Portia Mngomezulu: Pioneering African Skincare with Portia M Skin Solutions

In 2010, Portia Mngomezulu embarked on a transformative journey that would lead her to become the founder of Portia M Skin Solutions, a company specializing in skincare products crafted from indigenous African oils. The inspiration for her business came after the birth of her child, when her mother-in-law recommended marula oil to treat her stretch marks. Intrigued by its healing properties, Mngomezulu sourced the oil from local women in her hometown of Phalaborwa, Limpopo, and noticed remarkable improvements within weeks.

Motivated by the oil’s efficacy, Mngomezulu envisioned creating a line of cosmetic products featuring this indigenous ingredient. With an initial investment of just R200, she registered her business and began her entrepreneurial venture using her home as a makeshift factory. Employing a two-plate stove and cake-mixing tools, she started producing her first product.

In 2015, Mngomezulu’s dedication paid off when she received financial support from the Innovation Hub, an organization that fosters economic development through innovation and entrepreneurship. This support included a 40 square meter space to kick-start her factory. To deepen her industry knowledge, Mngomezulu completed a supplier development program at GIBS business school.

Recognizing a gap in the market for skincare products tailored to African skin, Mngomezulu launched her skincare range, which prides itself on using indigenous African oils. Her efforts were soon recognized, and in 2018, she received the Top Entrepreneur in Agro-processing Award and the Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Entrepreneur Awards. Additionally, her company was named Pick n Pay’s 2018 Small Supplier of the Year.

Portia M Skin Solutions, now based in Centurion, aims to become a leading skincare and cosmetics brand in Africa and beyond. Mngomezulu’s products are available in major retailers, including Shoprite, Checkers, Clicks, Game, Edgars, Spar, Pick n Pay, and Ackermans, reflecting her vision of providing quality skincare solutions made from locally sourced ingredients.

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