Sibongile Mthimunye, a South African entrepreneur building an environmentally friendly cleaning business

Sibongile Mthimunye - cleaning business - BWGL GroupSibongile Mthimunye - cleaning business - BWGL Group
Sibongile Mthimunye - cleaning business - BWGL GroupSibongile Mthimunye - cleaning business - BWGL Group

Sibongile Mthimunye, a South African entrepreneur building an environmentally friendly cleaning business

Sibongile Mthimunye is the founder of BWGL Group in South Africa, a specialist business providing cleaning services to companies, businesses and households. Sibongile’s business is also a distributor of natural and environmentally-friendly cleaning products. The business was founded in 2020 and is growing and continuing to employ women from local communities. Sibongile is harnessing her 23 years of experience working in both the non-profit and corporate sectors for the benefit of her own business.

LoA chatted to founder Sibongile Mthimunye this month to learn more about what it takes to build a niche specialist services business that is also focused on being kind to the planet.

What does your company do?

BWGL Group provides cleaning services to companies, businesses, and households. We also distribute 100% natural and environmentally friendly cleaning products. 

What inspired you to start your company?

I was inspired by the need for cleaner spaces, especially in 2020 at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. I also identified a gap in the market for localized cleaning companies that better understood what the customers need. As a company we also distribute environmentally friendly cleaning products as part of our contribution to a cleaner and safer environment without the use of harsh chemicals.

Why should anyone use your service or product?

The business is run by an experienced woman who understands the environment and what is needed in order to make a positive impact. Our products are special and environmentally friendly as they address the issue of going green, not because it is fashionable to do so, but because we have seen the negative impact caused by the usage of harsh chemicals in our environment. Hence our decision to introduce and sell these environmentally friendly cleaning products to our customers.

Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And do you come from an entrepreneurial background?

I am the first entrepreneur in my family. My journey started in 2008, where I registered a company and sold Jar Pickled Spiced Mango relish (Atchar). This part of the business still exists and customers still purchase this product. From 2020, BWGL Group was formed and the journey continues with growing this cleaning and hygiene business, creating more employment opportunities and cleaner environments.

Tell us a little about your team

My team consists of both temporary and permanent employees who are allocated to different contracts. Ninety nine percent (99%) are women employed as Cleaners, and one percent (1%) are male employed as gardeners. All of them come from local communities and are committed to working for their families.

Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And do you come from an entrepreneurial background?

I am the first entrepreneur in my family. My journey started in 2008, where I registered a company and sold Jar Pickled Spiced Mango relish (Atchar). This part of the business still exists and customers still purchase this product. From 2020, BWGL Group was formed and the journey continues with growing this cleaning and hygiene business, creating more employment opportunities and cleaner environments.

What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?

My plans for the company are to scale it up and provide cleaning services nationally, as well as distribute our environmentally friendly cleaning products both nationally and internationally. My ultimate plan is to own the whole value chain for these products and also be a manufacturer and distributor of the environmentally friendly cleaning products to other start-ups and retail stores.

What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?

Making a positive impact in other women's lives by providing them with employment opportunities. As an entrepreneur I learn each and every day. It is important that I open myself to all the positive and not so positive lessons throughout my journey. Lastly, I get satisfaction from this journey of being an entrepreneur through knowing how resilient I am and being able to always be in a solution-mode for my business.

What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?

My advice is do not compromise on your dream, nurture it, seek out support and assistance. Continue knocking on doors until some if not all are open for you to present your vision and your story.

 

Contact BWGL Group:

WEBSITE: www.bwglgroup.co.za | EMAIL  sibongile@bwglgroup.co.za

Sibongile Mthimunye - cleaning business - BWGL Group