This woman is going from strength to strength!

Susan Maake (57) went from selling fruit and vegetables on weekends to being a much-loved supermarket owner.

“I’m blessed and honoured to be able to help my community,” said when asked about her successful career in the competitive food retails business.

As the owner of an established brand, she’s also a role model to many. And as a businesswoman, Susan is unstoppable, consistently working hard and inspiring her teams, family and local church.

When she’s not at her store helping customers, she’s devoting her limited time to community work through her business and church, where she is a bishop.

This year Susan plans to open a second OBC Supermarket to create more job opportunities, and also to build a crèche and a mission school.

“We want to teach young children from an early age that everything is possible in life if you’re ready for it.

“We want to prepare them to face life’s challenges with confidence, knowledge and responsibility”, she said.

This project for the young is close to Susan’s heart.

She has led by example with strength, integrity and courage from a young age.

Susan had to face many hardships in life, including having to walk 7km barefoot to school every day.

She also had to work for her school teacher in Grade 4 at the young age of 13 and sell vegetables over weekends.

This was to help her unemployment mum and disabled dad look after siblings.

Susan was born in Bolobedu, a small rural area in the northern province of Limpopo, as one of five children. She was the second-born of three boys and two girls.

At the age of 17, she was forced to leave school because her family couldn’t afford to pay her school fees.

Little did she Susan know her humble beginnings would help her carve out a successful path later on in life as a talented social entrepreneur and businesswoman.

Her interest in business started early with the family’s fruit and vegetable weekend business she was running.

Twelve years later, already with married and with three children, Susan managed to go back to school to complete her studies.

She even did three grades in one go!

She then trained as a computer operator and became a nurse at the age of 33.

After 17 years nursing she decided to take her retirement package to make her childhood dream come true in 2013.

“If entrepreneurs realise that business is not all about them but about the community, even the poor will be able to feed themselves,”, Susan said.