Collectively known as the ‘Diamond Collection’, Munirah Desai, Thoko Zwane and Mosibudi Jo Mathole are the proud owners of their own diamond businesses. The three women are playing their part in helping the diamond mining industry to achieve the transformation targets it seeks.
They are among five black South African diamond cutting and polishing companies that earlier this year graduated from the first phase of the De Beers Group’s Enterprise Development Project for Diamond Beneficiators for entrepreneurs programme which not only seeks to empower women in the mining sectors, where males are typically dominant, but also to help transform the diamond cutting and polishing industry in South Africa.
The three-year programme was facilitated by business incubator, Raizcorp. The curriculum covered business strategy, finance, sales, marketing and personal development.
As part of the programme, each participating company received an allocation of rough diamonds from De Beers Group, in line with its market requirements and capacity. Participants also received additional support in the form of local and international market access and were sponsored to participate in last year’s Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair and JCK Las Vegas trade shows.
SME South Africa speaks to the ‘Diamond Collection’s’ Thoko Zwane, Mosibudi Jo Mathole and Munirah Desai to find out about their journeys in the diamond industry and what it takes to tackle the challenges the industry presents.
Thoko Zwane – ‘I used my savings to buy my first stone’