Louisa Mojela is the Chief Executive Officer and Founding Member of Women Investment Portfolio Holdings Limited. WIPHOLD is an investment and operating company dedicated to the empowerment of black women. The organisation recently celebrated 20 years of influencing the economic landscape for the benefit of women.
Louisa, Gloria Serobe, together with Wendy Luhabe and Nomhle Ncanca, started the business with capital of R500 000 which they raised by cashing in their savings and borrowing where they could to make up the shortfall.
For three years the WIPHOLD founders travelled across South Africa, sharing their passion for economic emancipation and teaching women about long-term investment. In 1999 WIPHOLD listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, accruing a value of R2.5-billion before delisting in 2003.
Today the company has more than 200 000 women beneficiaries.
Louisa was born in Springs, her father a migrant mine worker. Her father was sent to Western Deep Mine in Carletonville and her primary school days were completed there. She completed Matric at Moroka High School, Thaba Nchu, after which she worked at the United Building Society in Thaba Nchu for a stint before completing her BCom degree at the National University of Lesotho. She later completed the Executive Leadership Programme from Whatron Business School School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Louisa feels she is called to serve the disadvantaged, specifically women and children. She is continually busy with uplifting, supporting family projects and building schools.
Her message to Inspiringwomen readers is: We are all leaders in our own right – we need to unleash our potential. Had I not stood up and realised my potential, I wouldn’t have known I possessed leadership qualities. The most important quality in a woman is passion.
Women should strive for financial independence and must dispel the notion that we are not good enough.
Louisa has also held positions at Standard Corporate and Merchant Bank and The Development Bank of Southern Africa (during which time she was seconded to the World Bank in Washington DC), and the Lesotho National Development Corporation.
Louisa has received a number of national and international awards and she serves on several boards including Distell, Sun International, Sasol Mining and Life Healthcare Group Holding (Pty) Ltd.
Louisa is a passionate tennis player and enjoys teaching the game to her grandchildren.
Louisa, we salute you!