Mother Nature’s Trailblazers: Female Entrepreneurs Revolutionising Optimal Living with Scientia Products.
Entrepreneur of the Month: Scientia Ladies
By Cebelihle Mthethwa.
While the Covid-19 pandemic brought about a time we wish to forget, it paved the way for new business opportunities and transformative ideologies. Scientia Products, born from the surging demand for health remedies during those challenging times, emerged as a dynamic phytopharmaceutical manufacturing company based in the picturesque town of Stellenbosch. According to Scientia’s Chief Operating Officer, Kamano Mochoelo, the idea behind the business was established in 2021.
“After the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a notable shift towards natural products, yet people also sought scientific validation for their choices. This need led to the birth of Scientia products – an endeavour aimed at providing scientifically validated natural solutions to cater to this demand,” Kamano said.
She added that they envisioned the benefits of Scientia products extending to South Africans, cherishing the county’s rich traditional knowledge. The mission is to harness the healing power of plants and natural remedies, used as medicines by our forefathers, so that they can become relevant and practised in today’s world.
Scientia boasts an impressive team of five co-founders, all esteemed academics from Stellenbosch University. Among them, three are distinguished chemists – Dr. Catherine Kaschula, Prof. André de Villiers, and Prof. Willem van Otterlo. The team includes a renowned physiologist, Prof. Anna-Mart Engelbrecht, and a distinguished botanist, Prof. Nokwanda Makunga. Together, their diverse expertise forms the bedrock of Scientia Products’ innovative approach to natural solutions.
“During the ideation phase, we conducted market research, which revealed that the aftermath of Covid-19 left people grappling with heightened anxiety and sleep difficulties, leading to a surge in the use of costly anti-anxiety medications fraught with side effects. This pressing demand birthed the necessity for safer, more natural products that and are also cost-effective, and provide a holistic solution for optimal living,” Kamano added.
Scientia Products stands at the forefront of promoting optimal living, embracing the philosophy of harnessing nature’s healing powers. The company primarily focuses on crafting products that enhance well-being and health through natural remedies.
In a world where pharmaceutical medications often come with side effects, Scientia champions the inherent benefits of natural solutions. Their commitment to natural products goes beyond a trend; it is a profound belief in the power of Mother Earth to nurture and sustain, ultimately contributing to a healthier and more balanced way of life.
Describing the team’s entrepreneurial journey, Kamano said that the journey has been undeniably challenging for these scientist co-founders, as venturing into the realm of entrepreneurship presented a whole new playground for them. Navigating the intricacies of understanding what customers truly want was a learning curve.
“As scientists, we came with our ideas, but this transformative journey taught us a valuable lesson – the art of actively listening to our customers and discerning their genuine needs. In general, our research is driven by scientific interest and not market demands. Embracing this essential insight, our products continue to evolve, fine-tuning our offerings to cater to the real-life requirements of our valued clientele.”
Amidst preparing for its 2024 launch, Scientia has already achieved a number of milestones which include obtaining patents and obtaining research evidence for the efficacy of our products. We are looking forward to testing our product in future human trials. Their dedication propels them towards manufacturing their highly anticipated natural products.
Explaining the team’s future endeavours, Kamano said that they look forward to their product and website launch which will entail an educational blog, for their customers to refer to obtain knowledge about the mechanisms of action of the active compounds in the products. Other plans include distributing their products to pharmacies, wellness shops and functional medical practitioners. .
While the team claimed that currently, technology hasn’t played a major role in their business, they look forward to exploring the opportunities it will present when they finally launch.
“I would like to encourage all women to take up spaces, and not back down from opportunities presented to them, even if they do not have the knowledge. This can always be seen as an opportunity to learn,” concluded Kamano.