Nthabeleng Likotsi, the founder of cooperative Young Women in Business Network (YWBN), will be the first woman to own a mutual bank in SA after being approved by the SA Reserve Bank (SARB).
Born and bred in Botshabelo, Free State, from a family of entrepreneurs. Her parents have been in business for over 33 years. They have a school-uniform factory and shops in Free State and all her siblings are in business.
Despite failing her Certificate in Theory of Accounting (CTAs) three times, she said she never gave up.
Her intention in initiating the Young Women in Business Network (YWBN) with 35 other young people in 2009 was to support black entrepreneurs.
After a visit to Switzerland and her first introduction to stokvel-style banking, Likotsi was inspired to start a co-operative bank using her existing savings club.
She led the Young Women in Business Network cooperative financial institution which pays R1,000 a month and has access to business loans of up to R100,000 for members of the institution.
Likotsi said YWBN needed to have a R1-million in savings to be recognised by the South African Reserve Bank.