Women business owners in Cape Town, South Africa were introduced to WEConnect International for the first time on August 14, 2017 as part of a traveling roadshow sponsored by EY. The event, hosted at EY’s Waterfront premises, highlighted opportunities and benefits of registration and certification with WEConnect International in South Africa. The event was the first stop on a three-day roadshow, which includes a stop in Johannesburg on August 15 for a match-making session and a final stop in Durban on August 16 for another connect session.
The WEConnect International in South Africa team was accompanied by the Chairperson of the WEConnect Advisory Council, Jacoba Schutte who serves as EY’s Products and Services Procurement Lead Africa; Miranda Anthony who serves as the Public & Government Affairs Manager for ExxonMobil; and, Zandile Njamela who serves as the Supplier Inclusion and Diversity Program Lead for Accenture South Africa. Also in attendance to the event were Absa’s Bernie Berkowitz who serves as the Provincial Manager Western Cape: Enterprise Development; Jessemy Francis who serves as the Group Procurement Officer for Marriott International; and, Debbie Matthee and Elizabeth Snowson representing the U.S. Embassy.
Thirty-seven women business owners attended the event including two certified women business owners based in Johannesburg and four based in Cape Town. The already WEConnect certified business owners came to support, participate, and share their experiences with the interested women business owners in attendance.
At the start of the event, Ms. Schutte explained the purpose behind the traveling roadshow to the women attendees, “EY is hosting WEConnect International in South Africa events in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban this week. We want to make sure the program attracts more women across the country.”
The agenda for the half-day session included an introduction and update on WEConnect International and a Perfecting your Pitch presentation which included small group breakout sessions for the women to work on their business pitches. Following official introductions of the corporate representatives in attendance, each attendee gave a one-minute business pitch. This aided the networking and discussions for collaboration.
At the conclusion of the event, Ms. Schutte noted, “It was great to see our Cape Town WBEs and so many enthusiastic new women business owners here today. It’s our hope that these new women business owners whom we met today will self-register and apply for certification, so their information can be made available to all of our 13 corporate members in South Africa.”
The women attendees were excited to meet other women business owners as well as the corporate and government representatives. They expressed an enthusiastic desire to continue to engage with one another and build a network within the ecosystem of entrepreneurs.
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