The Empowering Women Supporting Other Women

Women Empowerment platforms are thriving, meet the woman behind one of them to find out why.

In a time where feminism is widely accepted, more women are coming together and building each other through this powerful movement which represents choice, freedom and simply, humanity. 

I spoke to a woman, a mother and an entrepreneur who set up a female empowerment movement on platform on Instagram to encourage other women to set up businesses and stray away from societal expectations. 

Nompumelelo Mahlangu, 36, from Leeds began this venture less than a year ago, after facing challenges in her personal life and unfulfilling career.

In 2015, her mother also received an MBE from the Queen for her services to children, in the UK around the world which she took as a sign it was not too late to change career. 

Nompumelelo said: “When you see your mum thriving and setting these goals, it makes you realise you have to step up.”

Despite having a job as a Project Manager within the public sector, which she was content with at the time, Nompu created the International Women’s Empowerment Forum as a project to work in part time but it has gradually turned into her full-time job. 

I asked her, what made you want to start an empowerment forum

“I think it’s important for women to have somewhere to go and feel like they can relate with other women. Men, from a young age, are pushed to have businesses, and to take risks whereas women are usually limited, they get told they should be mothers, wives and that becomes their whole life, but a lot of women don’t want to be just that anymore, they want more, I wanted more so I made something for like-minded women.

“Don’t get me wrong we have some men who work with us and they’re so supportive.”

How did people around you take this idea: 

“When I first thought of the idea, my former partner laughed at me and thought it was silly little project. I won’t lie and say this didn’t affect me because it did, I felt powerless and it came to a point where I just said to myself just do it – that’s how my platform was born.”

What have you learnt from your new business venture: 

“I’ve been able to make such amazing connections and friendships with people through the platform. I will be hosting my first big event in July with Naima Mora from America’s Next Top Model, this has so far been the biggest and scariest moment in my career because I’ve proven everyone who doubted me wrong.

“It also made me realise these a lot of things that happen behind the scenes when you run a business, you need an amazing support system behind you at all times but you have to remember to take a break and take care of yourself.”

What advice would you give your 25 year old self:

“Go for it, whatever you keep putting off, just go for it. There are a lot of options available and you don’t have to make everyone happy, they’ll come around and if they don’t that’s fine. 

Try different things, life doesn’t stop in your twenties grab life with both hands and don’t be scared!”

To find out more about IWEF visit: https://www.instagram.com/iwef_forum/

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Mellissa Dzinzi was born in Zimbabwe but raised in Leeds. She is a reporter who has written for the national papers as well as having broadcast experience. Her interests range from lifestyle and beauty to gender relations and culture.

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