Vanessa Gounden is a South African entrepreneur, who had no background knowledge of entrepreneurship growing up but developed her entrepreneurial spirit through determination.
Vanessa did not grow up with her parents even though they worked in South Africa, she spent most of her childhood days on a smallholding in a mixed racial area near Durban with her grandparents who were florist. She had her education in Shallcross Secondary school and the University of Pretoria, with a B.Tech degree.
She is a strong politician whose motive is drawn from the experience she encountered at age ten when he father was forcefully removed by the apartheid state causing her family to leave their home under the Group Areas Act and moved to a dormitory township with minimal facilities.
It was painful, but little did she know that a desire was already burning within her and a mission was birthed.
At a later stage in her life, that experienced led Vanessa to join the ANC as a teenager and campaign for democracy.
While an activist, she was also a student of human resources at the University of Pretoria. She met her husband Sivi Gounden during her years of activism in the ANC and in 1989 they got married.
After she was done studying, Vanessa got a job as a primary school teacher. Fortunately, the ANC party finally took overpower, and after the country’s first democratic elections were conducted in 1994, she received a message from Nelson Mandela himself to be part of his administration and help him build a new South Africa.
It was a dream come through for the woman of valour who had always wanted to stand for the good of her people.
She served under Mandela’s administration for decades and was actively involved in the trade union movement. She also headed key sectors in the country were her glory is continually announced.
In 2003, she co-founded Holgoun Investment Holdings with her husband Dr. Sivi Gounden.
HolGoun Investment Holdings is a South African investment holding company that carries out activities and investments of various sectors including Mining and Exploration, Healthcare, Financial Services, Property, Music, Fashion, Security, Film Production.
In 2011, she founded Vanessa G London, a fashion line with luxurious women clothing that ranges of casual, cocktail, formal and haute couture “ready to wear” clothing.
She lives with her husband Sivi and two children, in Pretoria.