“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill

Tamara Magwashu



Organisation / Company

Azosule Feminine Hygiene Products


Tamara Magwashu, 28, is a young entrepreneur who started Azosule Feminine Hygiene Products, a company that produces sanitary pads. Growing up in the Eastern Cape many girls, including herself, missed school because they did not have menstrual products. This inspired Tamara to start her company, which also informs people about menstrual health. The company provides employment for local women. What motivates her is knowing that her work helps ensure girls go to school and contributes to breaking the cycle of poverty. Tamara has faced difficulties in her venture, including financial constraints, social stigma around menstruation, and the difficulty of breaking into the market as a young black female entrepreneur. She started her business through crowdfunding and also applied for grants for social enterprises and women-led businesses. Her mentor and role model is Jon Hegeman, whose belief in her vision and his leverage of his network inspired her. Tamara’s proudest achievements include being featured on BBC News on 28 May, Menstrual Hygiene Day, in 2023, which brought attention to her business of eradicating period poverty. Another big achievement was opening a local warehouse, which helped to increase production and employ youth from her community. Tamara says that among the lessons she has learnt is that “true success lies in lifting others as we rise”.


Public Relations and Communication, University of Johannesburg
MIT Entrepreneurship course


One of my proudest achievements was being featured on BBC News on 28 May, Menstrual Hygiene Day 2023, which brought significant attention to our mission of eradicating period poverty. This recognition highlighted our effectiveness and reached a global audience.
In 2023, I was honoured to be nominated for the Forbes Under 30 list, a testament to our work’s innovation and contribution to society. Speaking at the Forbes summit in Botswana was an incredible experience. It allowed me to share our journey, connect with like-minded entrepreneurs, and gain valuable insights into scaling our efforts further.
Another milestone was opening a local warehouse, which enabled us to increase production and employ youth from our community. This not only boosted our capacity but also provided job opportunities and skills training for young people, fostering economic empowerment.
The lessons I’ve learned through these achievements are invaluable. I’ve realised the power of visibility in driving social change and the importance of community involvement in sustainable business practices. Empowering others, especially women and youth, has shown me that true success lies in lifting others as we rise.


Jon Hegeman from the US has been a significant mentor and role model in my journey. He created a GoFundMe campaign to help raise funds for my business when I was struggling to secure financial support. His belief in my vision and his willingness to leverage his network to support me was incredibly inspiring. Through his efforts, we raised the necessary funds to scale our operations and make a meaningful impact. Additionally, the countless people who donated to the campaign played a crucial role in turning my dreams into reality. Their generosity and support not only provided the financial resources we needed but also validated our mission. Knowing that so many people believed in our cause gave me the confidence and motivation to keep pushing forward, even when faced with significant challenges. These mentors and supporters have shown me the power of community and the importance of believing in and supporting each other’s dreams. Their influence has reinforced my commitment to giving back and empowering others in my community, just as they empowered me.