Busisiwe Radebe is the director at TravelEleganceSA, which offers tailor-made luxury travel to its clients. She has worked tirelessly to make the company the success that it is today. Thirty-eight-year-old Busisiwe, who grew up in Soweto and in Vosloorus, worked for Qatar Airways before she decided to start her own travel business to showcase the beauty of South Africa.
Busisiwe has a certificate in travel and is completing a diploma in travel management at the University of South Africa. During the Covid-19 pandemic, when the travel industry was shut down and no business could be conducted, she had the resilience and creativity to pivot and do whatever it took to keep the business afloat. This included providing educational material and travel tips for after the pandemic lockdown restrictions on travel were lifted. “We are pushing against all the odds of not getting funding or help but we stay focused on the bigger picture — we plan on giving back to our communities and to assist students,” she said.
TravelEleganceSA has set its sights on expanding and on providing internships that travel students need to complete their qualification, offering employment by hiring graduates to work in various departments such as finance, marketing and human resources so that they get work experience.
Busisiwe says that one of the most valuable lessons that she has learned by running TravelEleganceSA is that although we might be strong, “we cannot do it all by ourselves — ask for help”.
What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
“Most of the time you don’t need more information, you need more courage.”
Our theme this year is Accelerating Equality & Empowerment in Women. How do you empower yourself and women around you?
Empowering oneself and other women is a continuous journey. By taking these steps and supporting one another, we can create a more equitable and inclusive world where all women can thrive and reach their full potential. I do this by being intentional about what I fill my time with,the messages I share, especially when things aren’t necessarily going my way and offering help and assistance to women where and when I can.
If you could change or achieve one thing for South Africa today, what would it be?
Promoting financial independence. Financial independence plays a crucial role in empowering women. Support women in developing financial literacy skills and encourage them to pursue careers, entrepreneurship or financial management opportunities. Provide guidance on budgeting, saving and investment strategies. Advocate for equal pay and fair opportunities in the workplace.