancied living large and being successful but unfortunately my personality makes it worse for me. I was slow in speech and couldn’t be brave enough to voice out my ideas,” she told The Entrepreneurial Magazine.
She was nurtured and groomed in a family of entrepreneurs, they several shops in the outskirts of the City of Bulawayo and that accelerated her zeal to be a successful entrepreneur.
“I learnt at a boarding in Matebeleland South where my leadership traits started showing, I was groomed by the best and by the time I reached the third form in high school, I knew what I wanted,” Miss Grace Anne expressed.
Fostered on the tenets of social entrepreneurship, Own Your Dream Foundation is an initiative that seeks to incubate dreams of young people so that they hatch into positivity and bring about solutions.
With a comprehensive vision map and plan and immense support from her parents, Own Your Dream roared into life in 2018. Her journey began when she was only 17 years, in the light of that, overexcitement was inevitable because of the impactful cause of Own Your Dream.
“Over-excitement can ruin a perfect plan thus I had to exercise patience and be cautious. Slowly but surely, I started getting the math,” Ndlovu said.
Her vision is to have two businesses running concurrently, an organisation that will shape young people and a business that will be unique and provide solutions.
To date, Own Your Dream has established a database of 250+ youths mentees and it is producing very young creatives and entrepreneurs such as young author, Thelma Xamu a 19-year-old writer.
Because community service is at the heart of the YDF, they have managed to donate and assist the City of Bulawayo with 1000 liters of hydrogen peroxide for the sanitation of the city in the post pandemic era.
In addition, they have been able to expediate workshops where they train adults and girls on how to make washable sanitary pads that can last for 3years and they also facilitated a mushroom project training.
ADVICE TO WOMEN LOOKING TO START-UP: Women looking up to start-up to follow their instincts and start a business that people- centric. Starting up is not very sophisticated, I want to tell them to START! Opportunity meets preparedness, starting means a whole preparation for greater things in your life and journey. Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu, business is not in making money but it’s a relation that you build between your business and your people.
Recognition certificate award under Youth in Innovation, by 4H zim in conjunction with the Ministry of Sports and Recreation Zimbabwe.
Nominated by Ignite Youth Awards 2 years in a row for Phoenix category (2020).
Ignite Youth Awards Role model category in (2021).
Ghana YGA Nomination for African Entrepreneur of the year, which ARE still underway.
HER KEY TAKEAWAYS ON IWD 2022 CAMPAIGN THEME: #Breakthebias means breaking the inequality amongst genders especially in the issues where females are deemed small , weak and unable. I believe little recognizes little, if you are crushed down then the person crushing you down is no better ! Women can and will!
BASED on the nominations done by its audience, The Top Ten Favorite Female Entrepreneurs 2022 is a compilation of dynamic women entrepreneurs who have succeeded in breaking bias in their different industrial sectors and this in line with the International Women’s Day campaign theme #BreakTheBias