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Friday, 13 August 2021

#CPUTWomen2021 – Sharon Moatshe

ENTREPRENEUR: Sharon Moatshe ENTREPRENEUR: Sharon Moatshe

Postgraduate student Sharon Moatshe’s entrepreneurial spirit and sheer determination have seen her business navigate choppy waters during the pandemic.

Moatshe, who is completing her Master’s in Public Relations, says the ink on the lease agreement for her business, Sharon’s Café, located in Woodstock, had hardly dried when the pandemic struck.

 “I have always harboured an entrepreneurial spirit. While working at The Palms in 2019, a somewhat fortuitous chance of running events at the atrium was a major attraction in my decision to take over the coffee shop from a previous owner who was moving on,” she says.

“As we all know, Covid-19 threw a wrench into the running of any events. Rather than give up, I refurbished the premises, rebranded the shop and reopened in October 2020. It has been a journey of sheer grit running any business during the pandemic but especially hard for a young woman in her first business. I have fought, not just for myself but for my staff and their families.” 

Sharon grew up in Kagiso, on Johannesburg's West Rand, and came to Cape Town to study at CPUT.

She completed her Diploma and BTech in Public Relations at CPUT and her previous experience is in running events. She has also worked in radio, in communication and in the Non-Governmental Organisation field.

 “While not having kitchen experience, I have had a burning desire for good food in an environment that is welcoming and caring. I also believe in other people's capabilities, something that I have been proven right by the determination of my staff to keep fighting even in the most difficult of times. I have put my own stamp by learning on the job and it has been an absolute joy seeing my ideas transformed into a sumptuous plate of food.”

Among these ideas have been her coffee bean blend, Sharon’s Blend.

“For consistency in every cup, I sourced beans from a reliable supplier and had my barista pilot what we believed to be our best balance. We sell each pack with our barista’s advice on how to get the best taste out of Sharon’s blend.”

Sharon is also the Operations Director and a Board member of In-Kind SA, registered as Dzhavhelo Empowerment Group.

With the help of fellow directors and experienced staff, In-Kind runs a young writers’ competition called Young Minds of Mzansi, coding and robotics, and other cutting-edge interventions in the education ecosystem.

The aspiring academic, businesswoman and mother says Women’s Day reminds her of how much needs to be done to even out the gender disparities in the country and around the world.

“While every day should cause us to think about the role that women play in the families and in the economy, dedicating a day each year gives us pause and intentionality in acknowledging each other - and hopefully giving the men a chance to reflect about the women in their lives.”   

Written by Ilse Fredericks