Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Nonny Penelope: How I run my own dairy factory and farm at 33 years

Nonny Penelope Wright is a young agri-preneur from the Maun region in Botswana. Her business ventures in the country have seen her being coined the nickname ‘mother of cows’ in Botswana.

Her other nicknames are Strawberry superstar, Bizzle’s mommy and Ms. Lopey’s BIG Girl.

Botswana is a country with a great agricultural heritage in which the young entrepreneurs in the country are found taking pride in and creating innovative value-adding businesses.

At the age of 33 years, Nonny Penelope Wright is the founder of Sereledi dairy brand, her very own dairy producing and processing company. She is also the founder of Lopey Inc. which is her very own farming business.

Being in a male-dominated industry, Nonny leads with passion, energy and dedication as she seeks to inspire and grow the youth in agriculture. She has worked hard on overcoming barriers to success that a young female second-generation farmer encounters.

Furthermore, she has benefited her community of workers, who feel that Sereledi is their own home when they get to work. She not only brings food security to her community and Botswana overall, but she also supplies entrepreneurs with products to sell.

Nonny Penelope Wright

At 33 years old, Nonny Penelope is already an executive member of the Botswana National Dairy Association.  Here is the story she gave during a past interview.

What does your company do?

At Lopey Inc, we run a dairy producing and processing company where we produce raw milk and further process it into fresh milk, drinking yogurt and madila. Our brand is known as Sereledi.

What inspired you to start your company?

I was raised in a farming family and have always been passionate about farming. When I came back home in 2013, I decided to start farming and I fell in love with the dairy business.

Why should anyone use your service or product?

Lopey Inc is currently the youngest female-run dairy in Botswana and we run a complete dairy value chain from raw milk right through to products for the consumer which are local and fresh.

Tell us a little about your team

I run a team that consists only of millennials from Maun. It is an energetic, timely and passionate team that I try to encourage to work ‘hand in hand’ to ensure they have work in our community.

Nonny Penelope Wright


Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?

My entrepreneurial journey has so far been exciting but rocky. There have been many low moments in the business, but I have always found a solution around the challenges.

As a young woman, I find that many people at first undermine my capabilities or don’t take me seriously, but I have learned to prove myself and work to my best potential.

I also had to learn that compliance is very important, something that a lot of youth complain about, but I never took that as a challenge, instead as a goal. It has allowed me to gain access to opportunities that some find difficult and choose to call closed doors.

What are your plans and aspirations for your company?

We are working towards increasing our raw milk production in the North West and getting our Sereledi branded products into National stores.

We aspire for our Sereledi range of products to be of international standard and for our brand to be a leading dairy product in Botswana.

What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?

Knowing that something I have nurtured is blossoming and becoming a reality. Watching it all grow even in tough situations makes my everyday life worthwhile.

What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start up?

Business all starts with its birth. If you can’t stomach it, love it, and gracefully deliver it, it will be meaningless.

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