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To kick off 2018 events, Johnson and Johnson South Africa (J&J) hosted WEConnect International in South Africa’s one-day Women in ICT Collaboration Workshop. The workshop was opened to certified women’s business enterprises (WBEs) and women business owners (WBOs) in ICT and invited guests within the sector. The event took place on Tuesday, 23 January 2018, at the J&J offices in Midrand.

Following the success of the collaboration workshops in 2017, our host, Jacob Pretorius, Procurement Manager at Johnson & Johnson Medical and Janssen and WEConnect International in South Africa again unveiled this collaborative platform to WEConnect International in South Africa women-owned businesses. This first workshop was specially targeted at women-owned businesses in ICT.

Jean Chawapiwa, Country Director of WEConnect International in South Africa opened the interactive session by welcoming all the attendees and emphasising the importance of partnerships and collaborations and their importance in giving women-owned businesses a competitive edge.

A total of 14 women-owned businesses attended the workshop, 6 of whom were certified WBEs. The business owners spent the morning reviewing market opportunities in technology and how to best access them. This was followed by one minute pitches from all of the attendees.  Marilyn Radebe from Soma Solutions gave a breakdown of the IT capabilities.

Maeson Maherry, co-founder of digital security company Lawtrust, spoke about some of the biggest technology trends in 2018 which include digital centralisation, faster connectivity, data integrity, privacy and blockchain. He also gave insights on the business drivers behind digital transformation and cyber security. He ended the session by saying “It is important for ICT SMEs to be informed about the current trends and position their companies as there are many opportunities for market infiltration”.

To end off the workshop, the women business owners discussed their capabilities and have agreed to have subsequent meetings to discuss how to collaborate on products and services and how to approach WEConnect International’s corporate members for business opportunities.