Recognising the challenges facing young girls around access to sanitary towels, Remofilwe Tlhabudugwane has established True Power Essence, which is a sanitary manufacturing company that focuses on producing quality, affordable pads for those in rural areas and low-income households. Her vision to be a force for good, by uplifting the community and providing a much-needed product, is what motivated her to overcome all the obstacles put in her way and achieve her goal.
Remofilwe says it all started in 2018 when she constantly witnessed the challenges young girls in disadvantaged environments went through when it was that time of the month. Seeking a practical and sustainable solution to the situation, she decided to make this issue the major focus for her Master’s degree in Supply Chain Management.
She approached the North West Department of Education for schools and obtained permission to gather information about the availability of certain resources. One of the findings that emerged was a lack of sanitary towels.
Her belief that all good things work together for the greater good transpired in May 2021 when, after successfully completing the requisite criteria, Remofilwe was selected to be part of Sasol’s Ntsika entrepreneur development programme aimed at transitioning employees. This proved to be a turning point in her journey to success.
“The Sasol Ntsika programme taught me a lot – from business planning to marketing and brand management. I am now also able to implement solutions and solve problems, which is what I needed as an entrepreneur with a start-up business.”
It was during this period that Remofilwe approached the North West education department with a proposal to supply of quality affordable sanitary towels to schools in districts. Her research had revealed that there was a significant big gap in the market for such a product. The task was to find a manufacturer that would be able to assist her produce such a product, ensuring that it adheres to stringent quality guidelines. Her persistence paid off when she partnered with such a producer. In less than six months, she has managed to supply more than 40 000 sanitary towels to 50 schools.
She is currently exploring the potential to do the manufacturing and distribution herself.
“My goal is to become a large-scale manufacturer of quality, affordable sanitary towels and possibly expand to other areas. I am excited to be working with my business coach to explore how we can grow my business even to outside the country’s borders in the longer term.”
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