Uber Eats launches initiative to support South Africa's women-owned SMEs

Uber Eats
Uber Eats
  • The initiative will invest in 4 women-owned retail businesses by supporting the launch and operations of their stores on Uber Eats in March.
  • Uber Eats will also fund marketing campaigns and seek to bring more customer awareness and revenue to these businesses during this time.

Uber Eats has launched its Women's Collective Initiative at a hybrid event themed "How Technology is Enabling the Growth of Women-Owned Businesses in South Africa" The initiative will see Uber Eats support four women-owned retail businesses.

Masodi Organics , Love Kinks, Mizaza, and Julep Flowers join over 7000 merchants on the Uber Eats app. The retail brands will be amplified on the platform as pop-up stores in Johannesburg which will bring more customer awareness and revenue to these businesses during the month of March. Additionally, the women-led businesses will receive access to a new and larger Uber Eats’ customer market, access to its technology, marketing and a well-established network at no charge.

"Women constitute the bulk of South Africa’s buying power, but we have found that women entrepreneurs are still largely under-represented in the country, especially within the retail sector," says Cikida Gcali-Mabusela, New Verticals Lead of Uber Eats Sub-Saharan Africa. "According to the 2021 Mastercard fuIndex of Women Entrepreneurs report, women account for only 19.4% of business owners in South Africa. Uber however has been making headway in supporting women-led businesses, hosting over 650 women-owned businesses on the Uber Eats platform, and 60% of the local leadership team at Uber are women."

Speaking at the event, Sinovuyo Mondliwa, founder of Love Kinks, mentioned the challenges faced by female entrepreneurs. "As a young, black and female business owner, your voice is sometimes not as heard in male dominated business spaces."

Primarily known as a food delivery marketplace, Uber Eats has grown into an on-demand platform providing an array of goods and services to customers across South Africa. All established online, these women-led businesses know first-hand the benefits as well as the challenges of running a business.

Masodi Organics founder, Liz Letsoalo, commends the online retail space for the sense of agility it provides her business. She further mentions that e-commerce gave her endless opportunities to reach her potential markets and allowed her to use her credibility to reassure and guarantee consumers of her product quality.

Hellen Gqoboka, one of the first dark kitchen merchants on the Uber Eats app, hails Uber Eats for her business’ success, saying that Uber Eats has helped her business flourish. "Uber Eats held my hand and supported me from the on-set; where I started operating from a granny-flat at the back of my house. Uber Eats availed opportunities and provided access to markets. The relationship with Uber Eats has been a gift that continues giving."

Founder of Julep flowers, Julia Rosslee, mentioned how venturing into e-commerce allowed her the opportunity to test different models and launch a no wastage, no stock business.

When asked what she hopes this opportunity will do for her and her business, Mizaza founder Ndumiso Mkhize said, "as a small business owner I control every aspect of my business and I really hope this opportunity with Uber Eats will allow my business to scale up."

Uber Eats is a convenient marketplace where businesses and customers connect, hassle-free. "We are excited and proud of these partnerships, especially because it demonstrates the growth of Uber Eats beyond connecting users to merchants selling food. Other areas we have ventured into include convenience stores, pharmacy outlets as well as retail. We are looking forward to seeing these female entrepreneurs thrive and grow on our platform," said Gcali-Mabusela.

About the merchants: 

Liz Letsoalo - Founder: Masodi Organics

Liz Letsoalo is an entrepreneur and speaker who is on a journey to public service. With experience in strategy and operations from three multinational companies, her journey to public service starts with what might seem like an unconventional approach: hair and skin care. Masodi Organics prioritises kindness to your body and to the planet by focusing on what she calls ‘thoughtful beauty’.

Sinovuyo Mondliwa - Founder: Love Kinks 

Sinovuyo Mondliwa is the founder and owner of Love Kinks. She previously worked as an Urban and Regional Planner for 5 years and moved into a career as a content creator, sharing her hair care journey on Instagram and YouTube. This led to her founding Love Kinks which primarily caters to historically underserved black women with high quality, modern and relevant hair products for easy essential hair care.

Julia Rosslee - Co-founder: Julep Flowers

Julia Rosslee is the co-founder of Julep, an e-commerce business that offers a fresh take on flower delivery. Julep aims to provide a differentiated customer experience (for both sender and receiver), supported by a unique product and delivery model. Founded in late 2019, Julep operates across Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Ndumiso Mkhize Founder: Mizaza

Miso Mkhize is the owner of Mizaza, an eCommerce business that wholesales and retails both sunglasses and optical frames. She became familiar with the wholesale markets and their communities whilst studying Mandarin in Guangzhou, China. She started Mizaza upon her return to South Africa, which has grown an online presence of over 35k followers.

This post was sponsored and supplied by Uber Eats.

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