Shamilah Damons, a South African data scientist helping companies with their digital solutions  — Lionesses of Africa

Impact Partner Content – Absa

Shammah Innovative Solutions is an information technology company based in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is an EME with 100% black women ownership and Level 1 B-BBEE rating. Shammah aims to provide digital solutions to small and large companies. Data is currently considered as any organisation’s most valuable commodity, and Shammah’s goal is to use intelligent data processing techniques to provide integrated business solutions that deliver accurate, efficient and timely results.

Shammah Innovative Solutions is one of the 117 companies showcased at the Absa Lionesses Xpo. Lioness Weekender spoke to founder Shamilah Damons about her experiences of building her IT business to date and her ambitions for the future. 

What inspired you to start your company?

When I started my career 15 years ago, I was one of a handful black female data scientist in a male dominated industry. I have always imagined the future with the likes of Shammah being established among the “Big Tech Companies”. To challenge the status quo, investing in the potential of young females and harvesting their skills. Since then I have been retrenched twice while being employed in the corporate environment. I realized that if I continued down the road of employment, my career and future would always be in the hands of someone else. I would have to take a stand and make tough decisions if I wanted to direct and grow my career in a volatile economy. This realization led to the birth of Shammah.

Why should anyone use your service or product?

Shammah authentic professionals have 15 years of experience in data science. With the owner involved in 80% of execution of projects, each client gets personal attention. Our resources have a Can Do, Know How and Everything is Possible attitude, delivering quality work, on time and in budget by adding value to any business.

Tell us a little about your team

The Shammah team consists of myself, the owner and vision bearer of the company and I am the one who holds the qualifications, skills and a wealth of experience in the IT (ICT) industry. I enjoy the support of close family and friends with a background in business who render advice and believe in the vision of Shammah. Currently, the administrative and financial functions of the business are outsourced to strategic partners through contracts and agreements.

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

Reminiscing, when asked by my Grade 2 Teacher what I wanted to become when I’m a grown up, I would proudly reply: “I want to be an Entrepreneur.” Entrepreneur was a word I picked up from an article in my parents’ Reader’s Digest. As I grew up, this term was pushed to the back of my mind because as I studied towards a degree in Information Technology, we were told that a degree will secure a great job and future. Nonetheless, after two retrenchments, here I am building a childhood dream from years ago. 

Another influence on my entrepreneurial journey was my parents who provided catering services by cooking and baking for weddings and other small parties. This is where my love for baking started and to date it has evolved into one of my other business ventures. 

My entrepreneurial journey has been tough, long and lonely. Not many people are willing to validate your dreams. The onus rest on you to work hard and make a success of it. Our parents raised us by showing by example that quitting in life is not an option. This has pushed me to develop my business irrespective of how tough things get. I am focused and committed to develop Shammah into a success story.

What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?

To be an authentic, collaborative, world-class business. To assist young graduates with an opportunity to gain exposure and experience through internships. That way, Shammah can also benefit from the energy and vision of individuals who grew up in the technological age and understand the trends interesting the youth. This can also open new avenues for services and products in the ICT environment.

What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?

Being an entrepreneur allows me to be in control of my career and my future. The current economic environment is one where there is a lot of focus on the empowerment of women. This provides ample opportunity for female entrepreneurs such as me to contribute to the economy while improving the socio-economic circumstances of the rest of the community. Women always care for others and as entrepreneurs, women can now build a legacy for their family and pay it forward to improve the lives and opportunities for generations to come. Entrepreneurship has made me stronger and better than when I started my career in the ICT industry

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

Never, ever STOP believing in yourself and your dreams. Remember your WHY!!! You will not know it all at once, you are going to make mistakes and fail. That is OK, because from the biggest failures the greatest achievements are born. 

Surround yourself with like-minded people, people who believe in you and in your dream. People who will support and uplift you when you don’t feel like pushing on.

To find out more about the work of Shammah Innovative Solutions, contact Shamilah Damons via email: or visit the company website and social media platforms: 


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