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.

success 2016 mendell SA mainMelanie Medell Selected for EY’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women Class of 2016

(July 26, 2016) Melanie Medell, owner of Melaire Linens, has been chosen to participate in corporate member EY's Entrepreneurial Winning Women Class of 2016 programme. Melanie has been a WEConnect International in South Africa certified Women Business Enterprise since March 2015.

Melanie credits her selection to the EY programme to WEConnect International in South Africa’s support. She says, "This opportunity is a direct outcome of my attendance of the WEConnect International in South Africa Annual Conference held in April this year. In particular, Jean Chawapiwa, Executive Director of WEConnect International in South Africa is a powerful catalyst."

Read her success story.


(15 July 2016) WEConnect International in South Africa is on a growth path, a new team took over the management in August 2015. The team has hosted multiple events including a national conference for women business owners in South Africa. The growing strength of the organisation has prompted a move onto online platforms to further strengthen their network of women owned businesses, certified WBEs, corporate members within WEConnect International and affiliate organisations.

(14 July 2016) On numerous occasions at WEConnect International in South Africa events corporate members have made mention of the various opportunities they have for women-owned companies in logistics. The corporates have also mentioned the hardships they have in accessing women-owned logistics businesses, that have adequate capacity to successfully execute the scale of projects they have in their companies.

Jean Chawapiwa, Executive Director of WEConnect International in South Africa, identified this as an opportunity to host a Women in Logistics discussion. On 3 June 2016 more than 50 women business owners attended the event and global corporate members Cummins, Monsanto, P&G and National Empowerment Fund (NEF) presented and shared opportunities. Their presentations were not just confined to logistics opportunities much to the delight of the women business owners.

Jean Chawapiwa

Country Director, South Africa

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