Click here to read Shona McDonald’s interview with IWEC (International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge).

To read some more on the Shonaquip Foundation, click here.

A woman whose life purpose is to improve the quality of life of those unable to do so themselves, Shona McDonald started Shonaquip, a company focused on producing diability equipment and training. This initiative has already changed the lives of many and inspires even more. Here Shona’s take on life…

ON A PROFESSIONAL NOTE

The special interests in my area of business/expertise are  product design and how to ensure that parents have improved access to the support services their kids really need.

What I love most about my field of interest is knowing that what we do is really making a positive difference in the lives of the children we work with.

Some of the defining moments in my career have been closely linked to experiencing the difference that the right wheelchair can make in improving the  function and quality of life of my daughter.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE

It is important for me that my personal time includes time with my 3 daughters, my dogs, birds and my garden.

MY PERSONAL INSPIRATION

My favorite quote: “My desire to “fix” has often waged war on my desire to influence, drive development and ensure sustainable change.  I have not been alone in exploring the place between head and heart, between managing, challenging and harnessing ego in order to explore and discover the fine line between failure and success of NPO’s and social enterprises and the projects they design, fund, run and report on.” – Author Unknown

I am inspired by people who persevere and succeed against all odds who always look for and find the positive, the opportunity in every negative.

LEAVING A LEGACY

My personal message to the world is that I believe that every child has the right to the best possible start in life.

Yet over 500 000 children and young adults with mobility disabilities living in South Africa do not have access to appropriate wheelchairs and accessible community based seating support services. This shortage of appropriate wheelchairs results in unnecessary, costly and devastating health and social outcomes for both the wheelchair users and their families who support them.  How can we work with you to change there situation for life?

Mentorship is important to me because I only have a few skills and answers; together we can all do more.

AS AN AMBASSADOR FOR MY COUNTRY

If you were to visit my city, I would personally recommend that you walk on Noordhoek beach, take a wander up to the top of table mountain from Constantia Neck  and accompany Shonaquip and Uhambo Foundation on their community outreach training programs to meet the people we work with  and who are the heartbeat of our glorious troubled country.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

The best piece of advice I ever received was “ you can’t to that”.

The secret to my success is – if I was ever successful it would only be because I never stopped trying.

The literature that has influenced my life includes Thomas Hardy – I am convinced he was wrong and that people can escape from their roots  without tragedy and change their destiny  building exciting new futures for themselves and their families.

With regards to living a life of balance – I don’t believe there is such a thing as a balanced life, it is a myth; an ideal we believe we have to strive toward – the very effort to achieve it is itself unreasonable and unbalanced  but we can all strive to make the  world a better place than the way we found it.

 

For more information, visit: http://www.designindaba.com/news/design-indaba-expo-2014-innovation-award, or watch this 2 minute video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_s1SyPIQHtY.

 

Contact email: shona@shonaquip.co.za

Website address: www.shonaquip.co.za; www.uhambofoundation.org.za

Skype: shonaquip

Affiliations/Member of Business &/or Women’s organization/s:  Ashoka Fellow,  Schwab Fellow,  Endeavor Global Social Entrepreneur,   WPO, Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Mentor

Business Network Profiles :  za.linkedin.com/pub/shona-mcdonald/6/88a/64b/; https://www.ashoka.org/fellow/shona-mcdonaldhttp://www.endeavor.org/entrepreneurs/shona-mcdonald/258 ; http://www.schwabfound.org/content/shona-mcdonald

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