Michelle De Klerk, The Women’s Chapter

Michelle De Klerk is the founder of The Women’s Chapter, a movement for women in business to connect, inspire, and thrive
Zeze Oriaikhui-Sao and Michelle De Klerk

About Michelle De Klerk

Michelle De Klerk is the founder of The Women’s Chapter, a movement for women in business to connect, inspire, and thrive. An entrepreneur herself, she’s also built careers as a journalist, marketing director, and business development consultant. 

About this episode

Listen to Michelle discuss her inspiration and reason for founding The Women’s Chapter. She covers the validation for the work and the need for women in high-impact careers to support each other.

Michelle De Klerk talks about how her various career roles influenced the entrepreneur she is today. Michelle touch on what it’s like being a parent, managing a career, and starting a business. She discusses how parenthood enhances the entrepreneurial service mindset.

In this episode, we talk about:

  • 00:00 – Introducing guest Michelle De Klerk
  • 1:15 – How Zeze and Michelle first met
  • 3:06 – The history behind The Women’s Chapter, a platform for supporting and showcasing women-led businesses
  • 8:09 – How Michelle saw the need for a women’s platform and figuring out how to scale in a way that made sense
  • 11:27 – What is validation for her Women’s Chapter work
  • 15:01 – The challenges behind supporting women in business
  • 19:12 – Michelle’s early career in journalism, marketing, and business development
  • 20:04 – The influence of her Mom and Dad’s work ethic
  • 23:33 – Back to the evolution of her career, the SARS epidemic impact, landing in commodities, and circling around journalism
  • 27:34 – Discussion on how entrepreneur have a service mindset
  • 29:11 – The demands of running a business and motherhood
  • 31:57- Facing work discrimination as a new mother
  • 33:57 – How becoming a mother enhances career aspirations, not detracts, and the role entrepreneur plays in finding a system that works
  • 35:59 – Meeting Mother Teresa
  • 37:05 – Circling back around to Michelle’s professional evolution
  • 40:02-42:30: Thoughts about fear being a good thing and tackling fears first
  • 42:31 – The recent “aha” moment
  • 44:33 – Name pronunciation segment
  • 46:07 – How to find Michelle and the Women’s Chapter online

Mentioned Resources

About Zeze Oriaikhi-Sao

Zeze Oriaikhi-Sao attended Grenoble Ecole De Management where she received a Master’s in International Business. She also holds a Bsc (Hons) in Informatics. She is mother, an international and entrepreneurial leader. The Founder and Managing director of Malée Natural Science; Africa’s 1st global luxury fragrance and body care brand operating across two continents with products available in 9 countries in wholesale, B2B, Hospitality, E-commerce and travel retail. An advisory board member and Program director at INNOCOS, the world beauty innovations summit as well as a consultant and international speaker and beauty industry expert on the luxury beauty and cosmetics industry, sustainability practices, innovation, disruption, trends and brand heritage.

Featured in international TV and Media publications such as CNN, The Telegraph, Grazia, ELLE Magazine, Glamour, Oprah Magazine and Atlanta Post. She is a pioneer of Female owned luxury business in Africa and is passionate about innovation. Zeze is the host of the pioneering podcast Third Culture Africans. She shares entrepreneurial tips and more on her personal website Zezeonline.com