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Nedbank Young Professionals is a 9-part podcast published by Life Podcasts and presented by Afripreneur, Vumi Msweli. The podcast features a new breed of young professionals having frank and interesting conversations about their relationships with money. For more insights that money can’t buy, subscribe to the series.

Sipamandla Manqele is an industry leader making waves in agriculture. Born in Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape, Sipamandla witnessed her mother's active involvement in community recycling projects — a positive influence that would inspire her to start her own business.

At the tender age of 16, she and a partner registered a toilet paper manufacturing business. However, when she applied to the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, the business suffered and, as a result, closed down while Siphamandla completed her studies. She entered into the corporate world but, by then she had already had a taste of what it was like to venture into the world of entrepreneurship — she threw in the towel, after enduring just 18 months as a corporate employee.

Looking for greener pastures, Sipamandla was determined to develop communities through entrepreneurship. She encouraged agri-preneurs in rural communities to set themselves up to supply her business with sustainably grown, indigenous African ingredients and, created a market for it through Local Village Foods.

A word of advice to young professionals

Catering to conscious consumers, Siphamandla's aspirational brand has flourished — creating a living value chain that connects our diverse humanity, traditions, and cultures through food. This Pan-African approach has enabled Sipamandla to secure the livelihoods of ethical producers by maintaining the demand for produce from rural communities throughout the continent.

Her advice to young professionals attempting to take the road less travelled as an entrepreneur: "Work is a gift... we need to work as hard as we can and treat it as a privilege to be able to have work."

Spending habits: The good, the bad and all the lessons Siphamandla has learnt about money

As a serial entrepreneur, Siphamandla believes in saving for growth as an individual and as a business owner. She shares tips on how you can create positive financial habits.

For more money stories like this one, visit the Nedbank Young Professionals feature page.

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