From university drop-out to successful businesswoman

From university drop-out to successful businesswoman

YouTube sensation, entrepreneur, and public speaker Mpoomy Ledwabo chats to us about her journey to success after dropping out of university to pursue her passion.

Mpoomy Ledwaba
Mpoomy Ledwaba/ Instagram @aneno_nails

Mpoomy (real name Nompumelelo) Ledwaba might only be 25, but she has several successful businesses under her belt. She is the founder of Aneno Nail & Coffee Bar in Johannesburg, a director at Ukhamba Lobuntu Chem, and a co-founder of 'Hello Gorgeous Let's Talk’. She also has a YouTube channel with 48,000 subscribers. 

But before becoming the successful entrepreneur she is today, Mpoomy once found herself in a dark place. This was during her years at the University of Johannesburg where she was studying accounting.

“I felt myself slipping into a dark place, I couldn’t see my future in the field of study,” says Mpoomy. She then decided to drop out and says she chose “peace and sanity” and “listened to that inner voice”.

Mpoomy says that although she didn’t complete her first degree, education should never be overlooked. After quitting her studies, she decided to follow her passion and study beauty.

“I did a diploma in beauty. I highly advocate for education, but it’s important to choose wisely, follow your passion and get educated and skilled in your passion. Passion is great, but should be accompanied with knowledge, research, hard work, and education, so you can operate in excellence and full knowledge,” says the 25-year-old.

Mpoomy says building her brand didn’t come easy. She had to go to people’s houses to do nails. After gaining experience, she opened her ‘Aneno Nail & Coffee Bar’ business in 2017, which is currently booming. She even has celebrity clients. 

Mpoomy says she faced many challenges when starting her business. This includes raising capital for the business and dealing with staff retention. 

She adds that she also had to deal with people undermining her because of her age and race. “I faced a lot of undermining as a young black woman. But I am grateful for those challenges, they taught me a lot,” she says.

In 2018, Mpoomy was featured on Forbes Africa. She says this was one of her proudest moments. 

“It was the validation I needed to keep pushing for my dreams,” says Mpoomy. She adds that “Forbes magazine was on my vision board, so to be featured was a big 'yes' from God.”

A lot of people go through life without ever finding out what their purpose is. For Mpoomy, she says the easiest way to identify your purpose is to check “that what you can do without getting paid, any time of the day, brings you joy and serves other people. One thing I know about purpose is that it’s not selfish, purpose serves.”

Talking about plans for the future, Mpoomy says she would love to “travel, travel, travel, and get paid to travel”.

She also plans to "successfully franchise ANENO, host multiple big conferences for women and married couples. Basically just reach people, share love, joy and hope."

READ: Boitumelo Selepe on what it takes to be a successful fashion designer

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