WEConnect International in South Africa identifies, educates, registers, and certifies women's business enterprises that are at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by one or more women. WEConnect International is the only non-profit organisation in South Africa that provides the seal of certification uniquely to Women Business Enterprises (WBEs), and also, that connects these WBEs with multi-national corporate purchasing organizations across diverse industries. Our signature seal of certification is a formal guarantee to corporations that they are purchasing goods and/or services from South African businesses that meet universal standards for WBEs. Find out more.
Procurement Training Programme with Cummins Inc
On October 2, 2014, WEConnect International in South Africa and one of its corporate members, Cummins Inc SA, co-hosted a procurement training programme at Cummins Inc South Africa’s offices in Sandton, Johannesburg.
The programme was conducted by a panel of distinguished women business leaders from Cummins Inc and WEConnect International in South Africa, respectively. The panelists included Ms. Susan Quist, Director & Corporate Counsel, Legal, and Corporate Affairs, who presented an insightful overview of Cummins Inc Africa; and Dr. Nathalie Chinje, Executive Director of WEConnect International in South Africa. Dr. Chinje led an interactive discussion of WEConnect International in South Africa bringing out a distinct message on the importance of women business owners in the economy. This message created a sense of camaraderie among the women. Present as well, was Ms. Jolene Classen, Sourcing Manager of Indirect Purchasing Africa at Cummins Inc.
Negotiation Skills Programme with Accenture
On September 30, 2014, Accenture and WEConnect International in South Africa welcomed close to 30 women business owners at Accenture offices in Johannesburg to participate in a Negotiation Skills Programme. The aim of the training programme was to address the hurdles that women business owners face when trying to negotiate their business objectives in a working environment, and to help them find acceptable solutions to these challenges.
The women business owners thoroughly enjoyed the event and had very positive feedback to share. Ms. Stephina Lekgale, owner of Lakgale Mahlako Trading, believes that the workshop was highly informative. “It gave me a clear understanding of how to go about negotiating business”, she said. Kim Vermaak, Director of Beautiful Corporate Gifts said “I learnt a lot that I could share with friends and customers who are in female owned businesses”.
From Minority Business Entrepreneur Magazine (www.mbemag.com )
"WEConnect International in South Africa: Offering WOBs Access to Local and Global Markets," by Dr. Nathalie Chinje, September 2014
August is an important month for South African women. It is on August 9, 1956 that 20,000 South Afri- can women of all races marched to the Union Building in Pretoria to protest against the injustices of the Apartheid regime.This regime suppressed the rights of South African women to pursue careers, thereby supporting the belief that women in South Africa should only spend their time in the kitchen. They also publicly voiced their opinions against the pass laws that required “black”South Africans to carry a ‘”pass,” an internal passport that severely restricted their movement...
A New Advisory Council for WEConnect International South Africa
In January 2014, WEConnect International established its advisory council in South Africa, comprised of procurement heads from corporate members Intel, Exxon Mobil, Accenture and Cummins. Council members have experience varying from women empowerment programs aimed at fast-tracking their economic participation, to global supplier inclusion and diversity initiatives.
The advisory council offers insight and expertise to WEConnect International South Africa. Specifically it focuses on governance and oversight of yearly activities of WEConnect International South Africa, including training programs, certification, and building and strengthening our local corporate membership base. These activities support our vision of providing women-owned businesses with access to local and global market opportunities.
Deaneesha Govender - Commodity Purchasing Manager for Intel South Africa; Chairperson, WEConnect International South Africa Advisory Council
Formerly a member of the EMEA Diversity team, driving Women at Intel initiatives specific to Intern and RCG Programs.
Currently a Commodity Purchasing Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Qualified and majored in International Business Communication and Business English.
Zakithi Zama - Public Government Affairs Manager for ExxonMobil Exploration & Production South Africa Limited (EMEPSAL)
Holds a Master of Business Leadership (MBL) from UNISA’s Graduate School of Business Leadership.
Vast expertise in Public Affairs, having held similar positions in the Petrochemical Industry for over 10 years.
Wealth of experience having worked with women empowerment programs aimed at fast-tracking their economic participation.
Jolene Catherine Classen - Sourcing Manager for Cummins Inc.Africa
Has 19 year’s procurement experience across a full spectrum of industries including FMCG, Mining, Telecommunication and Automotive Industries.
Category Manager at Rio Tinto Management Services prior to joining Cummins.
A certification member of the South African Diversity Council and also a certified member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply.
Linda Basson - Head of Procurement for Accenture South Africa
Head of Procurement for Accenture in South Africa, Botswana, Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana.
Coordinates procurement category management activities across EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region for the Facilities and Services Spend Category.
Contributes to global supplier inclusion and diversity initiatives using her experience gained in leading a number of BBBEE initiatives in South Africa.
The Launch of WEConnect International in South Africa
WEConnect International Launches in South Africa | October 29, 2013
Check out all the pictures from the event here!
Read WEConnect International Launch Speech in South Africa by Dr Nathalie Chinje, Executive Director, WEConnect International South Africa
Executive Director For South Africa
Johannesburg, South Africa
Funders and Partners