Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  23 Aug 2011

EXPO: Women Entrepreneurs in SA Must Be Acknowledged and Supported


Recent Gauteng Business News

Women entrepreneurs with their own businesses are a significant part of the South African entrepreneurial landscape. In last year’s Eskom Business Investment Competition, the winners in two categories were women, receiving meaningful cash prizes which would help grow their businesses, as well as the opportunity to showcase their products and services at the annual Business Opportunities and Franchise Expo (BOFE).

The Eskom Business Investment Competition is an annual initiative which recognises and honours small and medium-sized black-owned businesses operating in the agricultural, manufacturing, and trade/services sectors in South Africa, and is part of the Eskom Development Foundation’s ongoing business support programme.

The Different Categories of Women Entrepreneurs

The 2010 winner in the Trade/ Services category was Lungiswa Moko from Ntinga Projects Managers in Baysville, East London. This woman-owned business provides project management for construction projects, as well as construction services, training and advice for emerging contractors so they can build capacity and strengthen their ability to compete in the highly competitive construction environment.

In the Manufacturing category, the 2010 winners were Thandeka Mahlatjie of Kholwa Sign Master in Bloemfontein. Kholwa Sign Master, established in 2006, specialises in custom-designed sign boards, banners, vehicle branding, number plates and promotional material. It also offers design and branding advice for corporate image building, and the owners’ ambition for this business is to become the largest signage company in South Africa.

Eskom Foundation CEO Haylene Liberty says the calibre of entrants each year is always impressive. “We see a diverse range of entrepreneurs committed to realising the goal of owning and running successful businesses. Not only do they generate an income for their families, but they also create much needed employment opportunities.”

The 27 finalists - one from each sector in each province - have the opportunity to exhibit at the 2011 Business Opportunities and Franchise Expo, sponsored by Standard Bank and jointly organised by Thebe Exhibition and Projects and the Eskom Foundation.

Women Entrepreneurs in SA Expo

This year’s expo runs from September 15 to 18 at the Coca-Cola dome, in Northriding, Johannesburg. Such a platform enables business-owners to market their businesses and interact with prominent business leaders and representatives from a broad sector of commerce and industry as well as from government. It promotes entrepreneurial networking and various franchise, investment and business opportunities, with a host of seminars and discussions led by industry leaders. It also features a Small Business Seminar, a Business Buzz Zone and Interactive Demo areas.

Glynis Anderson, General Manager, Thebe Exhibitions and Projects Group says it is imperative that South Africa continues to develop initiatives aimed at promoting and supporting the economic empowerment of women. “Women in South Africa make up over half the population and we need to nurture and grow their contributions in the business environment.” Support is therefore highly important for South African women entrepreneurs.

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