DURBAN – The Covid-19 pandemic may have led to doom and gloom for several businesses, but it has brought good fortune and opportunities for a young entrepreneur who took a leap of faith into a different sector.
Thandeka Mngomezulu, chief executive and founder of Total Serve Facilities Management (TSFM), a company predominantly based in KwaZulu-Natal, is making strides in the male dominated facilities and health management industry.
Mngomezulu was recently named the winner of the Top Women Entrepreneur of the Year award at the Standard Bank Top Women Awards 2021.
Mngomezulu from Pinetown, a qualified chartered accountant, decided to switch from her commerce studies to focus on the creation of TSFM .
She said she grew the company from just being a concept in 2013 to today where it has 560 employees mostly from underprivileged communities.
“I had the opportunity to work for an IT firm when the Inkosi Albert Luthulu Hospital was being built.
“That’s where I learnt about the facilities management sector and that sparked my interest because as someone who was doing the books for the contractors at the time, I realised there were no women in the sector.
“Between 2013-16 I researched the compliance requirements for starting a business in the sector and how I could start my own business.
“My accounting background came in handy because I at least knew when I started Total Serve what would be required for a financially viable and sound business,” said Mngomezulu.
In addition to TSFM, Mngomezulu is also a managing partner for Thasola Consulting, an accounting and statutory compliance firm which she says plays a major role in assisting SMMEs start, manage and grow their businesses.
She says finding a balance between being a business woman and a mother is important to make sure that neither responsibility or duty is neglected.
“I try and advocate for women empowerment in all that I do. One of my favourite issues is also youth empowerment and that’s why I founded the Ink Foundation.
“It’s a charity organisation which aims to assist communities focusing on their socio economic needs such as bursaries, food, health and wellness initiatives,” said Mngomezulu.
Some of the awards and achievements Mngomezulu’s company has achieved include an award from the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) in 2019, Mngomezulu was also selected as a VV Grow Fellow in 2019 and was an Investec Global Exposure Beneficiary in 2016 in Berlin, Germany.
More recently she was a PropPreneur X graduate in 2020.