In 2016, fresh out of university, Sigwane joined forces with her highly educated peers to create Lihlahlandlela – an MPC, a   youth-led cooperative.

Lihlahlandlela’s main objective is to improve the knowledge and skills of underprivileged citizens, focusing mainly on food security, the environment, and business management. The modus operandi of Lihlahlandlela is to conduct capacitive training, demos and infrastructure development.

The 29-year-old innovator from the Kingdom of Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, remains compassionate for the less fortunate whilst making sure that women progress in all areas of life. Proving to be ahead of her time in a number of ways, Sigwane, then a junior statistician, expanded her horizons by joining the African Union Commission (AUC) as a professional volunteer, stationed in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, in 2017. In the same year, Sigwane was signed on as a programme assistant for AUC.

In her chosen field, Sigwane has, in a short space of time, co-authored the publication of three Bibliometrics Outlooks; two for SADC and IGAD and one of Agriculture Indicators for all 55 countries of the AU. In what proved to be a busy year, Sigwane was chosen to be among the 1000 Mandela Washington Fellows to spend six weeks at Drake University, in the USA, where she studied Business and Entrepreneurship.

“I always encourage young people, particularly the girl child, to always find a way to merge their profession and their passion. This, I find, allows one to wake up each morning looking forward to going out there to make a real difference,” Sigwane says.

Leveraging her AUC position, coupled with her experience in the analysis of scientific indicators, Sigwane sought ways to assist entrepreneurs. She states that you can’t manage what you cannot measure.

Infographic by TYI

The Innovator proposed and conceptualised a project titled: “The use of Science, Technology and Innovation as Sustainability Tools for Entrepreneurship,” the main focus being on DATA. This created an opportunity/space where young people could play a meaningful role in the implementation of the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA-2024), and the Agenda 2063 of the AUC #theAfricawewant.

This project, which she is currently championing, is still in its early stages and has built up a network of young entrepreneurs from over 15 African countries. AOSTI is currently building a platform where entrepreneurship data of young entrepreneurs in the informal as well as the formal sector will be stored and shared with the world.

This is mainly focused on those who are involved in the social impact of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Nosizwe believes that mathematics and business are interlinked so that the use of one without the other would be an injustice. Hence her motivation to speak mathematics into entrepreneurship.