Social Entrepreneurship



This week’s guest on the wisinomad Dialogue Series is Grace Mugabe, the founder of Financially Empowered, which is a financial consultancy with a particular focus on teaching financial literacy to women and girls. A key differentiator is that Financially Empowered works mainly with female business owners to help them develop robust financial systems. Grace draws a lot from her past experience as a CPA and work in the Australian mining sector.


“Grace believes that microfinance is a way of helping empower women and reduce the gender inequality, and overall is important as it improves communities.”


For Grace, the desire to build Financially Empowered was borne out to provide practical and comprehensive financial education that is affordable and accessible for women and the greater community. She came to realize that through volunteer work she did while working as CPA, and then made a transition to dedicate her time fully to empowering women through her knowledge and skills to help thus fulfilling her social entrepreneurship mission.

Social entrepreneurship, according to Grace, is defined as the use of business skills to develop solutions to a social or environmental cultural issue. The profit and the skills are used to develop and help communities. Grace believes that microfinance is a way of helping empower women and reduce the gender inequality, and overall is important as it improves communities. And as the recipient of a microfinance loan has a duty to pay back the loan, they are incentivized to put the capital to good use. Critically, microfinance also comes with support training for these low-income entrepreneurs who might not have had education.


And as the world is becoming more globalized, corporate social responsibility to the fore and more people are interested in social entrepreneurship, as they come more into contact with poverty from across the world in ways they previously were not. She believes that social entrepreneurs have a place to thrive in Africa as a lot of causes exist that require innovative solutions. The cultural experiences and a chance to make direct observable impact makes Africa an ideal destination for social entrepreneurs. (wisinomad affords social entrepreneurs with an interest in Africa the chance to visit and engage first-hand with their target market, as well as interact with other social entrepreneurs already working on the continent.)


Her tidbits of advice for aspiring social entrepreneurs to build a sustainable business model are:

  • to not take themselves too seriously
  • seek help from experts
  • develop an understanding of their market, and what is required as part of rules and regulations
  • to believe in yourself
  • To know your “why”–the reasons why you want to enter a social entrepreneurship venture
  • find support from like-minded people


Grace believes that social entrepreneurs should also develop ways to measure the impact of their venture, and to incorporate feedback. Similarly when seeking funding she urges entrepreneurs to only approach organizations that share similar values.


Attributing her desire to improve her community to her upbringing, Grace shares her story. Despite being born in Zimbabwe, she moved to the US at 4, only to move back after elementary school, and eventually leave for Australia at 18 for college. Her idea of poverty shifted seeing homeless people in the US contrasted sharply from that in Zimbabwe, which she got to witness first-hand as her parents were heavily involved in philanthropic efforts. Her most vivid is spending a holiday at a party her parents had organized for street kids in Harare. She retains a great deal and travels to Zimbabwe every year, and even holds financial literacy workshops there.


And as she ends the podcast, Grace shares one of her major success stories from Financially Empowered where she got to help one of her clients exit an abusive relationship. Although that was not the intended objective for her workshop, she finds it heartening, as it is ultimately tied to her overall mission.


How about you? Have you found your purpose? Do you live a purpose driven life? What is your “Why”? These are some of wisinomad core principles , doing things with a purpose and doing things that matter.


To learn more about wisinomad, visit, and send in your application

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