South Africa

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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.

Click here to learn more about South Africa's economy, top industries, and top exports.

Vimala2016Tenacious woman business owner, Vimala Ariyan, who is the founding member and Managing Director of the Southern African Institute of Learning (SAIL), was introduced to WEConnect International in April 2016 after a meeting with Jean Chawapiwa, the Executive Director of WEConnect International in South Africa. She became a WEConnect International certified Women’s Business Enterprise in August 2016 and SAIL is already in negotiations to extend its services into the African region.

Vimala started her professional career as an educator in KwaZulu Natal, before joining the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) where she decided on a future in the exciting and rewarding world of occupational training. She considers SAIL her third child, having grown the organization to where it is today.


An interactive training session on best practice in planning and giving presentations provided Women Business Owners with a unique opportunity to assess and improve individual skillsets. Organised as part of a connect session by WEConnect International in South Africa, and hosted by corporate member Intel in Johannesburg on 8 November, the training was presented by Deaneesha Govender, Commodity Manager - Europe, Middle East and Africa Regional Strategic Sourcing, Intel Corporation. Some 19 certified Women Business Enterprises, attended the morning event.  

VirtualReality2016How Augmented Reality Can Grow and Differentiate Businesses

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are becoming relevant to offerings of business entities, particularly SMMEs. This was the novel theme explored during an event held for Women Business Owners (WBOs) and local stakeholders. WEConnect International in South Africa was hosted by the team at the Tshwane Interactive Digital Centre (Tshwane IDC) in Pretoria on 11 October 2016. The event included presentations and was attended by 24 WBOs from Johannesburg, Midrand and Pretoria.

Jean Chawapiwa

Country Director, South Africa

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