I’m the Founder and CEO of Soma Solutions Group of Companies where we offer digitally driven solutions to SMMEs and large corporates. We launched an e-commerce platform in 2021; Edu-Supply, a platform designed to help schools and parents save time and money when shopping for back-to-school stationery, and SmartSaver (which is in the beta phase), an online goal-based saving platform created to inspire communities to save and achieve their short-term and long-term financial goals. Through these platforms, Soma-Solutions also aims to showcase the power of technology, and how it allows us to break into any industry.
How I entered the ICT industry was by obtaining my BCom (IS) Information Systems from the University of Cape Town in 2001 and a Management Advancement Diploma from Wits Business School in 2009. I then worked in various corporate companies throughout my career until I started my own company (Soma-Solutions) in 2008.
Please tell us a little more about how your company came about.
When I began my career in the ICT industry, I started off as an employee for various corporate companies where I learned all the ropes about the industry. I later decided that I wanted to go independent and that’s when I started consulting for clients independently and in doing so, a potential client asked me to do data analysis for them, but the services needed me to bill through a company.
Should you be busy with any interesting initiatives, please tell us a little more about it.
We are currently improving our customer experience on EduSupply and will be launching improved functionality in time for back-to-school shopping.
What is it that you are passionate about?
I am passionate about women development, encouraging and engaging in projects that uplifts women to leading positions and creating more opportunities for women in the ICT Industry. I believe in women as leaders and the use of technology to improve lives.
Who or What has been the biggest influence in your life and why?
The biggest influence in my life is the ability to constantly learn through interactions with various people, reading and reviewing my existing plans and strategies against the new information that I just received. In short, it is the ability to be a lifelong learner.
What is your personal “motto”?
Intention is everything – do everything with good intention and you will be rewarded accordingly.
What advice would you give a woman wanting to follow her dreams?
I would say the starting point is to set your goal, revise and adapt as you go through various experiences along the way, but don’t lose sight of it. I would also say having a big why and constantly remembering why you started – it will always push you, even days when you feel like giving up. During the difficult times work consistently towards your dreams and don’t allow disappointments to detract you.
Who or what is your inspiration and why?
I have been inspired by my mom and older brother; they were both so entrepreneurial so I always observed how they went about operating their businesses. I was also further inspired by Basetsana Khumalo for being one of the first black women to successfully take her space in business and being highlighted and profiled for it – it confirmed that it is possible.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Your dreams are valid. All you need to do is to start working towards them.
Your favorite daily affirmation:
Gratefulness – I pray and thank God for everything he has provided.
Your favorite quote:
Your ability to earn is your most valuable asset.
What are your top 3 business tips?
- Know and understand your business goal.
- Revise and adapt as you go through various experiences along the way, do not focus on the business losses rather look at them as lessons.
- Get a team that understands your business goal.
What would you say is your secret to success?
Having foresight and the ability to tenaciously work towards a goal.
One piece of general advice that you’d like to share:
Believe in yourself and be your greatest fan.
Is there anything that Extraordinary Women can do to assist you on your journey?
Yes, please upload your back-to-school stationery lists on www.edu-supply.com and take advantage of our amazing back-to-school offers.
Facebook: Soma Solutions
Twitter: @solutions_soma | @MarilynRadebe
Instagram: @somasolutionssa | @monroe_radebe
LinkedIn: Soma Solutions | Marilyn White Radebe
Submitted by TR Brand Communications.