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By Vanessa Beyers, The Source PR & Event Management, South Africa

“As an entrepreneur in business for 18 years, I’ve faced many trials and overcome many obstacles with only myself accountable for my success or failure. It can be a lonely and challenging environment when you only have your own opinion, skill, expertise to depend on, where you’re your own biggest challenge and you set your limitations. It can be a very frustrating and disheartening place to be.

After many years, I stopped and assessed my company and realised that where we were and where I believe we should be were worlds apart. By now my company should have reached maturity, we should be a large corporation, our vision and goals for the company should have materialised by now!

Where were we going wrong? The answer is that I was trying to do everything myself without reaching out to establish new networks, new connections, new resources and therefore my business was beginning to stagnate. I had to find ways to break through the barriers to unleash the true potential to initiate substantial growth.

To do that, I started voicing what we needed and more importantly listened to the answers. I needed to take action, take accountability and invest more time in growing the business to broaden our horizons.

I started taking inspired action, acting on advise from others which lead me first to WEConnect International. I was self-registered for some time before certifying our business because at first, I didn’t realize the value of the monetary investment to certify.

Through WEConnect International, as self-registered business, I was still fortunate enough to read the invitation to a P&G Women Entrepreneurs Development Programme, which I applied for and was accepted as a participant. This programme was the beginning of a fascinating and empowering journey on which I have recently embarked, and the doors of opportunity have opened and continue to open in abundance, wherever we turn. It was during the P&G Women Entrepreneurs Development Programme that I realized we cannot afford to not get certified.

As a certified WEConnect International business, I was exposed to various corporates during a matchmaking session and was invited to pitch for AVON Justine’s year-end and Awards event. We were successful in our pitch and assisted AVON Justine with their event on 13th December 2019. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity and excited for future potential.

If I had not invested in our WEConnect International certification, this opportunity would never have come our way. Being part of this amazing initiative gives us far more reach and opportunity to do business and to grow the economy. I realize that growing your business is tough and having access to large corporates is almost impossible without initiatives such as this! We simply cannot afford to not renew our certification and continue to be actively involved in the programme. Where would we be right now without it? Still stuck behind the barrier to true success looking for a way out.

WEConnect International is about opening doors and giving women-owned businesses access to opportunity; it does not guarantee that you will get more business and nor does your certification fee entitle you to returns, but it most certainly does guarantee your exposure. We as part of the network are responsible for what we do with the opportunities presented to us. You will get out what you put in and I guarantee you, you will not have this ease of access to corporates out there by knocking on doors on your own!

WEConnect International is the gateway to tremendous opportunities for growth. During the WEConnect P&G Women Entrepreneurs Development Programme I became aware of the EY Winning Women’s programme which I applied for and have been accepted as a participant for the class of 2019/2020. I have also been introduced to the WPO (Women’s Presidents Organisation), all this in the space of 6 months! Our accelerated transition to reaching our dream has only just begun and I am inspired and excited for the journey ahead of us!

Thank you WEConnect International for providing the platform and the foundation of support of Women in Business. With collaboration, we can achieve great things. Show up and then make the difference!”

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