Thabitha Malinga, a young entrepreneur from Tembisa Township in Johannesburg had an idea for a new business venture.

She set up Thabie Mobile Spa and started to bring the luxury of beauty treatments to her clients in the privacy of their own homes and offices.

Having attempted to start several businesses before, Thabitha was determined this one would succeed.

“The mobile spa is my fourth business attempt” she explains, “My other businesses failed very early on as I didn’t have the knowledge or experience necessary to be a successful entrepreneur.”

“The difference with Thabie Mobile Spa, has been the step-by-step support and constant guidance from the Shell Livewire Programme. The programme has helped me to understand my business and, most importantly, to understand what I want to achieve as an individual.”

From idea to reality

Shell LiveWIRE is run in partnership in South Africa with Raizcorp - an African business incubator.

The programme focuses on training and equipping young people with entrepreneurial skills to help address high levels of youth unemployment.

Thabitha was one of the 2016 Shell LiveWIRE finalists. Over the past 12 months, the programme has equipped her with the business skills needed to analyse market demands, follow a customer-centric approach, and grow her business.

And now Thabie Mobile Spa has been added to the wellness programmes that Shell provides as part of its benefits programmes for employees in South Africa, bringing Thabie Mobile Spa directly into Shell’s supply chain.

Benefits for the community

Thabie Mobile Spa is now a growing and profitable business, employing several people and bringing benefits to the local community and wider.

“The programme is not just about me” says Thabitha. “It is also beneficial for the people in my community. In order to grow a strong team, I intend to pass on the business skills and customer experience knowledge that I gain from LiveWIRE to my employees.”

Ntobeko Mogadime, Social Investment Manager at Shell South Africa agrees, “Thabitha’s success story is one of many entrepreneurial endeavours that have been facilitated since Shell Livewire started.”

“We believe that the programme’s ongoing success will continue to contribute to the creation of a strong culture of small and medium-sized businesses and in this way, play a role in reducing youth unemployment in South Africa.”

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