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Entrepreneur set to open black female-owned bank

BANKING: Likotsi (left) with the governor of South African Reserve Bank, Lesetja Kganyago, and the registrar of banks, Kuben Naidoo (Image: Nthabeleng Likotsi/Twitter)

AN ENTREPRENEUR is set to launch South Africa’s first black female-owned bank.

Nthabeleng Likotsi, from Botshabelo, Free State, is working on plans to open the financial institution to help black women and businesses.

Speaking to HuffPost, Likotsi said: "My parents have been in business for over 33 years. They have a school-uniform factory and shops in Free State. All my siblings are in business.”

Despite her aspirations today, Likotsi failed her certificate in the theory of accounting several times.

Following her struggles with accounting qualifications, she made the decision to follow in the footsteps of her relatives and start a business.

"I started Young Women in Business Network (YMBN), but somewhere halfway through I decided to do my master's in entrepreneurship," she said.

The 33-year-old was set to meet with the Reserve Banks and submit the documentation necessary to open a bank last week Friday.

The proposed name of the bank – Young Women in Business Network – was prompted by Likotsi’s belief that young women need to fight for political and financial freedom.

"In history, we have the women who have fought for our political freedom – not just women, but older people. And the question that has always been asked, is what is the younger generation doing? So the young woman is simply responding to that," she said.

And it is not just women that Likotsi’s determined to help with her initiative.

"We are going to work with our people, because we believe black people can actually work together — it's just a matter of what instrument you use to activate that," she said.

She added: "You can't talk economic freedom if you do not have a financial institution — you need a bank that will support black entrepreneurs, which currently we don't have."

Twitter users contacted Likotsi to share their excitement about her new venture.

Andile Gamedze said: “ID and proof of residence is ready and waiting for you to open your doors.”

Another Twitter user said: “Sign me up...I am ready for an economy that is self-sufficient and a nation that takes care of her own.”

Likotsi hopes the bank will be fully open for business by 2019.
She said: “We are very confident that we will have the first women-owned bank by 2019; it sounds very good."

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