Survival and Success in the Tech business Requires Grit and Determination from Women Entrepreneurs, says the MTN SA Foundation

Connect My Business Entrepreneurship

One lesson that entrepreneurs must quickly learn is that survival and growth depend on being nimble and ready to adapt to changing markets. This talent is particularly important when your business is located in an area where potential users of your service are spread across a province and needs can vary from town to town.

For digital entrepreneur Evelyn Maruping, one of the ‘Top 10’ winners in this year’s MTN SA Foundation’s Women in Digital Business Challenge, her devotion to the Northern Cape Province, has demanded that well-laid plans and ambitions have had to be adapted to meet the realities of the province known for its wide-open spaces, small settlements, and lack of economic opportunities.

Empowering South African women in the world of tech by offering opportunities to develop their enterprises impacts society, says Lesimola Selepe, Senior Manager: Education & Community Programmes at the MTN Foundation. “The ten businesswomen who share the Challenge purse of R1 million, are tangible examples of the MTN SA Foundation’s commitment to empowerment and offering pioneering women the chance to take their businesses to the next level.”

For Evelyn, the turning point came when she was selected by the National Department of Sports, Arts, and Culture to receive a full bursary to study TV and Film in Cape Town at AFDA. It meant moving away from her ambitions of becoming an actress, and a determination to bring new ways to communicate to her home province. Evelyn was selected as one of four pioneers to start a Provincial TV station. Unfortunately, she says, the venture ‘never took off’. Not being one to abandon dreams easily, she decided to go digital and offer content creators and businesses in the Northern Cape Province a chance to buy dedicated broadcast space on a platform as a place to promote their businesses and promote their views and stories.

“I particularly wanted to empower young people by offering them the chance to turn a subscription into an opportunity to make an income. They could start businesses, build subscriber bases, and monetise their
channels,” Evelyn recalls. Unfortunately, their hesitance to embrace technology led to little take up on the opportunity. At this point, her business, Ping TV SA, changed its strategy. Using elements of the original platform idea and changing the shape of the business, Ping began producing digital content for customers by using digital for customers wanting to document activities and product offerings.

“We created Northern Cape content ranging from programmes on tourism attractions to ‘Northern Cape Starlets, ‘a web-based competition for aspiring actors launched in 2022. This led directly to Ping TV SA recently launching a digital magazine, which has been well received,” says Evelyn. Other gains from the business shift have been assignments from the Northern Cape’s Premier’s office,
Standard Bank, and other provincial businesses. Success also meant jobs in Gauteng, Limpopo, and the Free State.

Evelyn enrolled in the business course by EBL Institute of Business and as a graduate, she had the opportunity to pitch for the 2023 MTN Foundation’s Women in Digital Technology Challenge, for which she qualified and this saw her selected as one of the Women in Digital Business ‘Top 10’ and winning R100 000. “I will be investing in equipment, developing and distributing our digital magazine to a wider audience, and also creating a post for an intern,” says Evelyn. Reflecting on what she has learned on her journey, Evelyn says “I have learned that giving up is not an option, but adapting and changing the shape of the business is the right way to go.”

“I am grateful to MTN SA Foundation for naming me as one of their ‘Top 10’ and giving me life-changing mentorship and a cash boost for Ping TV. “ Selepe adds, “Women like Evelyn Maruping show that South Africa’s female entrepreneurs have the talent to be successful and deal with business obstacles. They are determined and adaptable people who can proudly take their places in a competitive technical environment.” “It is a privilege for the Foundation to make a practical contribution to fostering scarce skills and encouraging women to enter a sector that is essential to the prosperity of our people and our international competitiveness,” Selepe concludes.


Leigh-Ann Chetty, Senior Manager: Public Relations, MTN SA
Cell: 083 209 1310

Mthokozisi Ndlovu, Manager: Communications and Public Relations, MTN SA
Cell: 083 209 2683

About the MTN South Africa

Launched in 1994, MTN South Africa is a subsidiary of MTN Group, a leading emerging market operator with a clear vision to lead the delivery of a bold new digital world to our customers. We are inspired by our belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code ‘MTN’. Our strategy is Ambition 2025: Leading digital solutions for Africa’s progress.

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