South African Sneaker Company Motivates Women and Girls Through Entrepreneurship

Text: Celebrating International Women's Day over a background of the world map in shades of blue


This International Women's Day we're proud to champion women entrepreneurs, amplifying their missions and showcasing their impactful work. The theme for this Women's History Month is "Inspire Inclusion," and Ford Fund partner Mpho Isaac, owner of Ntwana Sneakers is an inspiration to women everywhere. Supported through Ford Fund's Ford Resource and Engagement Center program in South Africa, Mpho is a successful entrepreneur, selling affordable sneakers while also motivating women and girls.

Text in white on Ford blue background: The driving force behind Ntwana is creating a better future for the next generation. Mpho Isaac Owner of Ntwana Sneakers

Q: What drives your mission at Ntwana Sneakers?
A: The driving force behind Ntwana is creating a better future for the next generation. "Ntwana" means kid and our aim is to inspire every child to dream big and strive for a better tomorrow.


Q: What is a recent success that makes you proud of your work as an entrepreneur?
A: One of the most rewarding experiences in my business is having loyal customers who return to purchase our products again and again. This shows that customers appreciate our products, and the positive feedback we receive about our sneakers highlights their satisfaction.


Q: Can you tell us how your partnership with Ford Fund and the Ford Community Center program has supported your work?
A: Thanks to the assistance provided by the [Ford Community Center] program, I was able to successfully build a kiosk and cover the necessary fees for participating in mall exhibitions. Additionally, the program validated my business and its offerings to a school that placed an order for Ntwana Sneakers. They provided me with the funds necessary to cover shipping and import duties for fulfilling the order, which I was able to repay when the order was completed.


Q: How will Ntwana continue to support women and girls?
A: At Ntwana, we always look to hire women first. We believe that when women are empowered they become better mothers, better homemakers, and become the best role models for their children because they can provide financial security for their families. We like to motivate young girls to focus on education in order to be better leaders tomorrow.


Q: How can Ford employees and the community support your work?
A: Ford employees can assist us by purchasing our products and sharing Ntwana with your networks. You can also support us by advocating for small businesses like ours. This could involve integrating us into diverse supplier programs or keeping us in mind for mentorship opportunities.

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